WHPacific, a Colorado Springs-based architectural and engineering firm, has opened its fourth office in California because of additional work it's secured in that state.

In the last three months, the company has added more than $14 million worth of contracts for work it does with public utility and commercial clients in California, said Hal Keever, the company's chief operating officer. As a result, it opened a two-person office last month in El Segundo, near Los Angeles.

"We need to have a presence there," Keever said.

WHPacific has about 400 employees in 16 offices, mostly in western states, although it also has offices in Ohio, Texas and North Dakota, according to its website. It already had offices in Sacramento, San Diego and Valencia, Calif.

The Alaska native-owned company moved its headquarters from Anchorage to Colorado Springs last year; it employs a dozen in the Springs and still expects to have about 40 employees locally in the next few years, Keever said. The company also has 12 people in its Denver office, including three that have been added in the last six months, he said.

The company's business is improving as the economy gets better, although some markets are better than others, he said.

Portland, Ore., where Keever is based, is doing "quite well," he said.

"There are other areas that are slower to grow," he said. "Colorado is one of them. But we're making progress." There's growth in every location, Keever added.

"It's just that some are a little bit better than others. The Colorado Springs area is still a little bit depressed. But we're seeing signs of life there."


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