IDS Has Two New Professional Engineers!

We have two new PE’s in the house! Congratulations to Chris VanOverbeke and Dan O’Connor on becoming PE Licensed Engineers.

Kathryn Dankovich

  1. Tell me an interesting fact about yourself.
    • I have snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef, white water rafted in Chile, sailed for a week in Maine, and backpacked through Europe. I participated in a 10-year FDA study for implanted contact lenses.
  1. Why did you go into your profession?
    • Happenstance.  Life is a journey, and my career path was made along the way. I was the valedictorian of my graduating class, strengths in math and science, but extremely squeamish.  Initially, I attended GMI for industrial engineering.  Since I had to fund my own college, I went to work for Michigan Bell as a service representative; they offered tuition reimbursement.  Worked full time, attended classes at night so a Business Administration program worked well for that.  Passed the CPA exam and later obtained my master’s degree.
  1. What is your greatest strength?
    • Resilience, gratitude, hope.
  1. What is your greatest personal achievement (not related to work)
    • Somehow, someway, with a lot of incredible friends, I survived single parenthood, and the world has two incredible people at its service, Elizabeth and Annie.  They are kind, bright, thoughtful, purposeful individuals.  God blessed my family with many outstanding, caring people.  My daughters are my pride and joy.
  1. What is your greatest professional achievement? (related to IDS)
    • Making a difference to IDS’ current and long-term success by identifying opportunities and responding to them.
  1. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    • Travel – anywhere.  Annie has a life goal of visiting all the US National Parks so that has been a driving force of destinations.  I also love to spend time along Lake Michigan.  Elizabeth lives in NYC, so I like to visit her, and I have lifelong friends that live in Phoenix, Chicago, and St. Louis who I visit as often as possible.
    • Walking my dog
    • Tennis
    • Volunteer opportunities
    • Home projects, baking, gardening
    • Cards, puzzles, game nights
  1. What motivates you?
    • Helping others, contributing.  Being valued.
  1. What is your #1 professional goal?
    • To retire with a purpose.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  – Oscar Wilde

Michelle Derringer

  1. Tell me an interesting fact about yourself.
    • There is a lot of things that are interesting about me, but the one that stands out the most to me is I had brain surgery in 2018.
  1. Why did you go into your profession?
    • My mom was in the business field and family members worked in various office professions when I was growing up, it was mostly a natural progression.
  1. What is your greatest strength?
    • Dedicated.
  1. What do you enjoy most about Integrated Design Solutions?
    • Seeing all the different projects that we do and how they are designed.
  1. What is your greatest professional achievement? (related to IDS)
    • My recent promotion to Office Manager after being with IDS for almost 25 years!
  1. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    • Spending time with my 3 nieces, reading, crafts.
  1. What is your favorite memory at Integrated Design Solutions?
    • Seeing how much the company has grown.  I have been here from when the company first started.
  1. What are looking forward to in your new role?
    • Interacting with more of the office.  Learning more about the business side of the company.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”  – Dalai Lama

Nicole Kolhagen

  1. Tell me an interesting fact about yourself.
    • I grew up on a farm and actually milked cows!
  1. Why did you go into your profession?
    • I started as a receptionist at a manufacturing company after receiving my associates degree. I filled in for the human resources assistant when she was on medical leave, fortunately for me she decided not to return and I was given the full-time position. During my time there I earned my Bachelors Degree from Northwood University.
  1. What is your greatest strength?
    • Adapting to different environments and embracing change.
  1. What is your greatest professional achievement?
    • Earning my bachelors degree while working full-time, raising two children and pregnant.
  1. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    • I love to travel with my family.  Dubai and Rome are my favorite places so far.
  1. What are looking forward to in your new role?
    • I am looking forward to growing professionally while helping to contribute to the success of IDS.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” – Marilyn Monroe

IDS Welcomes Nicole Kolhagen!

We are delighted to announce that Nicole Kolhagen has joined IDS as our new Human Resources Manager. Nicole comes to IDS with 28 years of human resources, benefit management, payroll and employee relations experience. Nicole brings both strong formal education and practical hands-on experience to this important leadership role with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Management from Northwood University and an Associate Degree in Accounting/Business Studies from Delta College. Nicole’s past work experience has included industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, legal and public school districts. She is also a current member of the Society for Human Resources Management. With Nicole joining our executive team, we are confident we have added an important individual who can support our people as we provide valuable service to our clients, while ensuring that we remain loyal to our cultural values of teamwork, integrity, fairness, compassion, and respect. Please join us in welcoming Nicole to IDS!

MSU Mass Timber STEM Teaching and Learning Facility wins 2022 U.S. WoodWorks Wood Design Award

Sandra Lupien, Director, MassTimber@MSU;; 510-681-3171
Kristen Campbell, Integrated Design Solutions;; 248-823-2120


East Lansing, Mich. — Michigan State University (MSU) has been awarded the WoodWorks Wood Design Award for Wood in Schools for using mass timber in its state-of-the-art STEM Teaching and Learning Facility.

The new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility features an abundance of natural light, exposed ceilings, and a mix of modern and repurposed architecture, including a mass timber and steel structural system. Tucked inside the sustainably glamorous building are spaces for students to collaborate and learn.

The STEM Teaching and Learning Facility is Michigan’s first mass timber building. Mass timber is an umbrella term for a variety of panelized, engineered wood building materials such as large cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and glue-laminated (glulam) columns and beams with an array of structural and decorative uses in buildings.

“Humans have been building with wood, for centuries,” said Sandra Lupien, Director, MassTimber@MSU, “But not with wood like this. By creating super-strong panels and beams from layers of dimensional wood, we can build bigger and higher than ever with timber. And that’s a good thing – wood is a renewable resource and building with it has many sustainability benefits. Mass timber emits comparatively less carbon dioxide during production than many common building materials and it stores carbon absorbed by trees while they’re in use in the building, keeping that carbon from releasing into the atmosphere where it would contribute to climate change.”

The 3,000 cubic meters (105,000 cubic feet) of mass timber in the MSU STEM facility store a volume of carbon equivalent to not driving the average vehicle at least 4.7 million miles or not burning at least 2 million pounds of coal. The mass timber comprises Forest Stewardship Council black spruce from northern Quebec in Canada, and with sustainable forestry practices, North American forests can replace the volume of wood used in the building in just 8 minutes.

Integrated Design Solutions (IDS – Architect of Record/MEP) along with Ellenzweig (Design Architect), Michigan State University, WoodWorks, and an array of stakeholders worked hard to make MSU’s vision for the state’s first mass timber building a reality.

“The vision for a wood structure was championed by the entire team, especially Michigan State University and was not without risk,” said IDS’s Kevin S. Marshall, AIA, the Project Architect for the MSU STEM facility. “As the first structure in the state to utilize CLT, we were breaking new ground.  But by exposing as much of the timber as possible along with careful design of the building systems, the team was able to put ‘science on display’ for the roughly 7,000 students who take classes in the building every week. The conversion of the long-decommissioned power plant gave the design team a way to create a hub of activity in the center of the complex and brought the wonderful structure out of hibernation. The deliberate mix of new and old throughout the complex creates a seamless unity celebrating the University’s STEM curriculum.”

This process led to categorizing the building as a Type IIIB construction, using a hybrid mass timber and steel structural system as well as a steel exoskeleton to support the brick, cast stone, and glass to fit MSU’s campus-wide aesthetic.

Seeking to ensure high visibility for the first new MSU building in decades exclusively to classrooms and laboratories, MSU opted to renovate the decommissioned Shaw Lane Power Plant located right next to Spartan Stadium. The project team advanced an open design that would be open, inviting, and inspirational to emphasize the leading-edge teaching pedagogies that would be housed there. The building complex consists of 121,290 square feet of new construction split across north and south wings built around the original 48,531 square foot power plant structure.

The finishes in the new construction consist of the mass timber – glulam columns and beams, CLT floor decks, and CLT wall panels in the stair towers – combined with polished concrete walking surfaces, glass, and gypsum board creating a warm yet industrial aesthetic. The power plant was carefully renovated to preserve as many items from the original building as possible while interweaving floor plates in the 4-story volume. Since the power plant is a structural steel framed, mass wall masonry structure, the renovated center section consists of steel beams connected to existing steel columns. New floor surfaces in that section use the same CLT structural floor decks which, this time, are topped with a natural maple wood floor surface that maintains the original motif of the Power Plant while tying it to the modern mass timber

The WoodWorks Award recognizes excellence and innovation in mass timber, heavy timber, traditional wood-frame and hybrid buildings. A non-profit dedicated to helping project teams design, engineer and construct successful wood buildings, WoodWorks has been hosting its award program for 15 years as a way to recognize developers and design teams whose creativity and emphasis on quality continue to expand the possibilities for wood buildings.


Architect of Record/MEP- Integrated Design Solutions (IDS)

Design Architect- Ellenzweig

Contractor- Granger Construction

Mass Timber Supplier- Chantiers Chibougamau, Nordic Structures

Erectors- Christman Constructors, Inc.

Winning Project

STEM Teaching Facility
Michigan State University

New Year, New Promotions

Over the course of the past year, these four gentlemen have shown their passion and knowledge for their careers. We would like to take a moment and congratulate them on their new positions with IDS. Congratulations team, we cannot wait to see what amazing things you do in your new roles.

Kevin Aalderink, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C has been growing with IDS for the last 4 years from our Grand Rapids location. As a design leader on education projects, he has now been promoted to Associate. He brings successful design leadership to every project which he contributes to over 22 years of learning from some of the best mentors in the region. His passion is to continue cultivating learning spaces that prioritize environmental literacy while taking thoughtful actions towards decarbonization. He is excited for expanding project partnerships in west Michigan and throughout the region. Kevin is appreciative to be currently working with numerous school districts and colleges including Schoolcraft, Macomb, Mott, and Oakland Community Colleges.

Nicholas W. P. Furgason, LC  has worked in the AEC industry since his first ‘job’ in high school with Riverbend Timber Framing and Great Lakes Insulspan. After Nicholas graduated from high school he worked as an architectural CADD technician, while he was doing that, he developed an interest in Electrical Engineering. Since starting his education at Grand Valley State University and continuing his career in Electrical Engineering his career has become focused on Electrical and Lighting Design. Some specific hi-lights that Nicholas enjoyed working on was the Renovations of the University of Notre Dame Football Stadium and the Home Team Locker Room and Recruiting Center. Nicholas looks at every project in a unique way and tries to identify the unique characteristics and thinks about how to overcome the challenges in his role. Nicholas enjoys the constant exposure to ever-changing clients and projects.

Justin Kiriazis, PE, LC, takes his new position as Assistant Director of Electrical Engineering. Justin’s propensity for math and science at a young age quickly drew him to the field of Engineering. He followed this interest at the University of Michigan where he pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering. Justin values continuing education and enjoys attending seminars, conferences, and trade shows which enables him to communicate intelligently and effectively with clients on current technologies and design. Justin is committed to upholding the positive reputation of IDS. He strives to generate creative design solutions that fit within the client’s needs and budget. Outside of work, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife Renee, biking in the summer and skiing in the winter. They are avid fans of Michigan football and Detroit sports and try to attend as many games as possible.

Todd Vercruysse is the newest Senior Associate at IDS.  Since joining the IDS team, Todd has worked on numerous projects, bringing his expertise to higher education projects such as Eastern Michigan University’s Sill Hall and Student Athlete Performance and Success Center, and the University of Michigan’s Alumni Center and Central Campus Recreation Building. Todd has also worked on major K12 education projects, such as Lincoln Park Schools’ Hoover Elementary Renovation and Addition, and Oxford Community Schools’ Oxford High School Renovation. Todd is continuously motivated by the technical details of his work. In particular, his deft exploration of systems with need to understand the details of how each unique one works supports his drive to always promote optimization in his work.





Broke Ground On Birmingham High School Athletics!

Integrated Design Solutions joined the administrators, staff, and students of Ernest W. Seaholm High School and Wylie E. Groves High School on November 2nd to break ground on the High School Athletics. High School athletic facilities serve more than the student-athlete; they are spaces for the entire school community to come together. IDS could not be more excited to be a part of these amazing projects at Ernest W. Seaholm High School for the New Auxilary Gym and at Wylie E. Groves High School for the Concession and Team Buildings. Both of these projects are a part of the Birmingham Bond Improvements that were passed in 2020.


Pontiac Athletics Renovation Featured on Cick On Detroit “Something Good” Series

For the first time in 30 years, a bond passed for the School District of the City of Pontiac, the capital bond improvements included many upgrades and renovations. Part of the capital bond improvements are the new urethane track, and artificial turf field are that IDS has been working with the School District of the City of Pontiac. Pontiac High School Athletics Field has existed for many years. In previous years, it was Pontiac Northern High School until 2009, when Pontiac Northern and Pontiac Central merged. Now, this field is being updated and envied by others. The new “Phoenix” field is to be complete fall of 2021.

To check out more about the new Athletic Field Renovation Click Here!

News Article


Be sure to check out the Something Good Article from Click on Detroit!


Two Great Students Receive 2021 Integrated Design Solutions Scholarship

Shawn Jones and Kymarria Rouser, have been selected as the recipients of the 2021 Integrated Design Solutions Scholarship with the School District of the City of Pontiac. The scholarship provides funds to students who plan to attend a college or university in Fall 2021. The students must also be pursuing engineering or post-secondary education in STEM. Integrated Design Solutions has proudly provided architecture and engineering services to the district for years and is committed to helping students succeed after high school. Congratulations Shawn and Kymarria!

Pontiac Scholarship
Pontiac Scholarship


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