Project Updates

November 13, 2019

We are well into construction on several projects and wanted to check-in with our project managers to see what’s happening on-site and what we can expect to see next.

Children’s of Mississippi Expansion and Renovation
The expansion to the UMMC Children’s Hospital is now 57% complete. The structure has been topped out, and the roof is on. The windows and exterior materials (brick and metal panels) are currently being installed. The interiors are being constructed from the bottom up, with work currently in progress on all floors. Renovations inside the existing Batson tower began last week to make the connection to the new building. Four floors of the new parking garage structure are complete, and the contractor will start the construction of the final ramp to Level 5 next week.

Vicksburg YMCA
Construction is on schedule and the majority of the exterior CMU block has been laid, with brick to follow in the coming weeks. Structural steel framing has been erected and some interior CMU walls have been laid. We have electrical and plumbing rough-ins on the south addition (new fitness area), as well as ductwork installed.

University of South Alabama Hancock Whitney Stadium
Installation of elevated seating is taking place along the East Seating Bowl and will commence along the West this week. Progress is being made on the Press Tower and Operations Building. The Operations Building is now ‘dried in’. Steel is being erected in the North Endzone for the elevated concourse. Aluminum decking will begin in the next week along the East Concourse elevated seating. The Michelob Ultra Terrace will soon be complete which will round out all of the on-grade concrete seating bowl.

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Meet the Team: Kelli Weiland

July 29, 2019

It’s time again to introduce a new CDFL employee, or as we like to think of ourselves, the “us” in the Power of Plus. This week we are proud to introduce the newest member of our architectural team Kelli Weiland.  

What do you do a CDFL?
I am an Intern Architect, actively working towards achieving my license. I graduated from Mississippi State University’s Architecture program on May 3rd. That’s the day after my birthday, so I got my degree as my present this year!

What exciting thing are you working on right now?
I’m working on the Forest Hill High School and Coliseum renovation project. This is a really fun first project because it’s introducing me to the way CDFL likes to present final work. I’m excited for the day I get assigned to a project from the beginning of the design process!

What have you learned so far working at CDFL?
Since the project I’m working on is entering into the bidding and construction phase, I have learned a lot about job coordination and time management, mostly. I’m proud of how quickly I have adapted to making efficient turn-arounds on project deadlines.

What’s your favorite TV show?
I pretty much keep my TV shows in a constant rotation of the same 5-6 shows. I like regularity, I guess. My current rotation includes Friends (always), Supernatural, Gilmore Girls, Elementary, and, my classic go-to, Boy Meets World reruns. I don’t have cable so I watch what I can find on Netflix and Hulu.

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work? 
These days, my time is spent mostly on planning my and my fiance’s wedding next year! Apart from wedding planning, I am very passionate about physical health and exercise, I practice watercolor calligraphy and painting, and I do my best to keep my garden and plants alive. I’m not quite a green thumb yet, but I like to think I’m improving!

What is the best thing about working at CDFL?
I am so proud to say I work at CDFL. This firm has given me more knowledge, experience, and opportunity than I could ever ask for. All of my superiors are very patient with me as I continue to learn the practice, and they’re equally eager to continue to teach me. I appreciate that the most. Secondly, CDFL has great flexibility in the work hours, giving us every other Friday off. This small switch in schedule allows my creativity to take a break, lessening the risk of burning out and keeps my passion for architecture and design on fire. Third, my colleagues are all friends with each other. I think we all blend well as a team.

What’s the last movie you saw? 
I’m honestly not much of a movie person. I think the last movie I saw in theaters was one of the Avenger movies? I don’t really follow superheroes so I couldn’t tell you what happened in that one. Oh well. The last movie I watched via streaming was Into The Blue on Netflix.

What’s your favorite lunch spot in the neighborhood?
I really love Green Ghost or Basil’s. I don’t think I could choose between the two! But sometimes the hot plate from McDade’s hits the spot.

If you hadn’t gone to architecture school, what would you have wanted to do?
The unknown of the ocean’s floor has always been fascinating to me. I think it would be really cool to be a Maritime Archaeologist. Living on a boat and diving into the ocean to search and explore sunken ships or crashed airplanes sounds like a dream come true to me, which is why I’ve watched Into The Blue so many times! I am a little frightened by sharks, though.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?
I am a beach girl, through and through. I love the heat, I love the sunshine, and I love the water. Vacations where I can just be still, warm, and outside are all I ask for. Also, you just can’t beat coastal seafood restaurants.



Meet the Team: Intern Addition

July 22, 2019

We have another summer intern that we’d like to introduce! Shawn Hatcher is working with our Mechanical Engineering team this summer. This is actually his second internship with CDFL and we are excited to have him back for the summer. Shawn is from Olive Branch, Mississippi and attends Mississippi State University where he will be a senior this fall.

What are you doing at CDFL this summer?
I did a short three-week internship during my last Christmas break where I got my feet wet with Revit, calculations for A/C loads, and site visits for various projects during different stages of construction. Since this is my second internship with CDFL, and I’ve been here longer, I have been tasked with more of a workload. A bulk of my work this summer consists of designing ductwork and piping systems for projects through Revit. Also, I run preliminary calculations and help with the other engineers in any possible way.

Where are you going after you finish your internship?
After I finish up my time this summer, I will be going back to Mississippi State University where I will start my senior year studying Mechanical Engineering.

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work?
The majority of my time away from work is spent being outside, but more specifically, that time is devoted to my unhealthy fishing addiction.

What is the best thing about working at CDFL?
Because of having the internship status, I do not have the luxury of having every other Friday off, but if given the privilege I would choose it. Outside of having the intern status, I will use a quote to describe my favorite quality of CDFL “It’s the people that make the place.”

What was the last movie you saw?
The last movie I saw was Toy Story 4, and I was not impressed as I was hoping.



Office Update

July 16, 2019

This summer has been a busy one for the CDFL team! We’ve celebrated new babies, weddings, professional accomplishments, and many project milestones. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to the last few months.

  • As y’all know, we love to welcome new babies into the CDFL family and this summer we’ve welcomed four! Mechanical Engineer David Luter and wife Rivers welcomed their son Samuel. Our CFO Chuck Stinger welcomed two new grandbabies into his family and Principal Gene Crager also welcomed a new grandbaby to his family. Congrats to all families!
  • We also celebrated the wedding of Jackie Hardin. She and her husband Mike were married earlier this summer. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
  • We are proud to announce that Ethan Warren has earned his Mississippi architecture license! This is an important professional step and we are excited to watch Ethan grow in his career.
  • The St. Catherine’s Tuscany project has finished construction and residents will be moving in later this month!
  • The Children’s of Mississippi project celebrated a milestone in June with a Topping Out ceremony. This marks the halfway point in construction on the project. The new hospital is estimated to be completed in 2020.

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Meet the Team: Intern Addition

July 9, 2019

This summer we’re proud to have Shelby Soyars working with our Interior Design team! Shelby is from Yazoo City, MS and a recent graduate of Mississippi State University. Here’s a little bit more about Shelby and what she’s been up to at CDFL.

What are you doing at CDFL this summer? 
I am the Interior Design intern this summer, helping alongside Katie Jo and Hannah with all their projects!

Where are you going after you finish your internship? 
During my internship this summer, I want to showcase my immense passion and love for design and hopefully join the CDFL team! 

What, if anything, has surprised you about the interior design field?
That you truly do learn so much more with experience and being in the workplace!

What have you learned so far working at CDFL?
That teamwork, communication, and creativity are key. When collaborating with a team and supporting each other’s ideas can result in an even greater outcome for a project!

What’s your favorite TV show? 
Golden Girls, hands down. I love a show that can constantly keep me laughing, and how can you not love someone like Rose Nylund?!

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work?  Outside of being an intern at CDFL, I love going to flea markets, traveling, listening to music on records, and helping my fiance work cattle (yes, I am marrying into 40 head of cows- its so much fun & always interesting)

What is the best thing about working at CDFL? 
The best thing about working at CDFL is the atmosphere and people. Everyone is truly genuine and is always there for you when you have a question or need help with a project! 

What’s the last movie you saw? 
The last movie that I saw was POMS, it was about how two women in a retirement community started a cheerleading squad. It was HILARIOUS!



Project Updates

May 13, 2019

There’s a lot going on in our office and on our project sites so we thought we’d do a quick project roundup and check out what’s been happening.

We are in month six of construction at The University of South Alabama’ s Hancock Whitney Stadium. The framing for the Operations/Administration building is being installed along with the cast-in-place seating, site utilities, concessions buildings, and press tower.

Our Raytheon Radar Production Facility reached a construction milestone last month and we were on hand for the topping out ceremony! 

We also celebrated the groundbreaking for our Vicksburg YMCA project. The renovations and expansion include a new gym, classroom spaces, wellness center, meeting spaces, and additional parking.

CDFL’s new office, along with Trustmark Woodlands Hills, is so close to being complete! We are moving in later this month and can’t wait to show you the finished project. Here are a few pictures from our last site visit.

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Project Update: Capitol Complex Improvement District

April 10, 2019

The Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID) was created during the 2017 session of the Mississippi Legislature in order to establish regular funding and administration of infrastructure projects with a defined area of the capital city of Jackson. Starting in September of 2018 and throughout the CCID master plan process, CDFL acted as a consultant to the team of Waggoner Engineering and Andrew Jenkins Associates. Our role was to add our visual expertise in terms of design, security, and lighting. It was an honor to be a part of this planning process, and we look forward to the improvements to that will arise from it. 

Here’s a breakdown of what’s included in the CCID.

Click here to view all official CCID documents.



Project Update: Skilled Nursing Facility

April 3, 2019

Work at St. Catherine’s Village Skilled Nursing Facility is rapidly progressing and it’s getting closer to completion. The stonework on the lobby’s grand fireplace is complete, rooms are taking on their final form with lighting cove and trim work installed, and exterior finishes are nearing completion. Over the next few months, we will see the flooring, furniture, and equipment installed. Below are pictures from our recent site visit.

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Office Update

March 26, 2019

We’ve had a lot to celebrate over the last few months and we wanted to take a minute and fill you in on all the office’s happenings.

-Babies! We’ve recently welcomed two new babies into the CDFL family. Mechanical Engineer Ben Fulton and wife Malory welcomed their daughter Amelia in February and Architect Chris Myers and wife Rachel welcomed their daughter Aviva in January. Congratulations to both families!

-Congratulations are also in order to Samantha King. She and her new husband were married earlier this month!

-We are proud to announce that Robert Farr III has earned his Mississippi and Georgia architecture licenses. This is a huge accomplishment and we are extremely proud of Robert’s hard work.

-We are pleased to announce that CDFL has been selected to provide architectural and engineering services to the Jackson Public School District and Mississippi College. We will be updating and renovating portions of Forest Hill High School and providing master planning services to Mississippi College. We are excited about working with both of these returning clients!

-New Office Update: Construction is in full swing on our new office and we are getting closer and closer to moving in. Here are a few pictures of what’s happening on site this week. Pavers are being installed along the exterior of the building and millwork has started on the interior.

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Project Update: Aviation Museum

March 13, 2019

In the northwest corner of the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum sit three crop duster airplanes and an exhibit that surrounds them. This area is officially the National Agriculture Aviation Museum, though previously, there was no designation to make visitors aware of the exhibit. CDFL developed a plan for the renovation of the space that would enhance the overall look of the museum and improve the visitor experience.

First, the space was updated to provide a fresher backdrop for the airplanes and to set the space apart from the rest of the museum. Second, create physical gateways and signage to signal to visitors that they are entering a new space. Lastly, create a platform to provide accessible viewing of the cockpits of the largest of the three planes.

Phase 1 (now complete) accomplished the first two objectives. The hand-painted field scene was replaced with angular photo murals – one of a cloudy blue sky and one an aerial of a cotton field. Gateways were constructed of corrugated metal to mimic the architecture of rural hangars and to provide a place for signage to be mounted. The existing carpet was replaced with a modular carpet that resembles the coloring of agricultural fields, fading from green to tan. 

The museum and foundation are currently working on funds for the accessible platform and the redesign of the exhibit.

Video courtesy of Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce



Project Highlight: Oxford-University Stadium

February 13, 2019

As the 2019 baseball season nears, we thought it would be fun to look back at our work at Oxford-University Stadium. Our relationship with Ole Miss Baseball spans over 30 years and we are proud to have been a part of the changes and growth at Oxford-University Stadium. We were on hand in the ’80s when the field was moved from its original home, in the ’90s when the stadium received a much-needed capacity increase, and most recently we completed the new performance center. We will be cheering on the Rebels this season and looking forward to many more years of partnering together.



Project Update: Entergy Echelon Renovation

January 29, 2019

We are in the middle of renovating Entergy’s Nuclear headquarters as they expand nuclear operations in Mississippi. This expansion will create more than 250 new jobs in Jackson and 70 at Grand Gulf. “As we build the utility of the future, we’re also building the workforce of the future,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy  Mississippi president and CEO. “We’re proud to be able to bring more jobs to the state. Entergy and Entergy Nuclear’s combined workforce in Mississippi will now be more than 2,000 employees.”

The renovation project will help accommodate the additional workforce and includes the complete renovation of five floors of a 6-story building including a partial renovation of the 1st floor. Each floor was redesigned to accommodate Entergy’s expanded organizational structure of the Nuclear Headquarters with new finishes, modular wall offices, workstations, expanded restrooms, and break room. In addition to two large video conference space on each floor, the design also includes various sizes of collaboration spaced furnished with monitors and AV connections.

“The expansion of the headquarters building at Echelon allows our growing nuclear team to work in a single location, fostering unity, collaboration, and team effectiveness,” said Chris Bakken, Entergy Nuclear executive vice president.

In addition to the interior renovations, exterior work included a new 300 car parking lot on the adjacent lot along with lighting, landscaping, and signage. For more on this project check out Entergy’s press release and WLBT’s coverage here.



Project Update: The University of South Alabama

December 19, 2018

Project Update_Slim

The University of South Alabama’s new on-campus football stadium design was created with the modern fan in mind. As stadium amenities are always increasing, meeting fan expectations are crucial in today’s stadium designs. “We sought to bring a high level fan experience to USA’s new stadium. We knew we needed to be forward thinking about how USA’s fans experience the stadium and want every person who enters the facility to feel comfortable, engaged, and excited,” said Project Manager Newell Watkins.

The stadium is designed to hold 25,000 ticketed spectators for Division 1 college football and incorporates multiple ‘social zones’ and seating options to create more interest and diversity in the fan experience.

Premium Spaces: The design consists of multiple levels of premium seating options including benchback bleacher seating, chairback seating, chairback seating with club access, loge seating with club access, and private suite seating. These options are available at different cost levels. The design also includes special seating arrangements in the north end zone of the stadium. By extending the seating downward in the north end zone, the spectators are moved even closer to the action creating a unique fan experience.

Flexible Social Zones: There are three areas of the stadium designed to create special fan experiences: West Concourse Club, East Concourse Club, and the South End Zone Terrace. The West Concourse Club is a ticketed area that provides a premium gathering area including premium food and beverage options. The East Concourse Club will be comparable to the West only open to all visitors in the stadium. These areas provide a place to spend time with family and friends while also enjoying the game. The atmosphere of the social zones is enhanced with large group tables and gathering spaces for groups of fans.

View of Premium Seating

View from Private Suite

West Concourse Club

East Concourse Club

South Endzone Terrace

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CDFL Holiday Q&A 2018

December 17, 2018

It’s time for our annual CDFL Holiday Q&A where we find out how our team celebrates the holiday season! We hope you enjoy learning a little more about the CDFeLves.


Project Update: Arts Center of Mississippi

December 5, 2018

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This project update was provided by Project Manager Chris Myers. The project was announced via press conference at the Arts Center on Thursday, November 29. presented CDFL’s design along with statements from Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba,  Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr., and members of  former First Lady Pat Fordice’s family.

The Arts Center of Mississippi building was constructed in the late 1970s as the Civic Arts Center of Jackson. Along with the Planetarium, it was designed by Biggs Weir Architects, one of the most prominent mid-century modernist architects in Mississippi. The building has faithfully lived up to its name as the art center of Jackson, whether housing multiple arts organizations, the Mississippi Museum of Art, or acting as rehearsal space for the International Ballet Competition. Even though the arts center has maintained its status as a home for the arts, time has not been so kind to the building itself. It’s time for a facelift.

The Greater Jackson Arts Council approached CDFL about developing a proposal for an interior renovation. The primary goal of the renovation is to bring the building’s dramatic public spaces a new life and includes replacing all of the interior finishes – vinyl flooring, ceiling systems, and a fresh coat of paint. In the central atrium space, cork pin-up boards and new lighting throughout will provide flexibility for displaying a wide variety of art media. Most importantly, the monumental stair, the centerpiece of the building, will be opened back up to reveal the floating concrete steps of its original design, adding more natural light to an already dramatic space. To honor two of Jackson’s greatest patrons of the arts, the first floor atrium will be named after former Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr., and the second floor atrium space will be named in memory of former first lady Pat Fordice.

Through this renovation, and all of the work happening in the downtown arts district, we want the world to know that the arts are alive and well in Jackson, Mississippi, and about to get a lot stronger. With this project and the work we are doing to improve Thalia Mara Hall, the downtown arts district is starting to take shape.

Fundraising for renovations of the Arts Center will be begin soon. Please stay tuned for updates.

Harvey Johnson, Jr. First Atrium
The dramatic central space of the building is naturally lit by a large skylight. To make better use of the gallery walls, cork pinup boards will be added, along with gallery lighting. The ceremonial stair will be returned to its original design by opening up the risers. New flooring and paint will further lighten the space. New lighting will be added at the perimeter of the skylight to allow a full range of color for evening events.

Pat Fordice Gallery Atrium
The second
floor gallery atrium is the most commonly used space for large events.
Along with receiving all new finishes, a highly customizable lighting system will be added to allow for flexibility in displays, exhibits, and events.

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