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With the local touch

image Austin principal Earl Swisher, wearing a sweatshirt from Clemson University, his Alma Mater, with IT Support Tech Tim Maune at a happy hour at the annual staff retreat in February.

AUSTIN – Although he spent part of his career in New York City, Earl Swisher spent most of his early life in various parts of Texas and came back to Texas in 1996. In 1999, he founded the Austin office for Lawrence Group.

    “My whole family lives in Austin,” Swisher says. “I just celebrated 20 years being back and 40 years in the profession.”
    The Austin office ranges from six to 10 employees, and focuses on architecture, planning and interior design. Nationwide, Lawrence Group focuses on architecture, interior design, planning, landscape architecture, graphic design, development and construction management and has four offices: Austin; Charlotte, N.C.; New York, NY and its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, MO.
    Swisher says future goals for the Austin office include offering design build within the next 10 years.
    “I practice down here on a local level with national resources to back me up when that’s warranted,” Swisher says. “Ninety-five percent of the work I do is in Texas. We know the state and we know the culture.”
    Notable projects include the Belo Center for New Media at the University of Texas Austin which KUT’s new Public Media Studio, The Fred Pirkle Engineering Technology Center at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and the restoration and renovation of O. Henry Hall in Austin for the offices of the Texas State University system.
    “In all of my time here, we really pride ourselves on serving our clients,” Swisher says. “Our major philosophy is helping clients realize their dreams. I have the luxury of working with people who have fantastic visions.”
    Employees at Lawrence Group as a whole, and in Austin, are given the opportunity to grow.
    “We bring excellent employees in and transition them into ownership and leadership positions,” Swisher says. –cw


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Reesa Doebbler ressa@constructionnews.net