State College has seen a lot of infrastructure expansion in the last 50 years, and now one of the town’s architects, is celebrating his 50th year of work in the area.

Fred Fernsler graduated with his master’s degree in architectural engineering from Penn State in 1968.

Despite a lack of of architect projects going on at the time, he fell in love with the city and passed up a job opportunity in Tacoma, Washington to raise his family here.

“I started with a long-term care edition to the Centre County home in Bellefonte, that was the first project that I was responsible for back in 1970,” Fernsler, said.

He worked for a local firm from 1970 to 75′, then was forced to start his own firm after a nation-wide recession left him jobless.

In the last 45 years fernsler has been responsible for a variety of project, from Alpha Fire Company, to the first terminal at University Park airport, to the Trader Joe’s Shopping Plaza.

“He has design capabilities that span everything from student housing, to shopping centers, to elderly projects-nursing homes, which is a wide array of uses, the fire department,” Heim, said.

Bruce Heim has worked with fernsler for over 40 years. He says not only does Fernsler always follow safety codes, but he’s a true artist.

“What has been one of his signatures, is he has very creative color designs and when he first tells you what the color is going to be, you go, “Ahh, that’s no going to work,” Heim, said. “But then you agree to it, it goes on the project and you go, “Wow, what a great idea that was.”

Fernsler has garnered a positive reputation in the community, not just with his creativity, but with honest and fair pricing from start to finish.

“We never advertised, in 45 years, and people ask me, “Why?” Fernsler, said. “Why don’t you do it, and I say, well I don’t need to, because when you build relationships with people and you try and do a good job at a fair price, they’re gonna’ be satisfied and if they are, they’re gonna’ tell their friends.”

Fernsler has worked on over 1,000 projects in the Centre region, including at the Penn State campus and as he turns 80 this year, has no plans on retiring.