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Design firm Stantec Inc. is committed to increasing its U.S. business, proven by its latest acquisition of Midwest-based Bonestroo Inc.

The deal adds 275 new employees to Stantec's quickly growing roster. In the past 14 months, the firm has added 1,600 new staff, a good chunk of which have come from the United States.

Much of the increase can be attributed to two acquisitions last year. Stantec not only bought Butler, Pa.-based Burt Hill, a 600-person architecture and engineering firm, but also Anshen + Allen, a 200-person health care architecture shop based on the west coast.

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The U.S. roots of both firms aren't a coincidence. Stantec is already the largest design firm in Canada, and to grow it needs to look beyond its home borders. That strategy was kicked into high gear in 2010.

But it doesn't mean that Stantec has given up on its roots. In 2011 the firm has also acquired Caltech Group in Calgary and QuadraTec Inc. in St. John's, but both deals were smaller than Bonestroo.

Before the Bonestroo deal, Stantec had 475 U.S. staff throughout 16 offices in the Midwest.

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