Seventeen-year Legat veteran relies on directness, responsiveness, and supportiveness to elevate firm’s Quad City Studio in Moline, Illinois
Legat Architects has promoted Jeff Sandberg, AIA, LEED AP to the position of Studio Director of the firm’s Quad Cities studio in Moline, Illinois.
The role tasks Sandberg with ensuring that all projects based in his studio meet clients’ budgetary, design, and schedule goals. Sandberg will also work with firm principals related to recruiting new talent and operations, as well as continue in his role as a senior project manager.
“Jeff’s leadership, dedication, and responsiveness have been the driving force during our five years in the Quad Cities,” said Legat President/CEO Patrick Brosnan. “He set and achieved a personal goal to create success for us in the region, and he will play a key role in mentoring our next generation of highly-skilled project managers and expanding the studio.”
Sandberg also has the rare distinction of owning the deepest voice at Legat, along with one of the highest-pitched laughs.
Embarking on New Territory
Sandberg joined the firm’s Oak Brook, Illinois studio in 2000. He quickly proved his project management skills by leading high-profile projects such as $24 million in facilities improvements at Community Consolidated School District 89 (CCSD 89), the new Wheaton Christian Grammar School, and the new Addison Early Learning Center.
“I can’t say enough about the knowledge, expertise, and drive that Jeff Sandberg has to ensure excellence in delivering a project from start to finish,” said Tim Tomazin, director of buildings and grounds at CCSD 89. “His ability to work with a variety of personalities to achieve a common goal is unequaled.”
In 2012, Sandberg moved his family to Orion, Illinois, a small community close to Moline. He opened the firm’s new Quad Cities studio . . . at least 150 miles from each of Legat’s three Chicago-area locations. Starting operations with just a few clients, he began the slow and careful effort to build upon small success to win more work, hire more staff, and repeat.
Sandberg carried over the lessons he learned in Oak Brook, particularly the firm’s reputation for embracing challenges and “never walking away from an issue.”
Today, Sandberg’s five-year-old studio of seven employees serves over a dozen Quad Cities area clients. Among the projects in the works are a new Performing Arts Center at Moline High School, the new Grant Wood Elementary School in Bettendorf, Iowa, and the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in East Moline, Illinois.
Sandberg, who is quick to credit his coworkers for their support in his own successes, insists on an open and informal work environment.
The Quad Cities studio’s first major commission was the new Hamilton Elementary School in Moline. Sandberg managed the $15 million project, which had a limited budget, a small site, and big dreams for a responsive learning environment.
The school, with its Learning Stair and Imaginarium, not only finished on time and under budget, but also set a regional standard for community-inspired schools that emphasize student interaction and discovery.
Sandberg also took over managerial duties of the MetroLINK Moline multimodal station that is part of The Q, a mixed-use development that includes a hotel retrofit also designed by Legat Architects.
Last year, Sandberg received a “Carrot Award” from Legat’s preK-12 segment for securing the most new client relationships.
Robin Randall, Legat’s director of preK-12 education, said, “Some of my favorite days at Legat Architects have been on adventures with Jeff. He has a no-nonsense approach, a great sense of humor, and an incredible ability to juggle multiple priorities.”
“Jeff has shown exemplary performance with increased workload, increased staff, and great client retention,” added Berry DeSimone, Legat’s chief operating officer. “He has always shown initiative in the performance of his duties, and always gone above and beyond what is expected of him to ensure that Legat delivers quality customer service while producing an excellent product.”
Sandberg holds master’s degrees in architecture and civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was also an “All-American” volleyball player.
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