A Look Back…

We said a big congratulations to Alisha this past month when she passed her architectural registration exams and it got us thinking – what was the first project I ever signed…


KOMA head shots-018Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. This was a fun and challenging project.  I worked closely with Jim Krech on it and at the end I got to sign it. And it is still standing.





KOMA head shots-013I’m sure there were others before it but one of the first projects that I signed as a professional engineer was the addition to Old Dutch Potato Chips in Roseville, MN. Soil corrections were required and a thirty foot hole was created to remove poor soil. That was somewhat memorable. Also, it was pretty cool, and strange at the same time, to see potato chips bouncing along a conveyor belt.



KOMA head shots-023My first official project was a Great Clips salon which we used to do nationwide roll-outs for.  Thankfully the drawing set only consisted of 3 sheets so my handwriting stayed somewhat consistent throughout.  Also from what I remember, this lead to me using my middle initial in my signature which I never had done before.  Much more official!



KOMA Holiday 2014-052I started with a splash, the first project I signed was a tenant improvement for a coin operated laundry in Eagan, MN.  It was as basic as a project could be; it had one wall type, four interior flush doors, and no fire-resistive rated elements while the toilet room, storefront, ceiling and exterior doors all remained as-is.



KOMA head shots-004I received my architectural license in 1981 and signed my first job in 1982. It was a 30 unit apartment project in Marshall, MN for a developer of apartment structures throughout southern Minnesota. At the time, computer drafting didn’t exist so all of the drawings were done by hand. In this particular case, the developer requested that I start the design and complete the construction documents in a week!!!!! After I picked myself off the floor at his request, I started the design process and completed the construction documents in about 6 weeks. It was not a design I would write home about, but the apartment building still stands after 34 years and it doesn’t leak!!!! Quite an accomplishment for my first licensed project.


KOMA head shots-036I’m sure there were some small projects I signed, but the first project I can remember is Pine Hill Elementary…it’s hard to remember that far back!