In 1978 MSA Engineering Consultants began as Marc Simoncini Associates (MSA) in a one room office totaling approximately 750 SF. The office was above a bowling alley in Sparks, Nevada. Our office was located under the “Greenbrae” sign shown above. The desks were built using 2x4’s and plywood. The drafting boards consisted of hollow core doors with barco drafting surface taped on one side to provide a finished work surface. The drafting boards were tilted using bricks as support and had the latest T-square technology….parallel roller bars! Also contracts were a "HANDSHAKE"
Imagine a world without cell phones, PDA’s, iPods, computers, color copies, overnight delivery, and fax machines. We did have an IBM selectic ll typewriter, liquid white out and an AM/FM radio with 8 track tape player.
David Melroy began his engineering career in this office. He was hired during his freshman year at UNR for $3.20 per hour. He knew how to draft from high school classes and had a vehicle to run errands. The outdoor windows were handy when it came time to change the ammonia in the blue print machine.
By 1982 MSA Engineering had grown to five employees. Our office had been relocated to a retail/office flex space in Sparks, Nevada. We now had a curley paper fax machine but still used the 2x4 framed drafting stations. Computers were still a thing of the future as the IBM typewriter was the preferred method for pounding out specifications. 8 track tapes were going out of style and being replaced with cassette tapes... but we hung in there with the 8 tracks since we had a collection of Crystal Gale and Willie Nelson tapes. Projects were all located in Northern Nevada and primarily consisted of design build work teaming with a hand full of electrical contractors.
1987 brought more change and a new office with a big city Reno address. Our new home was at 1005 Terminal Way on the second floor and totaled approximately 3,000 SF. The firm had grown to 8 employees (all electrical). During this move we really stepped it up! We purchased proper mayline drafting desks and utilized folding tables for our layout tables. During this period we purchased our first computer with a monochrome CRT screen. We hired our first AutoCAD drafter and purchased our first copy of AutoCAD. The computer was a 33 MHz machine with 250 meg of memory, a door stop by current standards. We just couldn’t get rid of the 8 track player and it finally quit for good…but we still had AM/FM! “Sticky backs” were used as a time saving drafting method to copy details instead of drawing them from scratch each time.
In 1990 we moved into a spec office building at 155 Cadillac Place in Reno, Nevada. It was located next to Virginia Lake and a 1 mile walking path. “Corporate meetings” were held walking around the lake at noon or after work. We became technologically advanced and utilized AutoCAD on 133 MHz machines with pen style black and white HP plotters. We upgraded to 266 MHz machines in 1996 when we took on the Las Vegas Sands Casino Resort. Everyone except designers had a computer. Designers only “red-lined” the markups and had no use for the darn things (remember no email). We had a plain paper fax machine and a phone system with voicemail! We would stay in this office for eleven years.
In 1997 the Las Vegas office of MSA Engineering Consultants was established in a 5,000 SF second floor office at 500 East Warm Springs. The Las Vegas office utilized new modular furniture and had all current technologies. We initially had seven employees (all electrical). Las Vegas was a new market to our firm with lots of exciting opportunities. The Las Vegas opening coincided with Dave Melroy’s purchase of MSA Engineering Consultants in late 1996. Dave had wanted to expand into the Las Vegas market and was able to do so once he took total control of the company.
Our landlord Thomas & Mack, became one of our first Las Vegas clients. The relationship grew from design of our own office tenant improvement to designing hundreds of thousands of square feet over the next twelve plus years for Thomas & Mack.
In 2002 MSA Engineering Consultants moved into a 10,000 SF office at 7115 Amigo St., Las Vegas, NV. Low voltage design services were added to the already established electrical, mechanical and plumbing services. Plotting technology had improved to the point a high speed Oce’ plotter was purchased to supplement the HP workhorses for large scale printing projects. Las Vegas and our gaming clients were on a roll….several hundred million dollar projects became multibillion dollar projects! Our work load and client base expanded to the point it became common place to design in excess of 500 projects a year from this office. We soon out grew the tenant space and committed to design and construction of a new office.
In 2005 a new office building was purchased at 4599 Longley Lane in Reno, Nevada. All work stations were custom built-in and remains our Reno office to date. All technology was upgraded to provide a user friendly and current work environment. We now had a proper conference/meeting room with “MSA” leather chairs and a granite conference table. The Reno office accommodates up to 16 people. During this time the Reno office began providing Mechanical and Information Technology Systems Design in addition to Electrical Engineering.
In 2007 it was time to design and construct an office complex we could call home. A 24,000 SF ground up design afforded the firm an opportunity to embrace design elements and program spaces to optimize our office work environment. Dave Melroy being a huge fan of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico integrated many of the resort town’s elements into the employee common area spaces. Upgrades including indoor plumbing and electrical lighting were integrated into the design. Future growth shell space was planned in the design to allow for expansion of additional business units in the future.
Technology was finally embraced as evidenced by a 64 bit, nine terabyte file server in addition to another nine terabyte back-up/archive farm. Life would cease to exist if for some reason e-mail or the internet went down! Not only did everyone have a computer work station… who could imagine a day without gripping your PDA, iPod or cell phone. The speed of business demands are so much faster due to these technologies.
MSA Engineering is licensed in over 40 states and has provided international consulting services to our larger gaming clients. We look forward to anticipating how we will work in the future. One thing is certain, our commitment to providing five star Customer Service and engineering design for the built environment will be the core of our services moving into the future.
In 2010 MSA Engineering Consultants purchased a Phoenix based M/P/E firm established in 1982 and expanded the geographical region our offices serve. Basic M/P/E services were enhanced to also provide information technology systems design, architectural lighting design, renewable energy, energy modeling and audit services.
In 2014 MSA Engineering Consultants is implementing new processes in all areas of the organization to accommodate new technologies that are changing our industry. We have been fortunate to learn and adopt new methods of customer service by spending time with and paying attention to our clients during the design and creative process. Achieving customer loyalty and enhancing the way we do business is critical in this economic cycle. Although many companies use technology to implement new processes and procedures, we have taken it a step further and extensively refined our culture and the way we interact with our current and future clients. It has become a part of our everyday process to incorporate these principles.
In 2015 we have once again renovated and expanded our Phoenix office in order to accommodate and support the growth of our Arizona team.
MSA Engineering Consultants has invested further in order to implement new ways of conducting business. A new high speed fiber network and management tools allow for fine tuning, prioritization and scalability of our network traffic. Bluebeam Revu Extreme and Autodesk 2016 allows for improved collaboration internally and with our clients during design and CA. Surface Pro and iPads have replaced rocks and chisels.