ISG discusses future opportunities

Dawn Rye | Writer

During last week’s Turner County commissioner meeting, ISG, an engineering consultant company out of Sioux Falls, introduced themselves to the board. 

Consultant Steve Watson and architect Josh Muckenhirn are both out of the Sioux Falls office. Watson explained the overview of ISG that is a full services engineering, architecture, planning and environmental firm. He noted ISG headquarters are based out of Mankato, Minn. Watson said the company started about 47 years ago and expanded to Sioux Falls two years ago. He commented their company is licensed in 43 states and their current projects are with the Elk Point-Jefferson and Centerville. Watson noted ISG works on various projects and is advantageous when it comes to working with clients.

“We just look at things a little bit differently when you’re exposed to a lot of industries and a lot of different geographies,” said Watson. 

Watson noted with a large firm like ISG, they have electrical, mechanical, structural, civil engineers, interior designers and landscape. Watson said when they attend a client meeting, they bring their “starting five” so geography can’t dictate who can benefit the client the best. 

Muckenhirn noted when there is a team all under the same roof, the communication between clients and staff members is more fluent. He said drawings are put together in 3D software and all the engineers and architects are working on the same model. 

Muckenhirn explained a facility assessment looks at the “bones” of the structure. Muckenhirn said the idea is to put together a road map for deferred maintenance and allows the client to budget accordingly. He said it’s more of a budgeting tool in the long-term perspective. 

Watson noted if an assessment hasn’t been done in five to 10 years, it might be worth taking a closer look. 

Commissioner Jared Hybertson said the assessment ties in with a capital improvements plan. He asked how the firm could take it a step further and recommend how the spaces can be more efficient?

Muckenhirn explained during the facility assessment they also do conceptional for remodeling the existing building. He noted they could also put together a potential building plan.

Watson noted when their team is going through the process, they like to engage the clients when it comes to plans. 

Commissioner Mark Kaufmann asked what the charge clients are?

Muckenhirn said the cost is based on the project; however, with an extensive facility assessment, it takes more time is estimated at $15,000. He noted the small project cost around $10,000 because it might take less time to gather the information. 

Co-chair Mick Miller asked how long  it takes to assess a building like a courthouse?

Muckenhirn said from going to the site visit and placing the final document together about it is about a three-month process. He explained they use a field wire software technology that allows the team to take photos and notes to streamline the project to move quickly. 

Hybertson said they have been working with Centerville and he thought it would be helpful and an excellent opportunity to have a conversation about the future.  

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