Smart Mobility Training Center

SSOE was selected to design a new, state-of-the-art training center for the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. The center, a collaboration between Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai), The Technical College System of Georgia (TSCG), and Georgia Quick Start, is located adjacent to the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA) facility and is poised to train the next generation of EV experts and innovators. Helping to solidify Georgia’s position as a national leader in EV manufacturing, the facility will support Hyundai’s first dedicated Electric Vehicle mass-production plant in the U.S. and promote Hyundai’s vision of becoming a global smart mobility solution provider.

Quick Start, a division of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) is Georgia’s internationally acclaimed workforce training program. SSOE and its partners designed the innovative 90,000 SF training center to further Quick Start’s mission by providing spaces that are highly functional, adaptable, and supportive of a dynamic organization, built on 50 years of experience, with a nurturing team-oriented culture.

The training center will feature technologies such as CAD, BIM, and virtual reality as well as classrooms, technical labs, and high-bay spaces. The space will contain manufacturing-scale training simulations incorporating robotics, mechatronics, welding, motors, and other advanced manufacturing technologies to simulate the EV production environment and prepare the trainees for success.

SSOE applied its expertise and experience in the EV market to deliver a cost-effective, high-quality solution for the client. The building is anchored by respecting the site’s geometry and the HMGMA factory context. Transitioning between the landscape architecture and the building are two courtyards of two distinct characters. The north courtyard serves as the main entrance to the facility and is active, welcoming, and dynamic, with trellis and colonnades as contemporary interpretations of the Southeast Georgia coastal vernacular. The south courtyard is intended to provide a quieter area of respite where staff and trainees can recharge and prepare for the day’s assignments.

Project completion is slated for late 2025 and will support the creation of more than 8,000 jobs in the EV industry.

Skilled Trades Training Center

SSOE was selected to provide architectural and engineering design services for the new Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center located in Detroit.

The new facility is used to provide instruction to Detroit area carpenter and millwright apprentices and journeymen, and is able to train 150 – 200 students at a time. The facility houses the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters offices and Local Union Representative offices. The project was completed in 2022.

The training center is a two-story building with steel frame and metal panel envelope for the training areas and showcases materials and finishes performed by the carpenters and millwrights in the main entry and public areas. This new 130,000 SF (approximately) facility consists of mixed use space including office and administration areas, a multi-purpose room for career and vendor fairs (7,000 SF), classrooms for instructional use, two high bay work areas for hands-on learning (50,000 SF and 10,000 SF), welding lab (with self-contained filtration / ventilation system), bridge crane, council area / offices, (approximately 14,000 SF), and building support areas.

Dana Advanced Manufacturing
Training Center

Having extensive international manufacturing experience combined with nationwide higher education experience made SSOE the right choice for Owens Community College for the design of their new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. SSOE’s manufacturing facility design experts worked closely with our higher education team and the client to incorporate the latest manufacturing trends into Owen’s new real-world training center. We have worked on thousands of industrial projects and kept pace with this dynamic industry by working alongside experts in the field. The application of the knowledge we have gained resulted in the delivery of a teaching and training facility that truly reflects today’s manufacturing environments. Simulation of real-world working environments allows students to be prepared for success as they complete their courses and enter the workforce.

This project included the renovation of an existing high bay building into an advanced manufacturing education and workforce training facility. The facility includes seven classrooms for training and education, five computer labs, hydraulic / pneumatic lab, two mechanical labs, three electrical labs, a robotics lab, pipefitting lab, four building trade labs, group project space, storage for tools and supplies, and offices spaces. The training center houses approximately $3-$4 million worth of advanced manufacturing equipment. Also included in the project is site development to include 100-200 new parking spaces adjacent to the building. The building’s entire mechanical system was also evaluated and updated as needed to fit the project’s needs.

SSOE performed architecture, civil, structural, electrical, mechanical and plumbing engineering, fire protection, technology, communications, security design, interior design, and loose furnishings design.

CATE Center

New CATE Center Design

SSOE, in association with WBE-based firm, Red Iron Architects, worked with Jasper County School District on the design of the district’s new Career and Technical Education (CATE) Center. The center now serves the district’s new and existing high school students.

Introducing Students To New Trades & Workforce Development Skills

The CATE Center, which is connected to Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, provides a unique program that introduces students to profitable trades and skills that can be used to enhance their future. The center accommodates programs for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); health science; information technology (IT); and transportation, distribution, and logistics.

Building highlights include Health and Biomedical labs, STEM labs, flexible classrooms, computer, and logistics-focused classrooms, makerspace, state-of-the-art culinary program, and more. The building’s large central area is used as break-out space for the adjacent classrooms and laboratories, large project space, exhibition space, robotic competitions, and/or a meeting area for career fairs.

Cooper River Center for Advanced Studies

New Regional Career Center in the Heart of Downtown North Charleston

SSOE, in association with Red Iron Architects, was selected by Charleston County School District to design their new 90,000 SF Center for Advanced Studies. The facility, located in the downtown area of North Charleston, South Carolina, is one of three regional career centers in the district. Students can now attend the center during the day to enhance their skills in the fields of architecture and construction, manufacturing, transportation, distribution and logistics, the arts, audiovisual technology and communications, health sciences, STEM, and information technology. The facility is designed to accommodate programs that align with immediate employment opportunities, the state’s technical school programs, and four-year university programs as well. Our team received a Building Design+Construction (BD+C) Building Team Award for our design of this unique interactive learning facility, receiving high marks for our community involvement and collaboration.

State-of-the-Art Research Labs, Studios, and Classrooms

The full architectural and engineering scope of services included planning and programming, assistance in the development of education specifications, spearheading community and local business / industry engagement, as well as architecture, interiors, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering. Specialized spaces include high-bay facilities for HVAC; automotive collision repair; mechatronics; electronics and building construction; and labs for biomedical engineering, cybersecurity, computer repair, and “Project Lead the Way.”

Additional spaces within this new building include state-of-the-art research labs / studios, a technology hub, flexible classrooms, an administrative suite, maker spaces, a large two-story exhibition space, 150-seat lecture hall, nursing suite, the district’s audiovisual department, career guidance area, cafe, and more.

The new Cooper River Center for Advanced Studies has a strong connection with the community, providing a space for local business and industry partners to not only teach but lead by example. SSOE worked with woman-owned business and Charleston-based architectural firm Red Iron Architects, civil engineering firm Hussey Gay Bell, and mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection firm Owens & Associates.

Chris Riley Instructional Building

State-Of-The-Art Instructional Building

SSOE worked with Lanier Technical College on the new Hall County replacement campus. The new campus is located on a 96-acre site in Northeast Georgia. Construction took place over a three-year period and includes a multitude of new buildings spanning more than 300,000-square feet with associated surface parking and related site amenities.

The new Instructional Building houses the General Education, Adult Education, Business and Computer Technology, and Early Childhood Development programs.

Integrated Classroom Environments

The building features numerous integrated technology classrooms / labs, studios, and small and large group areas all designed around problem-based learning (PBL), team-based learning (TBL) and student-centered active learning environment with upside-down pedagogies (SCALE – UP) teachings.

Pond (prime design professional), in association with SSOE, was selected to provide professional design services for the college’s new Gainesville campus. SSOE supported the overall design team by leading the programming, the interior design and furnishing, fixture, and equipment (FF&E) efforts for the entire campus,  and providing overall design team project management. SSOE also provided full architecture and engineering design services as Architect of Record for the Breeden-Giles Hall Administration Building, the Chris Riley Instructional Building, and the Wilbur and Dixie Ramsey Conference Center.

The new Chris Riley Instructional Building is two-stories and features flexible classrooms, faculty offices, and teaching and computer labs.

Entrepreneur and Innovations Institute Renovation and Addition

Creating a facility poised from the start to attract talent and produce workers with relevant skillsets now and into the future is the goal of Henry Ford College (HFC) with their expanded Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute / Technology Building. HFC worked with SSOE to create spaces that fuel innovation and entrepreneurship. The Student Commons, a destination space, links the existing spaces to new. The inspiring design allows students informal areas for networking, collaborating, and impromptu learning. The renovation includes spaces for teaming, hands-on learning, and fostering the spirit of “out of the box thinking.”

The project includes the renovation of existing classrooms and lab spaces as well as the addition of 24,000 SF of new space in the Technology Building. Upgrades will include structure, envelope, interior finishes, HVAC, lighting, electrical, and plumbing. This project will allow for continued renovations initiated in 2015 and has a total estimated budget of $14.9 million.

HFC’s 24,000 SF addition will create multi-disciplinary labs, including a new Makerspace / Innovation Hub, automotive labs, as well as the Entrepreneurship and Business Skills Center needed to support changing programs and curricula, the regional demand for workforce training, and business and industry partnership initiatives.

This new construction will also improve building and program access and internal circulation, while addressing the lack of breakout / collaborative workspaces critical for student success. Lastly, the addition will house a new campus Energy Plant to support the college’s goal of a Net Zero campus. SSOE will work closely with HFC’s energy partners, Johnson Controls and Garforth International, to integrate the College’s $23.1 million Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) into this project.

Several of the programs and physical spaces that will be positively impacted by this project include the Transportation / Automotive Technology Program, the HFC Fabrication Lab, Product Development Center (“Makerspace”), Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Business Skills Center, HFC Advanced Manufacturing Early College, and improved learning spaces in the Technology Building. These upgrades continue to reinforce HFC’s mission of transforming lives and building better futures by providing outstanding education.

New Innovation Center

SSOE’s complete steel prefab structural building drawing ultimately saved La-Z-Boy over $500,000.

La-Z-Boy desired a research and development center that reflected the importance of innovation and technology to their company. Their vision was to create a new state-of-the-art R&D facility with larger, modern work spaces that would aid in improving staff recruiting and retention.

The SSOE team, with construction manager Rudolph Libbe, worked closely with La-Z-Boy on this design / build project, utilizing 3D modeling reviews to communicate clearly with the client’s project team to assure they fully visualized the design concepts. This allowed the client to understand the design at each phase and see how their design requirements were being incorporated. The final design included a combination of a 50,000 SF pre-engineered research building and a 20,000 SF conventional building designed with flexibility for the office spaces.

The research / testing area includes shops, wood working, and engineering spaces. The office space has an open floor plan incorporating the flexible workplace strategy, with only one walled office for the vice president. This floor plan, along with the café and outdoor seating areas, follow La-Z-Boy’s overall strategy to have office neighborhoods where people aren’t tied to the same work space on a daily basis, providing employees with a choice of where to work. There are also movable furnishings with electrical outlets located throughout for device charging.

The Innovation Center’s corridor is lined with windows that provide a view into the research and engineering brainstorming “garages” where they refine pieces of furniture and collaborate on design innovations. SSOE’s engineering team designed a special dust collection system used in the facility.

SSOE was pleased to offer architecture, MEP and structural engineering, dust collection, data / fire / security design, steel detailing, and interior design services for this facility that met the client’s goal and vision for a modern and flexible workplace for their employees.

VW Academy

As a part of the agreement with Volkswagen, the State of Tennessee funded the $40 million dollar investment for the new Volkswagen Academy. The Academy sits on top of a hill, looking down at the actual plant, and is connected via an enclosed pedestrian bridge. The parking area at the Academy also serves as the main parking lot for the factory.

The Academy was designed to be a state-of-the-art training center for preparing workers for their jobs at the new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Academy is operated in conjunction with Chattanooga State Technical Community College with the support of other local universities and educational facilities. Most of the Academy is surrounded by windows, allowing natural lighting throughout the structure, and included the use of daylight sensors to maintain appropriate lighting levels.

Volkswagen Academy is approximately 153,000 SF, which includes a lean manufacturing center, a manufacturing and automation center for basic and advanced training, and an automotive training area. The training simulates all aspects of the manufacturing process, but on a smaller scale to allow for hands-on training. The facility includes 19 classrooms, a cafeteria, a gift shop, a coffee shop, and a conference center.

The conference center houses a large, open auditorium area that can be viewed from not only the first floor, but also the office area above. This area has movable partitions to allow for individual conference rooms to be created. The conference center also includes a board room with adjacent meeting rooms.

The Academy achieved LEED® Platinum certification.

Excellence Training Center

SSOE worked with Youngstown State University for the creation of a living / learning R&D Excellence Training Center (ETC) that serves as an advanced manufacturing education, workforce training facility, and incubator factory. It houses a welding, machining CNC, automation and fluids training labs, high-bay workspace, metals and 3D printing, secure group project space, classrooms, and a workroom space. The ETC opened in Fall 2021 and houses approximately $5.5 million worth of advanced manufacturing equipment. The development of the ETC required the renovation of an existing building and addition to the facility on a downtown campus while maintaining project specific and ITAR security regulations.

SSOE worked with YSU faculty and staff, MVICC members, and Eastern Gateway Community College to develop detailed bid documents for repairs, renovation, and new construction. The
project site is located both on the edge of YSU’s campus and in Youngstown’s downtown area. This location provides access to the varied groups that will utilize the facility including
Youngstown’s downtown community. The building’s architecture takes inspiration from the existing urban context and neighboring campus buildings to create a common aesthetic statement. This project is also partially funded with an EDA Grant, for which SSOE provided the necessary documents. SSOE’s design also included provisions and concepts for future expansion(s) to the facility, as this is Phase I of a multi-Phase 100,000+ SF master plan created as part of the project’s planning and design.

Utilization of our significant manufacturing industry experience allowed our design team to lead the YSU design committee through the design process by helping them create a real-life simulated advanced manufacturing environment. We were able to utilize our knowledge of plant and process design and apply it into the manufacturing educational design, which will ultimately allow students to be completely prepared to enter real manufacturing environments upon program completion.

Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Training Center

SSOE’s design team was selected to assist with Northwest State Community College’s (NSCC) plans to expand their Engineering and Workforce Development departments.

SSOE’s extensive experience with higher education, as well as manufacturing and industrial design, was key in designing NSCC’s Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, which must meet tomorrow’s industry standards and promote recruitment and retention.

To achieve NSCC’s goals and obtain a successful program, the design incorporated high-tech learning environments that are flexible and user-friendly, as well as welcoming, with low-maintenance finishes.

The project consists of the interior renovation and reconfiguration of two existing floors for the new workforce development program. A new 16,000 SF academic and engineering laboratory addition for the School of Engineering will also be designed. Upgrades include new classrooms, department offices, conference rooms, student collaboration and lounge areas, computer laboratories, plastics laboratory, engineering and distance learning laboratories, as well as a large 10,000 SF workforce training and robotics laboratory.

New Welcome & Training Center

SSOE provided architectural, interior design, and engineering services to support construction of a new 15,000 SF Welcome and Training Center for Transportation Research Center (TRC), the largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds in the U.S.

As the gateway to the TRC campus, the facility is the main welcome and access control point to the campus. The center includes informal and formal collaboration areas, conference rooms, project lab space, and office space for three user groups: TRC security, the Regional Plan Commission, and the Ohio State University (OSU) distance learning program, which supports academic liaison efforts via teaching and research.

Designed to accommodate meetings of all sizes, the welcome center includes small gathering spaces, distance learning facilities, and, for seminars and presentations, a large meeting room featuring state-of-the-art AV technology and space for presentation vehicles. Within the OSU distance learning area, the space is flexible and reconfigurable for project and team needs. The design of the space allows for both team based work and lecture based presentations. Height adjustable tables with plug and play power allows for the space to be one level, verses a tiered layout. Interior design highlights include some areas with exposed ceilings with acoustical clouds, the lobby ceiling is designed with metal longboard, patterned with wood, to add warmth to the area, custom casework design, and sealed concrete flooring.

Budget, visual appeal, and functionality were top design concerns for this client. SSOE incorporated a strong graphical approach, both inside and out, for an attractive, modern, cost-conscious design. Exterior design resulted in a brick and metal façade with a welcoming entry and a strong daylight component.

Southern Region Technical Training Center

SSOE has a long and successful project history with BMW, including initial architectural / engineering services for previous expansions at BMW’s Spartanburg assembly plant. Because we also have extensive experience designing training and technical centers for automotive clients, BMW selected SSOE to provide design services for their new Southern Regional Technical Training Center. Our expertise in this area has proven invaluable throughout the design and construction phases of this project.

The new technical training center includes five training units, each consisting of a practical workshop and a theory classroom. SSOE worked closely with BMW to design the new facility to their unique specifications, which includes automotive equipment, furniture, ICS equipment, data network, and IT cabling routing and requirements. Additionally, design for all necessary special structural supports required for mounting of automotive equipment was included.

SSOE’s electrical engineers completed the lighting, power, emergency generation systems, fire alarm, security systems, network racks, patch panels, and cable for telephone / data networks. Parking layout, civil engineering, and landscape design also included the design of carports to utilize BMW-provided solar panels. SSOE’s structural engineers completed the design of the foundations (including soils and sub-slab specifications) and our Data / Fire / Security design team performed audio visual system design for the classrooms and public address systems.

SSOE also provided architectural, interior design, mechanical, and cost estimating services. Our partner, Alliance Consulting Engineers, provided civil engineering and landscape architecture services.