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Behind the list with Tom Crabtree

Midstate architectural firm Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates celebrated 25 years in business last month. Founded and run by Tom Crabtree and Doug Rohrbaugh, the firm fields a staff of about 20 registered architects and has close to 100 staff in two offices, one in Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County, and one in Charlottesville, Va.

Midstate architectural firm Crabtree, Rohrbaugh &
Associates
celebrated 25 years in business last month. Founded and run by Tom
Crabtree and Doug Rohrbaugh, the firm fields a staff of about 20 registered
architects and has close to 100 staff in two offices, one in Upper Allen
Township, Cumberland County, and one in Charlottesville, Va.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates practices in a wide
range of markets, including education, government, retail, corporate, medical
and hospitality. It designs retail stores nationwide for the Cabela’s sporting
goods chain.

The firm also boasts a deep commitment to environmentally
friendly design and LEED accreditation. “LEED” refers to Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design, an environmental certification program administered
by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Crabtree, the president, said the company is known above all
for its client-first philosophy.

“We’re a good, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-the-job-done
firm,” he said.

 

Q: What does reaching its 25th anniversary mean for
Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates?

A: It’s really a reflection of the support we’ve gotten from
a great group of clients over the past 25 years. We began as a small firm of
five or six, and we’ve really grown continuously over that 25-year period. I
think the strength of our firm is our people and our “client-oriented approach
to architecture,” which is our motto.

 

What are some of your recent milestones?

One of the more prominent projects we’ve worked on recently
was the Cabela’s in Hamburg. We’re currently working on a new corporate
headquarters for PSECU, and we’re doing a public safety building for HACC.
Also, the Grace Milliman Pollock Performing Arts Center in Camp Hill, which is
under construction right now.

 

How has the recession affected you?

It is a challenging time for architects in general. We’re
fortunate that we’ve been able to maintain a strong backlog and good workload,
and we’re grateful to our many clients for their confidence in us that allows
us to maintain that.

 

Tell me about green design and sustainability.

We like to say that we’ve been green since before it was
popular. We have over 20 LEED-certified green building designers on our staff.
One of our earlier projects was the Benjamin Olewine nature center at Wildwood
Park, which is a good example of sustainable building that predates all the
publicity that sustainability has gotten.

We’ve completed the largest green retail facility in the
U.S., a Cabela’s store in Lacey, Wash. The new PSECU center will be a LEED
facility. We have completed many, many green school buildings. 

 

How has technology affected your practice?

We’ve gone from drawing on linen to doing everything we
produce electronically. Our equipment is state-of-the-art. We have a full-time
training staff, so we can keep on the leading edge in technology.

 

Looking toward
the future, what do you see?

We are positioning ourselves for continued growth. We are
opening new markets. We are very optimistic about our potential in Virginia and
West Virginia, down the I-81 corridor.  … We’re working for the Franklin County government and doing renovations
to the county Career and Technology Center.

 

Anything else you’d like to mention?

We’ve had the opportunity to design quite a few schools,
including high schools at Northern (Northern York County School District) and
Spring Grove (Spring Grove Area School District). There’s really nothing more
rewarding than the transformation that you see in an academic community when
they’re given the kind of facilities that they really need. The Spring Grove
high school is a remarkable place. It’s the people who make it that way, but
they are just so excited by the facility. We’re currently working at Red Land
(High School) and Cedar Cliff (High School) in the West Shore School District.
We’re also working on a new high school for Donegal (School District) in
Lancaster County. 

 

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