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RESIDENTIAL: Pro Skills Deliver an Elite Experience

HAVE Mechanical Contractors is a key player in comfort and smooth-running systems at the Spire Academy international athletics performance and education facility. 

HAVE Mechanical Contractors provides heating and cooling solutions for Spire Academy, including the new 4,000-square-foot prefabricated houses designed as dorms for incoming students.

Spire Academy is familiar stomping grounds for HAVE Mechanical Contractors in Ashtabula, Ohio. The rapidly growing international sports performance training and education boarding school has doubled in size in the last three years. 

Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio, serves multiple purposes. It’s a destination for athletically-inclined and inspired high school and postgraduate students, with its 9- to 12-grade program delivering college preparatory curriculum with a heavy dose of personal skills — teamwork, learning “ups and downs” — career exploration and “seven areas of passion” that are offered as majors. Those are basketball, esports, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, track and field, and wrestling. The site has an outdoor stadium that can host up to 20,000 people, an indoor arena, aquatics center and a growing campus of dorms. 

HAVE Mechanical Contractors has been involved in heating and cooling solutions for the Spire Academy campus from the start. 

With an increasing student population requiring boarding and more than 2,000 campers the academy will host this summer, its President, Jeff Orloff, enlisted in trusted partner,

HAVE, to outfit five 4,000-square-foot prefabricated houses designed as dorms on a rush schedule to prepare for incoming students. 
HAVE had installed complete HVAC systems for its first six single-story dorms in 2022. And currently, the 50-year-old heating and cooling company that is a household name with commercial business is part of the team that is building another dorm from the ground up. 


Spire Academy is in the spotlight. 

But the most rewarding parts of these projects are the locker room view of how the institution is putting Geneva on the map internationally, its robust contribution to the local economy and its value as a unique asset in the community, says Rob Schimmelpfennig, President of HAVE Mechanical Contractors.
HAVE’s Vice President Jason Stuyvesant adds, “We’re helping provide comfortable housing as an asset in our county to bring athletes from all over to train and go to school here.” 

The design, fabrication, installation and ongoing service HAVE offers Spire extends beyond keeping dorms cool in summer and warm in winter. 

“They are everybody’s children, so making sure they are comfortable is a priority,” Orloff says. “When you’re home, if the air conditioning is not working exactly right, you have your parents to oversee and deal with it. When students are away from their families at Spire Academy, we can assure them that their children are comfortable because HAVE’s response time is almost immediate.” 

Coordinating with Contractors 
The tight deadline was among the most challenging aspects of the five-building project, which followed a commercial HVAC installation of the entire academy and the initial dorm buildings. Orloff says, “It was a very time-sensitive project, and as they have always done, the HAVE team stepped in and did a great job of getting it completed in a timely fashion and professional manner.” 


How fast? 
Roughly six weeks of installation was required while jockeying position among multiple subcontractors, enduring equipment acquisition wait times, reconfiguring system sizing and fabricating components, such as transitions and plenums. 

The prefabricated housing structures came in from out of state. “The HVAC systems probably would have been undersized,” Schimmelpfennig says. 
Stuyvesant adds, “We worked with their mechanical engineer and increased the return air by adding a second return on the underside of the unit.” 

Each structure has two units. Spire Academy prioritized longevity and ease of maintenance. 

“The engineer wanted us to try to eliminate noise, and adding a second unit to each building accomplished that,” Stuyvesant says. 

Logistical coordination among trades allowed for a smooth installation, thanks to relationships with contractors working on the project, Schimmelpfennig says. “There were aspects of the dorms that had to be completed while we were doing our part — from installing sprinkler systems to flooring — and because we work well alongside these contractors, we coordinated the timing to meet the client’s deadline,” he relates. 

Adds Ons + Service 
Track record counts. (Pun intended.) Because of HAVE’s success following the initial main facilities’ commercial HVAC installation, followed by the first batch of residential housing buildings and then this just-in-time dorm occupancy addition, the company managed other add-ons. 

“We did venting for the bathrooms, bath fans, dryer vents; as these needs came up, we provided the services,” Schimmelpfennig says. 

Importantly, HAVE Mechanical Contracting secured maintenance contracts to achieve Orloff’s goal of keeping student-athletes comfortable while they are away for a high-performance academic year, camp or training experience. 

It’s also exciting to share how a client in your business’s backyard hosts events such as the Big Ten Track & Field Indoor Championships. 

“We are there at least quarterly performing maintenance on all systems, and this project has grown into more rewarding work with the client,” Schimmelpfennig says.