Moraine design firm talks ‘cautious optimism’ in pandemic

As the state begins to reopen, one Dayton-area design-build firm is moving forward with “cautious optimism.”

Moraine-based Roll and Associates is a firm that’s worked on a number of key projects in the area, ranging from office buildings and commercial facilities, to recreational and industrial spaces. The Dayton Business Journal spoke to Principal John Roll to learn more about the firm’s latest happenings.

How has Roll and Associates been impacted by Covid-19? Up until a few months ago, we were doing well, like most Moraine businesses. We were prosperous. But then, it came to a screeching halt. We managed to stay busy, though, since we have repeat clients. All four of our employees have been working from home and we’ve been surprised by how efficient we’ve been able to work in this situation. Even as Ohio opens up, we’re likely to continue to work this way.

Roll and Associates in Moraine worked on the Dayton Development Coalition, the University of Dayton's Center for Leadership and the Dayton Foundation's new headquarters. The office building is located at South Main Street in Dayton.

What are some of the firm’s latest projects? We’re in a unique situation — all of our largest projects were completed in 2019. We worked on The Dayton Foundation, the Dayton Development Coalition and the University’s Fitz Center for Leadership in Community’s new headquarters on South Main Street, and Carillon Historical Park’s Winsupply Center of Leadership. Mark Fornes Realty, Wilcon Corp. and Dorothy Lane Market were other clients we worked with too.

Another steady client has been Winsupply. We’re working with them on a new training center concept that could become a reality. We’ve been keeping relatively busy and we’re fortunate because we’re a lean and mean firm. Our backlog is looking pretty iffy at the moment, though, so we’re waiting to see if new projects will be able to move forward.

Roll and Associates worked on the new Winsupply Center of Leadership at Carillon Historical Park.

What does the future look like for your firm? Uncertain is a good word. We’re uncertain what the rest of 2020 and 2021 will look like and we’re going to feel our way back along like everyone else. I think we, along with our clients, will be able to come back from this. We have cautious optimism about the near future, but we’re still optimistic about the longterm future. Dayton is poised to pick up where we left off and become vibrant as it once was.

Why is Moraine a good place to do business? Moraine has always been business friendly and we’ve called Moraine home for 26 years. We’ve worked with many of the city’s big companies such as Winsupply, ChemStation and Production Control Units, among others. We’re able to be efficient here and it’s been great to collaborate with the city on projects.