how we approach projects


The goal of architecture is to create shelter for user interaction and enhance user activities while addressing the specific needs expressed by the client.

The architectural design process focuses on “problem-solving” through gathering all information and significant environmental data to shape three-dimensional space in a creative manner consistent with the client’s vision for the project. For the process to be successful, CKJT believes that continued open and interactive communication must take place between the design team and the Owner’s project representatives.

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Design Process

Interactive communication on a project starts with the design team’s analysis of the Owner’s project parameters and continues through the schematic design, design development, and contract document phases. 

When possible, CKJT likes to meet and talk with as many of the Owner’s representatives and staff as practical throughout the process. This would include maintenance, custodial, and grounds personnel. While we all know that “you can’t please everybody all the time”, this process of allowing people to be heard has been historically proven to produce greater overall satisfaction with the final project design.

Another important aspect of the design process is the Owner’s approval of our work. The building being designed is for you the client, not the Architect. Our clients rely on our expertise to propose and develop solutions that best suit their needs. We understand that these proposed solutions require continual refinement until the client is satisfied with all aspects of the design presented. After fostering this open communication throughout the design phases, we encourage the client’s continued involvement during the construction document phase. This continued communication helps to provide the client a full understanding of all aspects of their project.


ckjt architects team

Terrance D. Casey - Architect, Partner

32 years experience


Terrance has been with CKJT Architects since 1988 and has held leadership roles on projects ranging in value up to 34 million dollars. His day-to-day responsibilities include programming, site and building design, code review, contract documents, specification writing, cost estimating, and construction administration. He is a certified Building Condition Assessment Consultant who has performed numerous condition evaluations on existing buildings. He earned his license to practice architecture in the State of Washington and also maintains a licence to practice architecture in the State of Oregon. Terrance became a LEED Accredited Professional in 2008. 

Melissa C. McCoy - Architect, Partner, AIA

11 years experience


Melissa joined CKJT Architects in 2013, holding roles on numerous projects valued up to 17 million dollars. Her daily responsibilities include Programming, Site and Building Design, Contract Document Preparation, Code Reviews, Construction Administration, Project Closeout, consultant and engineering coordination, cost-estimating coordination, and rendering. She also performs building assessments, feasibility studies, and as-built drawing production. She is licensed to practice architecture in the States of Washington and Idaho.

CKJT Staff & Engineering Consultants

​In addition to the partners and the firm's in-house support staff, CKJT has many long-term working relationships with consultants from many design disciplines. Long term familiarity among the design team provides the client with a more cohesive design solution. Most of our design team members have several decades of experience working with us on projects. 

Michael Marley - Architect, Former Partner

34 years experience


Mike joined CKJT Architects in 1986 and has held primary roles on projects valued between 20,000 and 40 million dollars. He has given seminars on building codes, accessibility laws, and roofing systems. As a certified Building Condition Assessment Consultant since 2013, Mike has performed evaluations on more than 50 schools. As a previous partner of CKJT Architects, Mike has remained with the firm as a consultant.

Holy Spirit Model
Holy Spirit Model 1

over sixty years of service

History of Our Firm

The founding firm of Carson & Kesterson was established in Kennewick by Art Carson and J. D. Kesterson in 1957. Brian L. Johnson and James A. Taylor became partners in the late 1980s, and the name CKJT Architects was established. In 2016 CKJT Architects evolved into CKJT Architects, pllc. In conjunction with this change, long-time staff architects Terrance D. Casey and Michael A. Marley assumed ownership of the firm. Michael has since retired and Melissa C. McCoy has become a partner.


CKJT Architects has a long history of providing successful projects including a wide spectrum of building types. We have been involved in the design of fire stations, municipal offices, K-12 educational facilities, office buildings, financial institutions, maintenance facilities, fairgrounds projects, police stations, fire stations, airport projects, public safety buildings, and many more. Our experience with such a wide range of building types continuously expands our regional knowledge and has proven to be professionally rewarding.


In addition, this exposure has contributed to our ability to remain current with the constantly changing technological advancements in the design profession and building industry.