Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Architect: Performa, Inc.
Owner: Skyward, Inc.
Contractor: Miron Construction Co., Inc.
Skyward is an international software developer for school systems and was faced with the challenge of rapid growth. Created at the family kitchen table in the early 80’s, Skyward has grown to the point where they needed more than just a facility that houses employees. The company needed a way to recruit and retain young software programmers to central Wisconsin and believed a new headquarters would be a catalyst to this need. The building needed to be a tool to facilitate highly collaborative and team-based software development. The existing facility lacked progressive amenities and was a menagerie of buildings and additions that couldn’t be efficiently renovated. The new design incorporates natural light, ergonomic furnishings, access to on site health care, fitness, dry cleaning, concierge service, and food service that gives employees the opportunity to bring home evening meals. These amenities allow their employees to concentrate on work and not the little things in life that slows them down.
Performa helped Skyward determine their current and future facility needs and designed a solution that brought together the entire company under one roof. This consolidation allowed for increased production by creating better functional adjacencies, greater employee collaboration, and an open, clean, well lit, high performance work environment.
The new 181,700 square foot world headquarters is located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and sits on a 40 acre site adjacent to Highway 39. The facility houses nearly 1,000 employees on 4 floors with subsurface parking for 20 vehicles.
The interior of the facility is very open and transparent. The common core, considered the heart of the building, has three “wings” that converge into a central area that has collaboration spaces, conference rooms, food service and restrooms that encourage impromptu or informal chance encounters. Other break out areas allow employees to step away from the intense and highly-focused task of writing code at a computer all day. The wings are designed to enhance a “scrum team” operating model. This model requires maximum flexibility and the ability to adapt to rapid team formations.
Photos: Jackson & Co.