Category Archives: Uncategorized

Northcoast Behavioral Health Project Starts Up Again

In April of 2022, HDC submitted a partial Schematic Design set with a menu of scope items, estimates, and work recommendations for the Northcoast Behavioral Health Center’s former Dietary Building for review by the Ohio Department of Development of Developmental Disabilities. The project was on hold but suddenly came back to life in March when a user group needed to move into the building. The Dietary Facility was built in 1993 and had not had any major updates in 30 years. It was designed as a kitchen to prepare meals for all the residents living in the complex. In 2015, the main hospital was renovated and expanded and by 2016, five buildings were demolished, including buildings built in the 1940s as part of the original Hawthornden State Hospital. The former Dietary Facility was then relegated to storage and overflow offices. HDC’s scope is to determine all work needed to convert the building into permanent office and storage use, and then provide a logical phasing schedule to accommodate a two-year funding cycle, with the first phase to be implemented this year.

View of the former dietary facility at Northcoast Behavioral Health.

Ziti the Noodle Dog is Now Competing at the Excellent Level in Agility!

As a puppy, Ziti was enrolled in agility classes as a way to dissipate her excess energy—she is the first and only HDC beagle to actually get the zoomies. She took to it immediately since it was not too different from jumping over rocks and walking fallen logs in her favorite metro parks. Ziti and Charissa started trialing in 2022 as Novice A (first timers for both handler and dog) and advanced through Open into Excellent for Standard agility, Jumpers with Weaves, and FAST. Ziti loves Jumpers with Weaves since she does not have to slow down or pause as required in Standard agility. FAST is her least favorite, since it now requires her to take obstacles on her own while Charissa is 15 feet away in the distance challenge. Our goal is to see if we can get Ziti into the Masters level and accumulate enough points to go to the Agility Invitational before Ziti gets too old/slow to compete in the FastCAT Invitational at the same time.
Left: Ziti takes a long jump obstacle at an AKC trial. Right: Ziti scrambles over the A-Frame with the judge watching. Photos by Mike at GameOnAgility.

HDC Celebrates over 25 years of Partnership with Kabil Associates

HDC was introduced to Kabil Associates while team members on Burgess & Niple’s Life Sciences Building project for The Ohio State University back in 1996. Almost 30 years later, Kabil Associates is still HDC’s go-to firm for structural engineering services, especially if it involves a historic building. Kabil Associates was established in 1980 by Shashi Savla, PE, who remains its President. Kabil Associates was the structural engineer on the Sojourner Center for Women and Children in Hamilton, Ohio, HDC’s first project with the State of Ohio. Other notable projects include the Lincoln Theatre, where Kabil had to infill portions of the basement as remnants of the 19th century building foundations were found to still be present and repair large holes in the steel structural members in the ballroom created by a prior renovation project. Kabil was also on the team for Stewart Elementary School, which required special handling of the 1870s rubble stone foundation after it was exposed to expand the lower level and to repair structural damage caused by a fire. Kabil has also supported many of our historic structure reports, including ones for the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Athens, the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in South Point, and the Hunter Robbins Museum in Granville.
Left: Sojourner Center entry with octagonal lobby tower whose structural members had to be sized to resist outward force. Right: Stewart Elementary School excavation exposed the stone foundation.
Left: The new Lincoln Theatre balcony required two new support columns at the center. Right: Floor beams at the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church still has original hand hewn logs with tree bark.

HDC Starts Neighborhood Projects for City of Columbus

HDC was awarded two projects with the City of Columbus in 2023. The one that started first is the renovation of neighborhood facilities in two locations. The first is the All THAT Teen Center on East Livingston Avenue. The Teen Center is located in the former Shady Lane Presbyterian Church, which was built in 1959 and expanded in the mid-late 1960s. When the congregation left the building in 2019, it was acquired by the Teen Center, whose mission is to mentor teenaged youth in academic achievement, life skill development and career planning to succeed in school and beyond. Work at the Teen Center includes improving the parking lot and exterior lights, replacing the roof, updating the HVAC system to add air conditioning, replacing the exterior doors, adding an exterior monument sign, and repairing drains and piping to stop the water infiltration issues in the basement. The second location is Carol Stewart Village on West Broad Street, which is former 1980s era motel complex converted into a neighborhood for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system with on-site programs and services. Work at this location consists primarily of replacing deteriorated pavement and curbs, replacing the packaged heating and air conditioning wall units with more secure versions, and replacing the wooden doors and frames with more secure steel versions. The design for both locations had to fast tracked since the funding sources requires that construction be completed in 2023. Both projects are currently out to bid.
Left: Entry elevation of All THAT Teen Center. Right: One of the former motel wings at Carol Stewart Village.

Ziti Goes to the AKC FastCAT Invitational in Orlando!

The five fastest dogs of each breed in 2021 were invited to run in the nationals at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Also going on at the same time is the national agility invitational. Ziti received her FastCAT invitation in October and on December 11, 2022, Ziti began her adventure!


  Left: Lots of people ask us about the car decorations when we stop for breaks. Right: Ziti and Don at the South Carolina border.

Day 2

We make it through Georgia and the weather gets warmer and warmer as we head south. Unfortunately, it gets cloudy and rains a little when we reach Florida. We decide to take a lunch break in Flagler Beach and see how Ziti likes the seaside. Once a wave sneaks up on her and gets her wet, she decides she doesn’t like the ocean.
  Left: Ziti on Flagler Beach. Right: Ziti very suspicious of the water sneaking up on her.

Day 3

Ziti runs a respectable 8.034 on her first preliminary run in the morning. A worker tells us the track is considered slow because it has a sand base instead of a dirt base, so the dogs don’t get as much traction. We then take Ziti to a state park that allows dogs for a hike in the afternoon.
  Left: Ziti posing on the podium after a qualifying first run. Right: Ziti having more fun posing at Wekiwa Springs State Park.

Day 4

Ziti runs a 7.862 in the afternoon when it’s warmer, for her second preliminary. We also learn that she is currently 11th in the “Speed of the Breed” list after the first preliminary run! We then take her inside the Orange County Convention Center to check out the vendors and watch some of the agility trials.
  Left: Ziti’s Speed of the Breed ranking on the monitor. Left: Ziti in front of the Orange County Convention Center.

Day 5

Ziti has the day off, which is good since it’s supposed to rain today. We take her to Lake Louisa State Park for some hiking. It started off great but then the rain came and Ziti wasn’t so happy to pose for photographs after that.
  Left: Ziti having fun on a trail at Lake Louisa State Park. Don and Ziti in the rain on a boardward over the Green Swamp.

Day 6

Ziti has her final run in the morning and manages a decent 7.986. Ziti definitely runs faster when it’s hot, and with yesterday’s rain came a cold front. Her run time makes her the #1 beagle of the event. Her final run also earns enough points for an FCAT5 certificate, which comes with another big rosette ribbon. As a reward, we take Ziti for a long hike back at Wekiwa Springs State Park, where we all get wet and muddy slogging through some flooded trails.
  Left: Ziti and Don on the podium with today’s rosettes. Right: Ziti in front of the park bobcat sign after a 4+ hour hike through the swamp.

Day 7

During the awards ceremony, we’re surprised (and thrilled!) to hear the announcement that Ziti places 9th overall in the Speed of the Breed listing and gets another big rosette for a top 10 placement!
  Left: Ziti and Charissa being presented with a Top 10 placement rosette in Speed of the Breed. Right: Ziti knows she made an impressive showing at her first FastCAT Invitational!

Days 8-9

We pack everything up, including the six rosettes Ziti won (#1 Beagle, #9 Speed of the Breed, FCAT5, and three qualifying runs) and start the two-day drive back to Ohio. It’s sunny so we take her back to Flagler Beach, but she still doesn’t like the moving waves of the ocean. After a four-hour drive we stop at the Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. The Eighth Air Force was stationed in England and conducted bombing runs all over Europe during World War II.
  Left: Ziti still not happy with Flagler Beach. Right: The B-17 bomber is the centerpiece of this museum.

After nine days on the road, Ziti is very happy to be back on her own couch! Fittingly, the 2023 Ziti Calendar is all about happiness. Click here for a copy.

HDC Assesses More National Cemetery Lodges

HDC continues to work with lead firm Tetra Tech on the assessment of historic national cemetery lodges for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In December 2021, Charissa Durst and Cathie Senter traveled to Brooklyn, New York, to visit the lodge at Cypress Hills National Cemetery. In 2022, Cathie traveled with Tetra Tech historic architect Leila Hamroun to the lodges at both Corinth National Cemetery in Mississippi and Glendale National Cemetery near Richmond, Virginia. A common theme during fieldwork is climbing in and out of windows!

    At left is the exterior of the Cypress Hills National Cemetery Lodge. In the center is Charissa on the rear roof and at right is Cathie inspecting the porch roof.
  At left is the Corinth National Cemetery Lodge , which is unusual for its gambrel roof. At right is the Glendale National Cemetery lodge, which features patterns in the mansard slate roof.


HDC Completes Historic Structure Report of First Black Church in Ohio

HDC started fieldwork on the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in August and submitted the final report before the end of the year, as required by the grant funding. HDC prepared the report to provide information on the historical background, architectural evolution, existing conditions, and work recommendations in order to rehabilitate the building into a historic site and community center. The congregation was loosely established in 1799 and is believed to be the earliest Black church established west of the Alleghenies. Services were held in homes until it was officially organized as a Baptist church c.1810 and a small church with a bell tower was built.

The church was located on Macedonia Ridge overlooking the Ohio River near the southernmost point of Ohio. Active crossing points across the Ohio River for Black fugitives escaping what at that time was still Virginia, made the church a natural stop on the Underground Railroad. In 1834, the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church became the “Mother Church” of six Black Baptist churches that formed the Providence Anti-Slavery Baptist Association, all of which carried out Underground Railroad work.

  At left is the northeast corner and at right is the southwest corner.

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church History

The congregation of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church swelled with the October 1849 arrival of anywhere from 32-46 newly freed enslaved people, often referred to as the “Burlington 37.” The labor and funds of the Burlington 37 helped build a new church noted as being about 20 feet by 30 feet in size. In 1870, the church was physically moved about 200 yards to the south to its current location, away from the wet conditions of the original site.

Between 1860 and 1880 the Black population in Ohio more than doubled from around 37,000 to around 80,000. Between 1880 and 1882, the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church congregation increased to 125 people, more than could fit in the 1849 church. In 1889, the church was substantially renovated and enlarged to its current size, with a new bell tower marking the entry. Early 20th century alterations include the addition of the metal ceiling and heating stoves. The 1950s saw the replacement of oil lamps with electrical chandeliers and new doors at the bell tower opening.

The congregation gradually dwindled to four people in 1984, and officially ceased shortly afterwards. The building is still used for meetings of descendants of the original congregation who still live in the area. The church hopes to implement the recommendations contained in the Historic Structure Report in the spring of 2023.

  At left is a view of the interior looking west at the pulpit platform. At right is a view of the Interior looking east at the entry.

Blast from the Past – Looking Glass Historic District

In 1998, the National Park Service commissioned HDC to prepare the first ever Historic American Engineering Record drawings of an aircraft—the KC-135 airborne command center located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt Air Force Base was established in 1891 as Fort Crook and came into use as Offutt Field in the 1930s. It was officially designated Offutt Air Force Base in 1948 and transferred to the newly established U.S. Air Force. Strategic Air Command (SAC) was then transferred from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to Offut, moving into a new building in 1957 that included an underground command center. In 1960. SAC began trial runs of an airborne command center that would guarantee retaliation if underground headquarters were destroyed in a nuclear attack. Named “Looking Glass” because it mirrored the functions of the underground command center, the mission began round-the-clock operations in 1961. One of the mission’s customized KC-135/EC-135 jet aircraft was in the air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the next 29 years. In addition to the aircraft, the historic district includes 14 buildings constructed between 1959 and 1976.
  The team took photographs and measured every aspect of the plane, such as the rear wheels. They also had some fun…here is Don Durst attempting to take control of world affairs.
Here is an explanatory isometric drawing of the plane.

Ziti the Noodle Dog Prefers Going to a Park

Ziti ran six 600-yard CAT courses over a 3-day weekend in Medina, but it became obvious that her heart just wasn’t in it since she had to do it all by herself. Ziti kept stopping and running back to us to get us to run with her. She completed all six runs and earned a CAA certification, but we probably won’t be signing her up for more in the future. Since there is usually a two-hour time lapse between her first and second runs, we take Ziti to a local park, where she gets to run around, sniff, and be a beagle. After the second run, we took her to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and went off on other tangential trails that we typically miss when zipping along the tow path on bicycles.

    Left: Ziti posing for her CAA certification. Right: Ziti amongst the sneezeweed on a trail near the CAT track.
    Left:  Ziti having fun walking the quarry walls on the Quarry Trail. Right: Ziti enjoys a log on the Hemlock Trail near Chippewa Creek Gorge.