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Architecture firm closes Springfield office

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The Lamar Johnson Collaborative LLC closed its Springfield office amid the coronavirus pandemic. 


Bob Clark, executive chairman and founder of LJC's Chicago-based parent company, Clayco Inc., said a decision has not yet been made on whether to reopen the office after the COVID-19 crisis subsides. 


"During the pandemic, we haven't made any permanent decisions," he said. "We need to see what's happening over the next few quarters." 


Clark added, "All but a few people in Springfield have been impacted." 


LJC's Queen City office, at 433 W. Walnut St., ranked No. 14 on Springfield Business Journal's list this year of the area's largest architectural firms. The company reported 15 local employees, with five licensed architects. 


LJC announced the suspension of the Springfield office operations in a news release issued yesterday afternoon. 


Jim Stearman, principal architect and the Springfield office leader, stayed on with LJC to continue co-leading its health care practice. Reached this morning, Stearman deferred questions to Clark. 


The release indicated Stearman and select others would continue to support the firm's Springfield clients and continue to seek business in the Midwest. Local projects by LJC include the Hotel Vandivort expansion and Mercy Heart Hospital. 


LJC entered the Springfield market when it merged with BatesForum LLC last year. In 2018, BatesForum was created through the merger of Springfield-based architecture firm Bates and Forum Studio, another subsidiary of Clayco, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.


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