Project Update: St. Catherine’s Village

August 7, 2018

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Our work at  St. Catherine’s Village continues with an expansion and renovation of the current Skilled Care Nursing Facility and a new Central Mechanical Plant. Both projects are currently underway so we thought we’d check in and see what’s happening on site!

Skilled Nursing Facility – The Skilled Nursing Care project is an expansion and renovation of the Village’s existing Skilled Nursing Facility. The 59,000 SF expansion project will enable the existing and new facility to have all private rooms while also creating 4,000 SF of new rehab space, a new kitchen, and a new elevator for the existing facility.

Southwest view along length of expansion

Northeast view along length of expansion and steel framing for the second story going up. 

New entrance into the facility

View inside the rehabilitation center

Metal studs that will be used to frame the interior walls are on site. 

Central Mechanical Plant – The Central Mechanical Plant is under construction concurrently with the Skilled Nursing Facility. Phase 1 of the plant will feature two 350 ton chillers and associated pumps that will serve the Skilled Nursing Facility as well as a portion of the existing campus facilities. Once completed, the central mechanical plant will feature two additional 350 ton chillers and will serve St. Catherine’s entire campus. The centralization of campus chilled water production will allow St. Catherine’s to greatly reduce its energy consumption while still maintaining the level of comfort residents expect.

Like many buildings and campuses across the country, the mechanical infrastructure on the campus of St. Catherine’s Village is beginning to reach its expected lifespan. While the existing equipment has served its purpose well,  its reliability has waned in recent years. As St. Catherine’s administration began to consider options to replace or upgrade the mechanical infrastructure, CDFL’s engineers suggested that a central mechanical plant be explored in order to centralize campus chilled water production and maximize campus efficiency. CDFL engineers worked with St. Catherine’s staff to devise a plan that considered immediate and long-term needs, and gave the campus maximum benefit for its investment.

Central Mechanical Plant building slab.

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Project Update: Oxford University United Methodist Church

July 30, 2018

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Work at Oxford University United Methodist Church is rapidly progressing and it’s getting closer to move in time! As expansion and renovation reaches its final stages, here are a few photos highlighting the new spaces in Oxford, Mississippi.


South side entry tower is getting ready for its debut!

The gathering space floor is almost complete with the Triquetra symbol.

There will be a coffee shop in the second floor entry of the new addition.

The Journey space is almost ready for worship!

The gathering space cross. A central space that communicates with all buildings on the OUUMC campus.

View of new second floor entry from parking garage.



Project Update: Trustmark Fondren

July 25, 2018

Project Update_Slim

We are in month three of construction on the new Trustmark Bank branch in Fondren, and CDFL’s future new home, and things are moving along. Here’s a peek into what’s happening on site.

The first slab has been poured. This slab is for the stair tower on the north side.

Columns being set in place.

The crawl space mud slab was poured along with the majority of the vault being constructed.

Applying waterproofing to the concrete wall along Old Canton.



Office Update: Intern Edition

July 16, 2018

We love having interns at CDFL and this summer we are happy to have two new additions to our team!

Originally from Clarksdale, MS, Kelli Weiland will be starting her 5th and final year at Mississippi State University this fall. She is a member of Alpha Rho Chi architecture fraternity and Co-editor in chief of the MSU School of Architecture newsletter BARNworks.  Kelli loves the honesty of design choices in architecture and understanding the steps it takes to produce the final product of a concept and the confidence that comes with being able to bring that concept to life. In her spare time, Kelli enjoys creating watercolor calligraphy prints.

Zack McWilliams, a Landscape Architect major, will also be starting his 5th year at Mississippi State University this fall. Zack chose Landscape Architecture after taking an Architecture Appreciation class and finding the design aspect to be very appealing. He’s always been a big outdoors person and loved nature. When he’s not working or studying, Zack enjoys camping and hunting and, like most college students, he likes playing video games. Zack is a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and serves as secretary for the MSU ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) chapter.





Office Update

July 10, 2018

Tracy Hall Celebrates 25 Years with CDFL

Our office coordinator, who keeps CDFL running on a daily basis, recently celebrated 25 years with CDFL! There are not enough words to thank Tracy for her many years of service to CDFL, but we wanted to try anyway.

Tracy’s dedication to CDFL and everyone who works here shows every single day without fail.  Her understanding of our business and willingness to help others are essential to the success of our company.  We all appreciate Tracy’s hard work and kind spirit, and we count ourselves as lucky to have her as a member of our team! – Ron Fender, Principal

Tracy is the sunshine of the office. The amount of effort she puts in to taking care of the office’s needs (professional and personal) is incomparable to the amount of credit she would ever accept. CDFL is lucky to have such a kind and dedicated person as the backbone of the company. – Ashton Polk, Administration

Since I started at CDFL in 2001, it has always been clear that Tracy is the glue that holds this firm together. Whether it’s catching mistakes in our work, dealing with an office issue, or just generally caring about the well-being of everyone on staff, Tracy goes above and beyond to keep this train moving in a positive direction. – Chris Myers, Principal

Tracy has been such a positive force in helping me to acclimate to CDFL. Anytime I asked she  went above and beyond to assist in anyway possible. I consider her a good friend and feel CDFL is extremely fortunate to have her passion for excellence and her caring way she performs each task put before her. Congrats Tracy on 25 years – the first half of your tenure here 😉 – Chuck Stringer, Business Manager

Tracy is amazing! She always takes time for everyone. If you need help finding something, Tracy helps look. If you need help remembering something, Tracy can remember. If you just need someone to talk to, Tracy will listen. Thanks for always being there for us! – Amanda Taylor, Marketing

25 years is a true commitment and an outstanding example of how one member can change the destiny of so many with commitment, talent, compassion, leadership, joy and creativity. Tracy connects, supports, and guides us all. Thank you for being a friend colleague and a servant leader! – Rob Farr, Principal

Tracy, thank you for all that you do!

CDFL Welcomes New Members of the Family

The CDFL family is proud to announce our newest members. Interior Designer Katie Jo Chane and husband Ron Chane welcomed their son Seve in June and Mechanical Designer Keith Bradshaw and wife Carla welcomed their son Rhett in April. Congratulations!

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Project Update: Mississippi State University Chilled Water Loop

June 26, 2018

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In mid-2016, Mississippi State University hired CDFL engineers to proactively analyze their campus chilled water system, identify problem areas, and propose potential solutions for both immediate and long-term functionality. CDFL utilized its Campus Utility Modeling System to digitally analyze the existing equipment and piping infrastructure capacities. The system analysis revealed that expansion or up-sizing of the underground piping system would be required to satisfy anticipated future cooling requirements. Our engineers, in collaboration with MSU staff, considered multiple options to relieve these capacity concerns. Eventually, it became clear that the best option was to bisect the existing loop with a pair of chilled water lines, creating two sub-loops.

CDFL provided MSU with valuable data, plans, and schematics to assist in the decision making process.

This option, however, was not without challenges. The proposed chilled water lines would need to route through MSU’s iconic Drill Field: a central area of campus with both historic and aesthetic significance. As alumni of MSU, our mechanical engineers knew the importance of protecting the beautiful campus centerpiece and traditional pipe installation methods would result in potential permanent damage to the area.

MSU’s Drill Field
Picture courtesy of Mississippi State University. 

Our engineers and MSU staff explored alternative installation methods, deciding ultimately to pursue a design utilizing horizontal directional drilling. With this method, a drill rig, operated from one end of the pipe run, bores an underground path for the pipe. The full length of high-density polyethylene pipe is assembled above ground and pulled into the bore by the drill rig. This method allows all of the work to be completed with minimal impact to the surface of the Drill Field.

Construction for this project began early this summer. Currently the first of two parallel bores is being drilled and the HDPE pipe is assembled and awaiting testing before it is pulled to the depths of the Drill Field, far below the feet of thousands of students above. Once in service, the new pipes will alleviate current concerns and support the campus in its continued growth.

Currently, two 1600 foot long pipes lay above ground, awaiting testing and transportation to their final service locations.

We look forward to the completion of this project later this year and thank MSU for the opportunity to participate in an interesting and innovative project!

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Project Update: Thalia Mara Hall

June 19, 2018

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We are excited that the USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) has made its way back to Jackson for the two-week dance competition bringing dancers from all over the world to our city.  The IBC takes place at Thalia Mara Hall,  the city’s municipal auditorium. CDFL, along with Friends of Thalia Mara Hall, Downtown Jackson Partners, and Copeland & Johns, Inc. General Contractors  worked steadily to get the Hall ready for this year’s competition.

CDFL created the master plan and led the charge managing vendors and city employees to prepare the Hall for the USA IBC.  Repairs, upgrades, and cleaning were completed under CDFL’s direction and made possible by remaining funds from Friends of Thalia Mara Hall, led by past IBC Chairman Haley Fisackerly.

Copeland & Johns stepped in and committed their time to perform the work needed. “We are extremely grateful for the time and energy the Copeland & Johns team put in to this project. They saw a need and went above and beyond to meet the city’s need,” CDFL President and Friends of Thalia Mara Hall board member Rob Farr said.

John Gomez of Downtown Jackson Partners has guided and supported the IBC for the past four years in all of the downtown endeavors and you will see the visible signs of his efforts as you drive through downtown, walk the International Village, and visit the public spaces.  He has also performed a myriad of other duties that have been critical but not as visible.

“This was truly a team effort,” stated Rob Farr. “I am very proud of all the work each party put into making the Hall ready for the USA IBC. The city is honored to host an event like this and I’m pleased that we can provide such a spectacular site.”

Dancer 10 sculpture that traveled from the Bologna Center at Delta State University. Designed by New York sculptor Jack Howard-Potter who is active in the New York City dance community.  Copeland & Johns engineered and built a temporary base to anchor the sculpture. The result is a movable 2300 pound base.



Project Update: Raytheon

June 4, 2018

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We are excited to announce our involvement in the latest development at Raytheon’s Consolidated Manufacturing Center located east of Forest, Mississippi. With a footprint of approximately 50,000 square feet, the building will contain administrative space as well as a fifty-foot tall high bay production and test facility. The high bay facility will host manufacturing, integration, and testing of the US Navy’s next-generation Air and Missile Defense Radar program.  Construction of the new facility will begin in August, with its completion expected by the first quarter of 2020.

We are exceptionally proud of our design team for the work they’ve accomplished and look forward to the construction of another successful project!


 David Burnet (CDFL Project Manager) with Governor Bryant, Wes Kremer (President of Raytheon IDS),
and Neal Minich (Operations Manager at Forest) at the press conference. 

For more on this exciting project, check out this in-depth feature from WJTV12.


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CDFL Takes 2nd Place in City of Jackson Signage Competition

May 31, 2018

At a City Hall press conference on Tuesday, the Office of Planning and Design announced the winners of a competition to provide signage for use throughout the City of Jackson. On hand to congratulate the winners were Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Planning Director Dr. Mukesh Kumar, and representatives from the three donor partners: Downtown Jackson Partners, Greater Jackson Arts Council, and Visit Jackson. CDFL was proudly represented by Chris Myers. Congratulations to the first prize winner, Samantha Okolita; we can’t wait to see your design in action!



Meet the Team: Hannah Wilson

May 21, 2018

Each week we’ll be introducing one of our new CDFL employees, or as we like to think of ourselves, the “us” in the Power of Plus. This week we are proud to introduce interior designer Hannah Wilson.

What do you do at CDFL?
I am CDFL’s newest interior designer!

How long have you worked in the industry?
I’ve worked in the industry for one year, going on two. I graduated from Mississippi College in 2016.

What exciting thing are you working on right now?
Well, all the projects are somewhat exciting to me! This is my first experience with commercial design, and the wide range of projects we have the opportunity to work on is pretty cool. My favorite thus far has to be The Hotel Monroe in Monroe, Louisiana. I love the aesthetic and vibe of the location and the building! I can’t wait to see the finished product.

What is your favorite lunch spot in the neighborhood?
Babalu! $2 tacos on Tuesday and guac? Need I say more?!

What’s your favorite TV show?
It’s currently Gilmore Girls, but my favorite is always changing. My staple shows, though, are New Girl, The Office, and Parks & Rec!


Project Update: Word of Life Church

May 17, 2018

Project Update_Slim

We’re just a few months out from the grand opening of the Word of Life Church expansion and renovation! Here’s a peek into what’s going on in Flowood:

– Seating will be installed in the coming weeks
– Sanctuary lights and speakers are being installed
– Casework is being installed in the cafe and church offices in the coming week
– The majority of the building’s exterior is complete


Project Update: Oxford-University Stadium

May 9, 2018

Project Update

Here’s a sneak peek at the new addition and renovations to Oxford-University Stadium, home of the Ole Miss baseball team. We’re thrilled to share some highlights of these new player-focused spaces!


The player enters through a massive corridor with natural light that extends to the Dugout Club located to the left.

The new player locker room is double the size of the original 1989 locker room.

Next to the locker room is the new treatment room. It triples the size of the original treatment space, and includes a separate treatment pool room with hot and cold tubs and a private office for the head trainer.

The second floor houses the player lounge, a new space for the baseball program. The player lounge will have multiple televisions and lounge furniture. Glass walls connect this space to the new weight room as well as another new feature for the program: a nutrition center.

Adjacent to the player’s lounge and nutrition center is the new weight room. The space overlooks Swayze Field and Bailey’s Woods.

Athletes utilizing the new weight room’s cardio equipment will enjoy this view.


Project Update: Oxford-University United Methodist Church

May 3, 2018

Project Update

As the OUUMC expansion and renovation reaches its final stages, here are a few photos highlighting the church’s new spaces.


The first and second floor connector corridors feature views of the courtyard playground.


Circulation between all of the buildings crosses this giant atrium with abundant natural light.


Located directly off the central atrium, The Journey is a new contemporary worship space with state of the art audio-visual capabilities.


The second floor of the new office/education wing can be accessed via the top level of the new parking garage.



Hope Lodge Topping Out Ceremony

May 2, 2018

Project Update

There are several major milestone events surrounding the excitement of new construction; people love to a attend a ribbon-cutting or a groundbreaking. The least high profile of this, speaking only in terms of notoriety, is the topping-out ceremony.

The topping-out ceremony occurs when the final steel beam is hoisted into place, high above where the more commonly known milestone events take place. The ceremony has its roots in Scandinavia, but has turned into an opportunity to celebrate progress on new construction projects around the world.

Recently, this significant moment was celebrated at the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation Hope Lodge in Jackson. We were there to chronicle this exciting moment, and are thrilled to see this project continue to take shape in the coming months.





Celebrating Ann Somers

March 29, 2018


It’s a bittersweet day here at CDFL, as we bid adieu to Principal Ann Somers as she transitions into a new chapter of her life. Ann has been a fixture at CDFL for nearly three decades, beginning her career here in 1989. Her professional history is remarkable, having worked on a multitude of projects in a multitude of settings. Ann’s attention to detail is second to none, and her kindness, warmth, and positivity make her a client favorite. She is creative and thoughtful, and her designs are a direct reflection of how well she listens to her clients’ goals for their space.

Beyond the walls of CDFL her contributions to the architecture world and the community of which she is a part are immeasurable. She was the 2003 Mississippi State University School of Architecture Alumna of the year, the 2004 Mississippi AIA President, and 2008-2009 President of the North Jackson Rotary. Ann is also involved in the Sierra Club’s Mississippi Chapter and the National Audubon Society, and, closer to home, is a alumna of Leadership Jackson and a major supporter of CARA.

“The special gifts that Ann provides will make our world a better place to live. She’s already made CDFL a better place to work, and I know her drive to serve the community will continue to make a difference,” said Rob Farr, CDFL President. “Her commitment to excellence has always provided the highest quality design for her clients, and she’s so skilled in finding the elements that define a project and excite the spirit. To say she and her smile will be missed is quite the understatement.”

Ann, we are so grateful for your commitment to CDFL and your dedication to the community. We are all better for having worked alongside you, and can’t wait to see what you do next. We know whatever it is, it’ll be spectacular.

If you’re wondering whether or not you’ve ever seen an Ann-designed space, here’s a sampling of the work she’s done over her career at CDFL:

Bree’s Dog Park
Woolfolk Building addition and expansion
Woolfolk Building renovation
Alcorn State University Math and Science Building
William F. Winter Archives and History Building
Blue Cross Blue Shield campus expansion
Blue Cross Blue Shield main building renovation
Sillers Building interior renovation
Mississippi College School of Law addition and renovations
BancorpSouth Madison branch
BancorpSouth Capitol Street branch interior renovation
Phelps Dunbar LLP interior renovation
Brandon Medical Clinic
University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) Short Stay addition
UMMC School of Medicine Simulation Center
UMMC Space Allocation Study
Casey Elementary School addition and renovation
Murrah High School math classroom addition
Dr. A.H. McCoy Federal Building Renovation
Highland Village renovations
MDOT headquarters renovation
Saint James Episcopal Church addition and renovations
United Methodist Foundation Mississippi headquarters
Two Mississippi Museums interiors planning