In the early 1990s the Mississippi Power Company, Jones County Economic Development Authority and Howard Industries formed a unique public/private partnership with the mission of attracting technology-based business to Jones County. Together they created a new of industrial park that would anticipate the growth needs of the emerging I-59 Technology Corridor by bringing together technology-based industries with research development and training facilities. Howard Industries, Inc., a privately held $1billion electrical products company, commissioned Foil Wyatt Architects & Planners of Jackson, MS to develop a plan for a new corporate headquarters and manufacturing complex that would replace the facility the company had outgrown.
Howard's new five-story, 60,000-square foot office tower has been hailed as a unique landmark in the Jones County area, due in part to the stunning blue-and-white color scheme inspired by Howard's corporate colors that the architects artfully applied to the exterior surfaces. With an emphasis on planned growth and cutting-edge technology, the partnership and architects designed the 504-acre park to provide everything hi-tech industries need. The utilities were placed underground, and protective zoning and covenants were enacted to ensure the park-like setting, lake and walking trails would always be maintained. As the complex expands with other office towers, the sculptural qualities of the building elements will become even more prominent as the panels and glass are combined in different ways to express the owner's needs and engage the site. Plans are already underway for a 100,000-square-foot addition to the $75 million complex which opened in the spring of 2007.
Yancey & Jamieson of Austell, GA engineered and fabricated 15,500 square feet of Reynobond® ACM, 4 mm, PE core, in Pure White with a Colorweld 300 finish, and 14,700 square feet of Reynobond® ACM, 4 mm, PE core in Konig Blue for the façades. Quantum Construction of Corapolis, PA, installed the panels directly to the subgirts. Harrell Construction Group of Jackson, MS served as the general contractor for the project.
"During the master planning phase of the design work, it became apparent that we needed to select a palette of exterior building materials that would endure and be available for many years to come," said Michael Foil, AIA of Foil Wyatt Architects & Planners. "The materials selected had to have the capability of responding to a great diversity of programmatic and design issues. Ease of construction and environmental sensitivity were also important to all participants in the planning process. Reynobond® ACM panels and aluminum curtain wall combined with a variety of glass panels were the obvious winners. The design and materials incorporated in the project were selected to reflect the cutting-edge image of the client."
The new Howard Industries office complex houses the corporate executive staff, finance department and all of the Howard Technology Solutions office personnel, and is connected via a sky bridge of over 3,000 square feet to the 72,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility. Howard expects to employ over 5,000 people within the next 10 years. Howard joins the Jones County Junior College Advanced Technology Training Center to form the heart of Howard Technology Park & Tech Park South - Jones County Technology complex. Southern Business & Development magazine has dubbed the park a "super site" for economic development.
Project photography by Wes Thompson