Indianapolis and Chicago (Feb. 19, 2024) – Schmidt Associates, a leader in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry with deep roots in the Midwest, and HKS, a global architecture firm known for its innovative designs and global expertise, are thrilled to announce their partnership in the Phase I development of the Kentucky Exposition Center, a landmark project valued at $180M that will enhance and expand Louisville, Ky.’s premiere exhibition space.

This collaborative venture combines Schmidt Associates’ local relationships and intimate knowledge of the Midwest’s built environment with HKS’s global perspective and design innovation, marking a significant investment in Louisville’s infrastructure and its role as a central hub for the agricultural community and major events in the Midwest.

The Phase I project encompasses a comprehensive range of property improvements that could include the addition of a new exhibition hall, expansions and renovations of the North Wing and East Hall, kitchen enhancements, as well as infrastructure and demolition work. This endeavor will further enhance the Kentucky Exposition Center’s capacity, boasting 1.2M SF of indoor space, 56 meeting rooms, and over 430 acres of outdoor space. It plays host to four of the five largest annual events in Louisville, including the Mid-America Trucking Show and the National Farm Machinery Show and Championship Tractor Pull.

“We are excited to bring our expertise and passion for the Louisville community to the Kentucky Exposition Center, Schmidt Associates CEO and Principal Sarah Hempstead, AIA, LEED AP said. “This project is an investment, fostering growth and opportunities, and our partnership with HKS, rooted in mutual respect and mirrored values, represents the perfect synergy between local insight and global expertise, ensuring that the project will not only meet but exceed Owner expectations.”

Echoing similar sentiments, HKS Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer Anthony Montalto, AIA shared the importance of partnership and great chemistry to achieve outstanding results for clients.

“HKS and Schmidt Associates are poised to celebrate and elevate the long legacy of the Kentucky Exposition Center by leaning into the heart of the area, local culture, and experiences that have always impacted visitors ‘beyond expectations’ as has been the motto for decades, Chief Design Officer Anthony Montalto said. “The joint venture will create a new place, founded in legacy and history, by embodying the spirit, architecture, and experiences that are unique to Louisville and Kentucky. We are proud to be a part of the next chapters!”

The Kentucky Exposition Center Phase I project demonstrates to the power of collaboration between firms that share a commitment to excellence in design, servant leadership, and a vision for creating spaces that bring people together, support local economies, and celebrate culture. Through this joint venture, Schmidt Associates and HKS, along with G2 Equine Architects, CMTA, Brown+Kubican, Walter P. Moore, SDI Consulting, HDR, CARMAN, and Robert Pass & Associates, are poised to deliver a state-of-the-art facility that will write the next chapter in the Kentucky Exposition Center’s 70-year history while serving as a cornerstone for Louisville, the agricultural community, and the Midwest.



About Schmidt Associates
Schmidt Associates is a full-service architecture and engineering firm with offices in Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky. Schmidt Associates creates functional, enjoyable, meaningful spaces that meet the complex needs of our communities and improve lives. This work has been woven into the fiber of the Midwest in the sectors of K-12 education, higher education, workplace, community, lifestyle, and healthcare. Services include architecture, engineering, interior design, energy, and more. To learn more, visit and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About HKS
HKS is a global firm of architects, designers, advisors, and makers driven by curiosity and devoted to creating places that combine beauty with performance. The firm’s 1,500 people in 27 offices are united by a shared culture and sense of purpose. They value honesty, diversity and inclusion, and celebrate creative thinking across the firm. In partnership with each other, HKS clients and partners benefit through the crafting of powerful ideas and solutions that create places that stand apart. For more information, visit and follow them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.