Transportation, Engineering, and Construction, Inc
P.E., M.S., B.S.C.E
On the banks of the Merrimack River in Lawrence lies an old mill building that once functioned as a power plant, relying on natural resources such as river water and coal to keep the mills running efficiently.
Today, the former power plant is the focus of an incredible structural and economic undertaking by local businessman Sal Lupoli (owner of “Sal’s Just Pizza” chain) with the help of some local talent, namely Merrimack College alumni and current students offering their budding expertise alongside seasoned professionals.
James D’Angelo, a 1970 civil engineering graduate of Merrimack and co-owner of TEC (Transportation, Engineering, and Construction, Inc.) in Lawrence, has led Merrimack College’s role in the redesign of the mill building that is part of the Riverwalk project.
“Merrimack provides an education with balanced lessons in the technical and the ethical,” said D’Angelo. “From my own Merrimack experience, I knew that these students would have a greater understanding of how engineering skills acquired in the classroom can translate into a real, human environment. The power plant project seemed like a perfect opportunity to benefit everyone involved.”
D’Angelo developed a plan specifically for the students. Once they were given the rundown about what Lupoli wanted to accomplish with the 40,000 square feet of space the former power plant offered, the students were charged with identifying the most efficient way for the structure to be re-used.
Under the guidance of Merrimack civil engineering professor Anthony DeLuzio, the students conducted a structural analysis of the facility, determining how the original building was constructed and how the space could be restored. Ultimately, through the students’ data, it was determined that the most reasonable plan would be constructing a building inside of a building.
“The students worked with my firm and Sal Lupoli directly to conceptualize and design the building inside-of-a-building plan,” said D’Angelo. This plan will preserve the historic exterior look of the building while creating a modern structure for future businesses to call home.
Six months later the project is well underway and D’Angelo has hired Nicholas Scenna, a 2006 Merrimack graduate, to work full time and a Merrimack junior Steve Mallory as a cooperative education student. Scenna was one of the students who worked on the original design.
D’Angelo views his consistent involvement with his alma mater as a means for continued growth. Students gain knowledge while businesses gain talent.
“When the college calls, I have been happy to respond to help foster civil engineering at Merrimack,” said D’Angelo. “My hope is that the college will continue to reach out to its alumni and see them as a source of connection to professional practice, and likewise, that other alumni see the college as a resource for their professional practice, creating opportunities for both students and graduates.”
D’Angelo established Merrimack’s Civil Engineering Alumni Association four-and-a-half years ago. Thirty-five years after D’Angelo graduated, he remains connected to the vast majority of the 19 civil engineering students who were in his graduating class.
This collaboration between Merrimack students, alumni and a local business will pave the way for tremendous growth in the historical city of Lawrence. The project was completed in 2007, and helped to further revitalize the area. Once again D’Angelo is helping our seniors with their 2008 project.