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Published: 1/15/2001

Engineering firm hits milestone

BY HOMER BRICKEY
BLADE SENIOR BUSINESS WRITER
Jones & Henry workers, from left, Peter Latta, Al Zamora, and Brad Lowery look over plans. Jones & Henry workers, from left, Peter Latta, Al Zamora, and Brad Lowery look over plans.
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“We've always been active in the community, and I think this is a very significant anniversary,” said Felix Sampayo, president of Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd., explaining why the firm does so much volunteer work for schools, colleges, the Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Symphony, and the Toledo Museum of Art in 2001.

Jones & Henry turns 75 this year, and since its founding in 1926 the firm has designed more than 230 water, wastewater, sewage-disposal, and other civil-engineering projects for the city of Toledo - including the Bay View sewage-treatment plant and much of the city's tunnel system that ties into the plant.

The firm is offering corporate support to a variety of school and community projects in its anniversary year, and it encouraged its 90 employees to volunteer for worthwhile endeavors. Many of the 70 or so employees in Toledo volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity project to help build or rebuild a home for a low-income family.

The firm plans to coach senior projects at the University of Toledo and Ohio Northern University and wants to find qualified candidates for a minority engineering scholarship it sponsors at UT.

“One of the things we're discussing is that our senior class may look at alternative designs for a wastewater plant for the city of Sidney, O.,” said Brian Randolph, chairman of civil engineering at UT.

Although Jones & Henry's biggest client over the years has been Toledo, it has some clients that have come back for dozens of developments and upgrades. The firm has done 154 designs for Wooster, O.; 143 for Kalamazoo, Mich.; 120 for Avon Lake, O.; 102 in Carmel, Ind. (a suburb of Indianapolis); and 101 for Pontiac, Mich., said Mr. Sampayo.

Jones & Henry has done industrial wastewater work in many states and countries, including Colombia and Saudi Arabia. Among its large industrial clients are General Motors Corp., Owens Corning, and the J.M. Smucker Co., each of which has commissioned dozens of engineering plans.

“We bring work from other places here to employ Toledo people,” said Mr. Sampayo. He noted that about half of Jones & Henry's employees are engineers - civil, electrical, chemical, and mechanical - and many of the other employees are wastewater-system operators, groundwater professionals, programmers, and technicians.

But the firm also employs engineers and support staff in its offices in Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Lansing, Mich.

Jones & Henry's total of 90 employees does not include about 30 workers in two affiliated companies: Jones & Henry Laboratories (a testing facility on Tracy Road) and J&H Operating Services, which operates wastewater plants for industry (including the two Jeep factories in Toledo).

The firm began as H.P. Jones Co., named after Harvey P. Jones, an Illinois native and civil-engineering graduate of the University of Michigan.

One of his first projects was in Florida, where he met Thomas B. Henry, city engineer for West Palm Beach, and he persuaded Mr. Henry to come to Toledo to join the fledgling firm. The name changed to Jones & Henry in 1944, and in 1959 the firm moved from downtown Toledo to its present headquarters.

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