The 13,600-square-foot building, the former site of National Exchange Bank, will house most of the company's 50 employees, who develop crisis-management software used by local, state and federal governments.
"This was an enormous undertaking. It would be easier, cheaper and faster to tear a building like this down and build a new building. I never could have done that," said John Fulton, a board member for the company more commonly known as ESi.
Renovation of the three-story building left intact the marble floors, two bank vaults, a 19th century clock and other architectural elements of the original 1922 structure.
New features include a large skylight, glass-and-polished steel wall systems from Britain, a rooftop garden and a lobby table mosaic of semiprecious stones hand-crafted by an artist in Florence, Italy.
ESi purchased the building from R.W. Allen in 2005. Renovations began a year later and were finished during the summer under direction of Augusta architect Bob Woodhurst. The company received a preservation award from Historic Augusta Inc. this year for the extensive renovation project.
Mr. Fulton referred to the building as a "fortress," because its walls are 36 inches of brick.
The office space includes a conference room and software development lab on the second floor. The building also has showers and lockers.
The company's employees have spent the past 11 years working at the Wachovia Bank tower on Broad Street. A small number of them will remain there because of the company's rapid growth, ESi President and CEO Nadia Butler said.
"We're just thrilled that we've been able to grow to the point where we can contribute to the Augusta community," Ms. Butler said.
ESi was started in 1996 by Mr. Fulton, John O'Dell and Curt MacDonald, as a spinoff of Westinghouse Savannah River Co. ESi's products include what it calls the world's first Web-enabled emergency management communications system.
The company's clients include the U.S. departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture, Health & Human Services and Homeland Security.
The company, which has four offices throughout the U.S., said it plans to open six more.
ESi was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America in 2007.
Reach LaTina Emerson at (706) 823-3227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.