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Lyons, Warren & Associates celebrates 25th anniversary

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In 1979, Richard H. Warren, SE, and P. Kevin Lyons, SE, formed Lyons, Warren & Associates. The firm began in a small Scripps Ranch office with one draftsman and one office assistant. Work consisted of structural designs for private homes, housing tracts and small commercial buildings.

Since that time, the firm has grown to a staff of 19 persons and has served some of San Diego's most notable companies such as Price Club, Jack in the Box (NYSE: JBX) and PriceSmart (Nasdaq: PSMT). Their growth and accomplishments have been fueled by a commitment to long-term relationships with their clients, employees and the addition of two principals from their employees.

Lyons and Warren met as plan checkers for the city of San Diego in 1971, where they worked together for four years.

In 1975, Warren moved from the city of San Diego to the county of San Diego, where he headed the North County's Department of Land Use until 1979. His responsibilities included all plan check and inspection services for northern San Diego County.

In 1976, Lyons left the city of San Diego, as well, to head a structural engineering division for Schwerin & Xinos Civil Engineers, before the formation of Lyons, Warren & Associates.

Upon the formation of the new company in 1979, the firm worked with several local architects. The clients were established through Warren and Lyons' relationships established through the city and county building departments. The firm quickly gained a reputation for thorough and economical designs, as well as meeting schedules.

In 1982 and 1983, two events occurred which would define the firm for the next 20-plus years.

Lyons, Warren & Associates was contracted to perform design services for an expansion to the Santee Price Club and a Jack in the Box located in San Diego.

After their performance on these two projects, Price Club and Jack in the Box continued to contract with the firm. Warren took charge of managing the Price Club projects, while Lyons continued with Jack in the Box.

During the next 10 years, the firm proceeded to design hundreds of Jack in the Box and Price Club stores in the western United States. This work includes the relocation of the original Price Club and conversion of an old Convair plant on Morena Boulevard, which won the Restoration of the Year Award from Metal Architecture magazine.

Other work during this time included: two level extension of University Towne Centre; multilevel apartments, parking structures, over 2 million square feet of concrete tilt-up warehouse/industrial buildings, and many Navy buildings, including multiple buildings at the Navy Seals Base on San Clemente Island.

Lyons, Warren & Associates gained intimate knowledge of their clients' specific building and real estate requirements, operations, equipment and procedures. In a short order, Lyons, Warren & Associates became Price Club's lead consultant and provided full design, structural engineering and project management services for many Price Club stores throughout California.

In 1988, Steve Schneider, SE, joined the firm, and in 1991, Glenn Mouritzen, SE, also joined the company for his first stint with the firm. Both would eventually become principals and define the company's future.

In 1992, their work took them to countries like Mexico, Guam, Korea and Taiwan, taking the club warehouse store concept outside U.S. borders.

Soon after, in 1994, the firm faced some challenges when Costco and Price Club merged their club membership stores, and Foodmaker, then the parent name for Jack in the Box, went through transformation in its new store design and construction process. Mouritzen left the company at this time to form his own company.

Around 1996, after an understandably slow period and the elimination of most of Jack in the Box's architectural department, Lyons, Warren & Associates became the prime consultant for most of the new Southern California, corporate-owned, Jack in the Box restaurants and became responsible for maintaining the prototype designs used throughout the United States.

Soon after the Price Club/Costco merger, the Price family, pulled out of the merger and all the Price Club stores became Costco stores. The Price's formed a new membership warehouse store concept called PriceSmart, which would be built in developing countries.

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