Cicero’s Development Corp. recently completed an office renovation for Adams Magnetics, a designer and manufacturer of industrial magnetic products. The interior renovation created a contemporary, open environment in the company’s single-story, 4,200 square-foot Elmhurst, IL headquarters.
The project was phased sequentially to work around the occupied portions of the Adams Magnetics buildings and often involved multiple moves for occupants. The end result was designed to promote employee productivity, enhance teamwork and collaboration and reflect the company’s dynamic brand and culture.
The first phase, completed in late December, involved demolition of the reception area, bathrooms and kitchen. This step included the removal of wall coverings, ceilings, carpeting and outdated mechanicals, along with repairing any existing damage and relocating plumbing lines and electrical systems throughout the building to accommodate office and departmental needs. Next, Cicero’s team renovated those areas, refreshing each room with new paint, woodwork finishes, carpeting, vinyl plank flooring and Armstrong ceiling tiles. To help with energy conservation, thermally improved windows were installed in several offices, equating to a substantial reduction in energy consumption. In the second phase, Cicero’s brought this same renovation process to the corridors and individual offices of Adams Magnetics, adding new style and improving the property’s value.
“Adams Magnetics has grown tremendously over the years, becoming a great place to work, and we wanted our Elmhurst offices to reflect these changes,” said Scott Lewis, president of Adams Magnetic. “Cicero’s full renovation brings the office to ‘like-new’ status, with amenities that speak to the wants and needs of our employees.”
Cicero’s was able to perform renovations while Adams Magnetics remained in operation without added hazards to employees or visitors. “By far, our biggest challenge when working in an occupied building like Adams Magnetics are the tenants themselves who we want to keep safe and productive,” said Sam Cicero, Jr., president of Cicero’s Development Corp. “Our team had to plan our schedule carefully as we approached each stage of the project.”
Safety comes first in construction projects, and there were several measures that Cicero’s Development took during the Adams Magnetics project to ensure that ongoing work did not jeopardize employee safety. For one, it established detailed communication procedures between occupants and the construction team regarding dust generation, construction noise, fire alarm testing, electrical and plumbing outages and the impact on parking availability because of construction staging areas. In addition, temporary walls were erected between construction areas and Adams Magnetics employees, as well as warning cones, signage and yellow caution tape. Leaving ladders or tools unattended at any time can lead to serious injuries, so Cicero’s employees were barred from doing either. Noisy activities such as core drilling concrete or shooting fasteners into wood obviously cannot always be done during the workday, so some construction was performed after hours or over weekends.
According to Cicero, there is a common misconception that renovation work in an existing building is easier than new construction, occupied or not—but that’s not always the case. “An effective project renovation schedule is, above all, realistic,” he said. “It should be developed after evaluation of all issues that drive project timing, such as material lead times and potential tenant disruptions. We start with the date that the renovated space is put back into service, and we then work backward, carefully allocating time for each project phase.”