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Hicor Group Receives 2017 Business of the Year Award from St. Louis Development Corporation

in Companies/News

The Hicor Group, a Carpentry services provider, has received a 2017 Business of the Year Award from the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC).  The award honors the minority certified (MBE) Contractor for its unique achievements and contribution to the City’s growth and development in the past year.  St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson presented the award to Andrew Stafford, President of The Hicor Group, at the annual Mayor’s Business Celebration Luncheon on October 13.

“We are extremely proud that the Mayor and SLDC have recognized us for our commitment to the economic development of the City of St Louis through our participation in projects at the Scott Joplin House, Soldiers Memorial, Nathaniel Rivers Apartments, Locust St. Lofts and in the Cortex Innovation District,” said Stafford.  “We continue to focus on providing superior carpentry and construction services to both public and private construction projects in St Louis and build on the recent success we’ve experienced.”

After completing a $1.1 million renovation earlier this year, The Hicor Group moved its headquarters into the former Bronson Residence. The 132-year-old Late Victorian home listed on the National Historic Register at 3201 Washington Avenue, was recognized by The Landmarks Association of St Louis as one of its Most Enhanced Buildings for 2017.

The Hicor Group is experiencing a 30 percent growth in business in 2017 over 2016, and is projecting an additional 50 percent growth in 2018.  The company currently has over 30 employees and anticipates reaching 75-100 employees by the end of next year.

Founded in 2014, the company is a MBE and an SBA-certified Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB).  Stafford is a 15-year veteran of the regional construction industry. For more information on The Hicor Group, visit

Photo Above: Lyda Krewson, Andrew Stafford and Otis Williams

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in Homepage Primary/People
The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

New Hires at Murphy Company

Ben Moore

Ben Moore has joined Murphy Company as an engineer, focusing on projects in the commercial group. The announcement was made by Mike Werdes, manager of engineering. Moore holds both a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science, both in physics, from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, graduating cum laude.   His undergraduate studies concentrated on engineering while his graduate studies focused on applied physics, advanced mechanics and statistics coupled with programming applications.

Moore has work experience as a tenant finish specialist, estimating HVAC and fire protection systems, project management, sales and engineering.  During his undergraduate years, he worked summers and part-time during the school year on acoustical panel installation. He also has CAD experience.

He was an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, a senior patrol leader, and Vigil Honor Member and Chapter Chief for the Order of the Arrow.

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets.  Murphy offers process piping, HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, design-build, piping fabrication, energy solutions and 24-hour service emanating from its five locations in St. Louis, Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Northern Colorado.  Murphy is ranked No. 17 on Engineering News-Record’s list of largest mechanical contractors in the United States. Founded in 1907, the firm employs more than 1,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit

Kevin Arehart

Kevin Arehart has joined Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm, as an IT support analyst.  The announcement was made by Tushar Shelar, chief information officer.

Arehart recently completed his computer studies with Launchcode. Prior to that he was a personal trainer and manager/instructor for Wellbridge Athletic Club.

Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. 

Mary Rotter Joins G&S Architectural Products as St. Louis Area Sale Representative

Mary Rotter

St. Louis-based G&S Architectural Products has hired Mary Rotter as a sales representative for the St. Louis area. As the new go-to resource for acoustical and specialty products, Rotter will be building professional and customer relationships, estimating and providing project solutions.

Rotter joins G&S Architectural Products after 10 years as Commercial Sales Director for E.J. Welch Company, Inc., a flooring distributor. Rotter has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri, where she majored in psychology and minored in environmental design.

G&S Architectural Products is a leading provider and installer of architectural products such as acoustical products, visual display boards and operable wall systems that are primarily used for commercial, education and healthcare industries.

New Hires at HOK

Madeline Johnson

Madeline Johnson, has joined HOK in St. Louis. She will support the HOK team as an intern in the Interiors Group. Johnson joins HOK as a sophomore at Maryville University pursuing her degree in Interior Design.

Kody Zedolek

Kody Zedolek, has joined HOK in St. Louis. He will support the HOK team as an architecture intern. Zedolek joins HOK as a junior at Ranken Technical College pursuing a degree in Architectural Technology.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. 

Local Construction Company Adds Business Development Coordinator and Project Engineer 

IMPACT Strategies, a Fairview Heights-based construction management firm, today announced the recent hiring of Stephanie Sullivan as business development coordinator and Travis Schwartz as project engineer.

In the newly formed business development coordinator position, Sullivan is responsible for all marketing coordination and oversight, as well as providing administrative support to company management. She previously worked for a local creative company as a managing director in charge of client relationships and assisting customers with developing new brand identities and strategies. Sullivan is a resident of Highland, Illinois.

Schwartz, a resident of Prairie du Rocher, graduated from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville in 2016 with a bachelor of science in construction management degree. His past industry experience includes work as an intern and project engineer.

Mark Hinrichs, president of IMPACT Strategies, said, “Stephanie and Travis have taken on fundamental positions within the company that will enable us to better meet the needs of our existing clients while also positioning us for future growth. Their talent, skill and experience will undoubtedly benefit our company.”

KAI Design & Build Hires Three New Employees

Tom Graff

Tom Graff of Edwardsville, IL as Construction Inspector. Graff comes to KAI with 19 years of industry experience. He has a Bachelor of Science in GIS/Environmental Planning from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

George Robin

George Robin, PE, of O’Fallon, MO as Senior Electrical Engineer. Robin comes to KAI with 41 years of industry experience, with expertise in the hospital/medical center industries. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and is registered with the State of Missouri as a Professional Engineer. He is also an active member of the Public Works Advisory Committee for the City of O’Fallon, MO.

Scott Schmidt

Scott Schmidt of St. Charles, MO as Electrical Designer/Revit Specialist. Schmidt comes to KAI with 15 years of industry experience. He has an Associate’s Degree from ITT Tech.

KAI Design & Build is a national 100+ person design and build firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. KAI provides design and build integrated project delivery solutions through client collaboration, the latest technology, proprietary processes and individual expertise. 

October 13, 2017

S. M. Wilson Promotes Lisa Green to Assistant Controller
Lisa Green

S. M. Wilson & Co. has promoted Lisa Green to Assistant Controller. She will be responsible for company payroll, daily bank reconciliations, tax filings and implementing new company software for accounting and human resources purposes. Green joined S. M. Wilson in 2007 as Payroll Manager.

“Every time we need someone to step up and fill a role or learn something new, Lisa is right there ready to help however she can, ready for any challenge,” said Mike Mangiore, Controller at S. M. Wilson.

Green holds an Associates Degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Rock Valley College and has 26 years of experience processing payroll, 15 years of that acting as Payroll Manager.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. 

Spellman Brady Hires Samantha Golden 

Samantha Golden

Spellman Brady and Company is pleased to announce that Samantha Golden has joined the firm as a Designer.  In this role, she will utilize her talents in developing comprehensive interior design solutions for the senior living market sector.

Ms. Golden is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design and minor in Architectural Design.  She brings five years of interior design experience from the hospitality industry, which is valuable in the changing environments she designs.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments

Midas Hospitality Hires New Regional Operations Leader

Deb Benhoff

Deb Benhoff brings more than 25 years of hospitality experience to the position 

Midas Hospitality, a premier hotel management group, recently hired Deb Benhoff as Regional Operations Leader.

In this position, Benhoff will oversee multiple hotels and ensure each one is in accordance with the parent company’s vision.  She will be responsible for providing a hands-on leadership approach with respect to top-line revenue, guest service, profitability, and associate satisfaction.  Benhoff will be involved with each hotel’s operations, which includes ensuring brand compliance and setting department goals to achieve first-rate service.

Benhoff has more than 25 years of hospitality experience.  Prior to joining Midas Hospitality, she worked as a regional manager at a multi-property management company located in Wisconsin.  She also has worked as a general manager, as well as a rooms division director, for various national hotel and management organizations.

“Deb’s extensive experience makes her a tremendous asset for our growing company,” said Rob Willard, President and Principal.  “She will play an integral role on our managerial team, and we look forward to her input and her supervision pertaining to our properties.”

Founded in 2006, Midas Hospitality has developed, opened and currently manages numerous properties including 40 hotels in 14 states.

Tony Correnti Earns FMP Designation

Tony Correnti

Tony Correnti, a facilities specialist with Spire (formerly The Laclede Group), has attained credentials as a Facility Management Professional (FMP).

Correnti took an extensive course and passed assessments in four focus areas to achieve the FMP designation. Professionals who earn the designation demonstrate a proven comprehension of the foundations of facility management and knowledge in the core facility management topics deemed critical by employers.

Correnti is entering his 10th year in facilities management. He worked for Patriot Coal before joining St. Louis-based Spire in May 2015. As a member of Spire’s facilities team, Correnti creates and maintains functional and sustainable spaces for the utility.

He joined IFMA (International Facility Management Association) St. Louis in January 2017.

IFMA St. Louis offers its members a learning and networking environment among its diverse membership, and supplies its members with the tools to achieve their professional goals. Started in 1985, IFMA St. Louis has more than 250 members representing small and Fortune 500 companies throughout the region.

Leah Behlmann Promoted To Director Of Membership Services At Site Improvement Association

Leah Behlmann

The SITE Improvement Association has promoted Leah Behlmann to Director of Membership Services. In her new role she is responsible for managing all member recruitment activities, meetings, communications, conferences and social events, as well as SITE’s social media channels, website and the weekly EZ Bid program of new project listings for members.  Leah has been with SITE for the past five years, starting as an Administrative Assistant and most recently as Coordinator of Member Activities.  She holds Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Southeast Missouri State University.

“Leah has been an integral part of SITE’s continued growth over the past five years, and we are pleased to make her part of our leadership team,” said Terry Briggs, Executive Director of SITE Improvement Association. 

SITE is an independent construction contractor group representing more than 180 contractors and businesses primarily in the concrete, earthmoving, landscaping, asphalt paving, highway/bridge, sewer/utility and specialty construction segments.

October 6, 2017

Chris Laughman, Attains Credentials as Facility Management Professional

Chris Laughman

Chris Laughman, past president of the St. Louis Chapter of IFMA (International Facility Management Association), has attained credentials as a Facility Management Professional (FMP).

Laughman took an extensive course and passed assessments in four focus areas to achieve the FMP designation. Professionals who earn the designation demonstrate a proven comprehension of the foundations of facility management and knowledge in the core facility management topics deemed critical by employers.

This designation adds to Laughman’s considerable experience and expertise in facility management and operations, including sustainability practices. He also holds several other designations: CFM (Certified Facility Manager), SFP (Sustainability Facility Professional) and LEED AP O+M (LEED AP Operations + Maintenance).

Laughman has more than a decade of experience in facility management. He most recently served as assistant vice president and director of facilities for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He led all real estate functions for the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve Bank with locations in St. Louis, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis and Washington, D.C. He has been a member of IFMA St. Louis since 2010. He served as the chapter’s president from July 1, 2015 to June 3

IFMA St. Louis offers its members a learning and networking environment among its diverse membership, and supplies its members with the tools to achieve their professional goals.

Danze & Gerber Welcome Mike Walleck as Director of Sales

Mike Walleck

Danze and Gerber, both leaders in the decorative plumbing fixtures category, have announced the addition of Mike Walleck as their director of sales for the Western Region.

Mike brings more than 20 years of experience to the Danze and Gerber teams.  He was most recently sales director at Ward Manufacturing, where he honed his management skills overseeing a sales team that included manufacturer representatives in more than 10 states.

Prior to joining Ward, Mike spent time at well-known plumbing, HVAC and building products companies, including TOTO USA, American Standard and Mohawk Industries, among others.

In his role with Danze and Gerber, Mike will manage and implement the companies’ sales strategies in the Western Region in conjunction with a team of regional managers and manufacturer representative agencies. He will work across several vertical customer channels, including residential builders, plumbers, hospitality, multi-family and more.

Cyndi Walker Retiring from G&S Architectural Products After 32 Years

Cyndi Walker

G&S Architectural Products, a St. Louis-based specialty contractor providing and installing architectural products including  acoustical panels, visual display boards and operable wall systems for commercial, education and healthcare industries, is saying farewell to colleague and good friend Cyndi Walker after 32 years of employment.

Walker began her career on August 29, 1985 at G&S Architectural Products, then known as Golterman & Sabo, as an Estimator. After just five days on the job, Walker was promoted to Senior Estimator. Within two years, she became a Sales Representative.

Walker and Herb Golterman worked together under the leadership of the company’s namesakes Edward Golterman and Steve Sabo, Sr. Herb Golterman would meet with local architects to get copies of plan drawings that he would then bring back to the office where he and Walker would look through them to do product take-offs. For years, Walker and Golterman worked side-by-side together for every sale.

“After joining our Sales team, Cyndi suggested that our company should work closely with both architects and general contractors — changing the company’s focus from only being architects,” says Herb Golterman, President of G&S Architectural Products. “Her idea is a large part of why our company has grown and been so successful.”

Since she started in1985, company sales have grown from less than $1 million annually to where they are today at more than $23 million. Walker is well-known among her peers, customers and local area architects and will be greatly missed in her retirement. Walker’s last day is October 27th.

G&S Architectural Products, a premier provider and installer of specialty building products, began operations in 1946 under the name of Herbert Golterman Company.

Ross & Baruzzini Names Former Amtrak Executive Megan Huff

Megan Huff

Ross & Baruzzini, Inc., an international consulting and design firm, has appointed Megan Huff vice president and managing principal of its Macro division, one of the leading rail, transit and public safety radio systems engineering consulting firms in the U.S. Huff will oversee the development of high-end consultancy, planning and engineering services in rail, transit and other mission-critical industries.

With 20 years of experience in the transportation sector, Huff has compiled a record of success in the end-to-end delivery of complex, high priority projects on tight schedules within mission critical service organizations. She specializes in enabling business process change through technology and brings a consistent history of delivering value to the bottom line through process improvements and technology modernization.  Most recently, Huff was deputy chief and senior director of operations technology for Amtrak where she led and directed technology related to strategic planning, project development and implementation for business lines and support organizations in operations, representing 80% of Amtrak’s 20,000 employees.

Huff earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and is a certified portfolio management professional through the Project Management Institute.

Macro, a division of Ross & Baruzzini, was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Chalfont, Pa.  The firm was acquired by Ross & Baruzzini in 2013 and specializes in the planning, design and engineering of state-of-the-art command and control, communications and information systems. Macro has approximately 20 people on staff.

Founded in St. Louis in 1953, Ross & Baruzzini ( is a premier international consulting and design firm continually ranked among the top companies in the U.S. It provides advanced design solutions in the transportation, healthcare, government, higher education and mission-critical markets.

SIBA Scholarships to be Awarded

in Associations/News

WHO: The Education Committee, Scholarship Committee, Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Southern Illinois Builders Association.

WHAT: Individuals who have a career goal in the Construction Management / Construction Related Engineering / Architectural fields and are planning to enroll as a full-time student and maintain full-time student status (12 hour minimum). Applicants were required to show evidence that they were related to an individual employed full-time by an SIBA Member firm for a minimum of 2 years.

WHEN: Deadline to submit application and related materials is November 10, 2017

WHERE: Southern Illinois Builders Association Office, 1468 Green Mount Road, O’Fallon, Illinois

Contact Donna Richter or Kristin McCaw at SIBA to receive requirements and guidelines to apply for this scholarship (618) 624-9055.

Payne Family Homes Launches New Commercial Real Estate Division with $400 Million 260-Acre Mixed Use Project in O’Fallon

in Companies/News

Development to include 25 acres of neighborhood retail, over 80 acres of mixed use

Payne Family Homes, an award-winning residential construction company, is launching a new commercial real estate division with a 260-acre mixed-use project in O’Fallon, Missouri.

Tentatively called The Streets of Caledonia, this $400 million commercial development will encompass 260 acres in O’Fallon at Highway 64/40 and Route DD, next to the future 55-acre O’Day Park to open next year.  With nearly 4,000 feet of highway frontage, the project will have approximately 25 acres of neighborhood retail and approximately 80 acres of mixed-use office space such as office, medical, hospitality, and senior housing.

“Retailers and commercial tenants are looking for populated areas with an existing pool of customers,” said Ken Kruse, President. “Payne has built beautiful neighborhoods for ten years now, full of people who want convenient access to work, grocery, shopping, and other amenities.  Bringing commercial into our portfolio makes sense as commercial and homes go hand-in-hand.”

Plans for The Streets of Caledonia include an anchor grocery store with surrounding neighborhood retail, gas convenience store, a pharmacy, an urgent care center, an independent living facility, high-end multi-family housing, and more.  Payne is working with the City of O’Fallon to increase road access and improve traffic flow in the area, in anticipation of greater traffic volumes.  The current interchange at Winghaven Boulevard and I-64/40 is similar in size to the existing Boone Crossing interchange in Chesterfield Valley, which is able to smoothly move considerable traffic volume.

About 400 homes from every Payne portfolio price point will surround the shopping on the west and south side of the project, as site challenges will only allow residential on those sides.

“We are extremely optimistic about the potential for this development in the heart of our high-tech district,” said O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy.  “With the proximity to businesses like MasterCard and Citi as well as the tremendous access to the I-64 corridor, we’ve long believed that this property could host a transformational development on O’Fallon’s south side.  Knowing the strength of the partners we have on board, our City is confident that this mixed-use development will be of the highest quality and provide a new anchor for the entire region.”

Payne plans to break ground in 2018.  This project should take at least five years to develop and should exceed $400 million in value.

O’Fallon is set to begin construction on O’Day Park next month, with plans calling for an activity and conference center, a camping area, trails, an amphitheater, and an adventure playground area.  The Streets of Caledonia will also be adjacent to the under-construction Caledonia Soccer Park, Regal O’Fallon Stadium 14 movie theater, and the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area.

25 acres of retail space is listed with commercial real estate broker NAI DESCO and 60 acres of mixed use space along the highway is listed with Gershman Commercial.

About Payne Family Homes

Established as one of the Payne Family of companies in 2007, Payne Family Homes has quickly risen to be the St. Louis metro region’s fastest-growing homebuilder and recently was named one of the area’s fastest-growing companies by the St. Louis Business Journal.  With communities in some of the most desirable areas of St. Louis, St. Charles, and Jefferson counties, Payne Family Homes builds memorable estate homes, villas, and single-family homes in nearly every price range.  For more information, visit or call (314) 477-1218.

Western Specialty Contractors Completes Restoration/Waterproofing of Museum Roof Beneath St. Louis’ Historic Gateway Arch

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News

Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Branch recently completed a project to restore and waterproof the roof of the Museum of Westward Expansion located beneath the iconic Gateway Arch on the St. Louis Riverfront. The work is part of a multi-phase project, spearheaded by non-profit organization CityArchRiver Foundation, to expand and renovate the underground museum, plus renovate the grounds surrounding the Arch.

Work on the 100,000-square-foot existing museum roof started by removing 16-18 inches of sod and sandy soil, 10-28 inches of Elastizell engineered fill and the existing waterproof membrane down to the structure deck using a bulldozer and air scrapers.

Once the roof was exposed, Western crews went to work identifying and repairing leaks in the existing museum lid that had been present for many years, as the existing waterproofing had exceeded its lifespan. Several methods were used to evaluate the condition of the concrete roof, which included a chain-drag sounding survey for the structural concrete deck, along with visually identifying delamination and cracks.

Western crews then installed a 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board. An electronic leak detection system followed by a permanent leak detection grid system were installed over the protection board. Crews then installed a layer of 1-1/2 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene with an additional layer of WR Meadows PC2 protection board and a J-Drain 780 drainage mat.

The next phase of the project involved waterproofing the 42,000 SF horizontal lid and 37,000 SF vertical walls of the museum addition. Western’s scope of work included installing 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board, and installing an electronic leak detection system, along with two layers of 1-1/2 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene. A layer of 1.5″ 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene was installed on the vertical walls and a J-Drain 780 drainage mat on both the horizontal and vertical walls.

Additional waterproofing of the north and south museum entrances (approx. 13,800 SF), which included approximately 5,000 SF of deck around each Arch leg, was also completed.

The museum was largely operational during construction and a lot of the time Western crews were working over occupied space. Western sequenced the removal of existing roofing material so that they could remove, clean and install new roofing material daily to keep the museum dry during construction.

Testing was a daily requirement during the waterproofing installation. Western was required to complete a pull test every 500 SF and take moisture readings every 100 SF. Daily observation reports had to be completed during the waterproofing application, with all testing results and location tests documented along with weather conditions. Additionally, Western crews took 50 photos daily to document the testing and work area.

Construction on the Arch grounds began in August 2013, while renovations to the museum and visitor center began in April 2015. The improved underground Museum of Westward Expansion is expected to be finished by summer 2018.

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

21st Annual McCarthy Charity Softball Tournament Raises $6,500 for St. Louis Organizations

in Companies/News

Nineteen area architecture and engineering firms compete in charity tournament. 


A co-ed softball and grilling tournament hosted by McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has raised $6,500 for three local charities. Nineteen local architecture and engineering firms competed in the 21st annual tournament, which took place August 19 at the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex in O’Fallon, Mo. Since its inception in 1996, the tournament has raised more than $100,000 to benefit St. Louis area community organizations.


Tournament champion Ross & Baruzzini is donating its $3,500 prize to Circus Flora, a nonprofit theater company specializing in one-ring circus production. Runner-up champion KPFF Consulting Engineers is donating its $1,500 prize to Be the Match Registry, which manages the world’s largest and most diverse marrow registry.


Six teams also showcased their grilling skills in the McGrill Master grilling competition. Winning team TJ Wies Contracting is donating its $1,500 prize to Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, which bridges the gap between traditional hospital treatment and home for children with complex medical conditions.


“Each year, McCarthy looks forward to hosting this charity event, which brings together colleagues at many local architecture and engineering firms in a fun way that benefits some worthy community organizations,” said Ray Elking, McCarthy preconstruction director and tournament coordinator. “McCarthy is committed to helping grow and strengthen our St. Louis community, and it is wonderful to be able to join together with our industry friends to make a difference.”


Headquartered in St. Louis, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. 

Transforming Senior Living in a Small Town

in News

“In  every  town there’s a  group  of  people  who  want  to  see  the  town made better,”  says Blair Minton. He’s  referencing  his  fellow  board  members  of  the nonprofit  Fox  Meadows  NFP.  A  small  group  from a small  town,  the  six  of them  are passionate about their community, and they’re dedicating themselves to improving it.

Thanks  to  the  board’s  efforts,  Holland  Construction Services recently broke ground on the  Fox  Meadows  Senior  Independent  Living acility.  The  30‐unit  complex  aims  to  provide  high‐quality,  affordable  independent  living  residences  to  lower‐income elderly people in the area. Up until this point, they’ve had few options beyond low rent trailers, many of which are in disrepair.

Holland  will  build  the  new  development  on  the  site  of  the  former  McLeansboro  High  School,  which  was  abandoned  when a new  school was completed about a decade  ago. It’s  a  site  that  the  members  of  the  Fox Meadows NFP board are quite familiar with. All six of them graduated from that high school, and none approved of the dilapidated condition it was in after years of disuse. “It’s a half a block off the county square. Anybody driving  in  and  out  of  McLeansboro  could  see  the  building  and  see  how  deteriorated  it  was.  What  a  horrible  eyesore it was.”

As Blair will tell you, the NFP is “a labor of love for every member of the board,” all of whom have deep roots in McLeansboro.  Dr. Don Mitchell has been a physician in the town long enough to have treated Blair when he was a child – and Blair is now 66.  Dick Dietz has been the city’s mayor for 24 years. Brad Cross owns a local electrical company. All six have been a part  of the McLeansboro community  for  decades.  Many  of  them  are  seniors  themselves, so focusing their efforts on improving the lives of other seniors in the area feels especially relevant to them.

The  original inspiration for their nonprofit came  from Blair Minton,  a  registered  nurse  who  in  1998  started  developing and operating senior living facilities.  Blair’s father, Bernard Minton, practiced law in McLeansboro for 51 years until his retirement at age 88. His dying wish was for Blair to do something to help the people of the town that Bernard loved so much.

Out of that wish, the Fox Meadows NFP was born

In 2006, the board selected Holland as their construction partner and began their first project with funding they secured primarily from the St. Louis Equity Fund. That project, Heritage Woods of McLeansboro, is a beautiful 42‐unit  senior  living  facility  that  has  brought  an  affordable  assisted  living  alternative  to  the  McLeansboro  community.

“This is a labor of love for everyone on the board.”

Fox Meadows NFP took money generated from Heritage Woods, along with tax credits provided by the Illinois Housing  Development  Authority,  $5.6  million  in  private  equity  from  Peoples  National Bank, and a generous  grant  from  Ameren,  and  recycled  it  back  into  the  community  by  building  the  new  Fox  Meadows  Senior Independent Living Community.

For  this project Fox  Meadows NFP has again partnered with  Holland,  Worn  Jerabeck  Wiltse  Architects,  and  Shawnee  Professional  Services  for  the  design  and  construction  of  the  facility.   “It’s something special to  be involved in a project like this that means so much to the people involved, and to work with an owner that is this passionate about what they are doing to give back to their community,” said Jeremy Maddox, Vice President at Holland.

As Dr. Mitchell  points out,  many of  the  seniors  in the area  are  widowers,  and  the  complex  will  provide  its  residents  with  more  natural  opportunities  to  socialize  than  they  may  currently  be  experiencing.  And  with  its central location walking distance to many of McLeansboro’s restaurants and shops, it will give its residents easy access to food and entertainment, in addition to providing economic benefits to those local businesses.

In essence, these six individuals have set out to replace an unused eyesore in their community with something that will provide homes for the less fortunate and help the neighborhood as a whole thrive. And even as the ground  breaks  on  the  complex,  Fox  Meadows  NFP  is  setting  their  sights  on  their  next  potential  project  and  holding true to their goal of making lives better for the elderly of their town, and by extension everyone else who lives there.

It’s no secret that recent decades have seen many hardships befall small‐town America. Shrinking industry and expanding drug epidemics dominate the news. But in every little city, in every rural county, groups like the Fox Meadows NFP exist. They fight to maintain the honest joys of living there, and work to provide hope for their communities’ futures.

Holland Construction Services is a fullservice construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm based in Swansea, Illinois.

KWK Architects Designs First Residential Colleges at the University of Oklahoma

in Companies/News

Upperclassmen residential communities combine living and learning amenities

Utilizing the “residential college” community model, higher education design experts KWK Architects, partnered with architect of record ADG Architects of Oklahoma City, recently completed the first residential colleges in Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. A dedication ceremony for the new Headington and Dunham residential colleges was held on Oct. 11.

“The residential colleges will have a huge impact on student life at the University of Oklahoma,” said University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren in a press release. “For the first time, we will be able to provide on-campus housing for upperclassmen and women.”

The new $75 million residential colleges are designed as living/learning spaces that provide students with a sense of community and identity within the larger university environment.

“The residential colleges combine three different aspects of student life: the living space, the learning space, and the fellowship relationship. The goal of this model is to engage students within the residential colleges beyond their freshman and sophomore years, creating relationships and a lasting sense of identity,” said KWK Architects Principal Paul Wuennenberg, AIA, LEED AP. 

The facilities, located south of the football stadium at the southwest corner of Jenkins Avenue and Lindsey Street, opened this semester with 600 upperclassmen (300 students in each building). Oklahoma’s residential colleges are some of the first in the United States.

Taking cues from residential colleges on Ivy League campuses such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge, each building features a faculty master apartment and office, dormitories, private parking, seminar/conference rooms, lounges, study areas, libraries and dining rooms. The two residential colleges are also connected by a communal dining area and storm shelter, and each boasts a house motto, colors, crest and athletic teams. The architectural design of each college was influenced by the Cherokee Gothic style featured on several buildings throughout the campus.

“The design of a residential college is complex. It must embody the spirit and community of each college. It also includes dining and other elements that are usually part of the campus, but in this case, are an integral part of the college, such as the library, a gym, etc. In many ways, the residential college becomes a microcosm of the campus. Finally, the residential floors must offer a wide variety of room types that are enticing for freshman as well as upperclassmen to increase retention and engagement with the residential college,” said Wuennenberg.

The project team, which included KWK Architects, ADG Architects and Brailsford & Dunlavey program management, began the project by first creating a master plan for expanding student campus housing at the university. The team reviewed existing housing facilities, as well as available campus sites and near-campus housing before surveying students to determine optimal rental prices, unit sizes, room configurations and desired amenities for the new residential colleges.

About KWK Architects

Founded in 2013 by five architects with a combined 120 years of higher education knowledge and experience, KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. Areas of expertise include student housing and dining, and academic and science/technology spaces. KWK Architects has completed more than $1 billion in construction-valued projects since its founding and currently employs a growing staff of 15 at its headquarters in Webster Groves, MO. For more information about KWK Architects, visit or contact Director of Marketing Cindy Hausler at or 314-583-1757.

Let’s Roll! Annual “Heat’s On” Program Scheduled for Oct. 21st

in Associations/News

Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 and MCA-EMO Partner to Assist Community Members and Local 562 Retirees with Furnace Inspections

More than 300 work vans will roll out of the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 headquarters in Spanish Lake, MO at 8 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 21, deploying out to the homes of St. Louis community members and Local 562 retirees. The annual HEAT’S ON program is a partnership of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri (MCA-EMO) and Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 to provide pre-winter inspections on furnaces.

According to Larry Baker, service business agent for Local No. 562, the free services provided that day are valued at more than $200,000.  MCA contractors donate the trucks and materials needed, while the pipefitters and plumbers donate their time and expertise.

“We see this program as an opportunity to give back to the St. Louis community,” said George D. Corey, president of MCA-EMO. “It’s important for all homeowners to ensure that their systems are in good working order before we get into cold weather.  And it’s a great Fall tradition for both our contractors and Local No. 562.”

The groups work with local social service agencies to identify residents throughout the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County in need of services. The work vans carry filters and minor spare parts to support the workers’ inspection and minor repairs to the homes’ furnaces, water heaters and smoke detectors.

“Since its inception in 1987 we estimate that our service to the community has exceeded six million dollars,” added Baker. “Many of our older members, especially, enjoy passing down the tradition to the younger workers coming up through the ranks.  And it’s just a fun day for our members.”


MCA-EMO offers programs crucial to the ongoing success of contractors and vendors operating within the construction industry in Eastern Missouri. For over 70 years, the MCA has sponsored cost-effective educational opportunities taught by qualified and experienced professionals in the MCA Training Center. MCA-EMO also offers industry events, networking opportunities, and sponsors a student chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  For the past 29 years, the MCA-EMO has co-sponsored the annual “HEAT’S ON” community outreach program with the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union No. 562, providing heating system inspections to thousands of homeowners in the City of St. Louis, and St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. Visit:


The membership of Local #562 is composed primarily of plumbers and pipefitters.  However, they also represent other bargaining groups such as coil cleaners, petroleum maintenance workers, lawn irrigation specialists, drain cleaners and building maintenance workers.  Each and every member of Local #562 is provided superior training and endeavors to work to the highest standard of craftsmanship. You also will find a complete list of mechanical contractors and plumbing contractors that employ Local #562 members, as well as individual lists segregating the contractors into job specific categories:

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Hosts Student Engineering Competition in Honor of Gateway Arch’s 52nd Anniversary

in Associations/Homepage Primary/News

Local students tasked with updating vital components of the Gateway Arch’s tram system

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is celebrating the 52nd anniversary of the completion of the Gateway Arch with an inaugural engineering contest for college students.

JNEM invited three local college engineering schools-Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Southwestern Illinois College-to participate in the competition. Students have been asked to solve a real-world engineering problem: how to modernize the trams’ electrical and mechanical systems.

“The Arch’s tram system is one of the most unique methods of transportation in the world,” says Frank Mares, Deputy Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “No other elevator system is like it, and there is no precedent when it comes to improving it. We hope this competition inspires our local college students to think outside the box, and use their engineering knowledge and their imagination to find a workable solution. We are eager to see their approach as they demonstrate their multifaceted ways of thinking and showcase their problem-solving skills.”

Students recently took a behind-the-scenes tour of the popular Journey to the Top tram ride to research the inner workings of the current system. The Park Service also provided students with photos and drawings of the project. Each school’s team will submit their proposal by October 20. JNEM’s tram mechanics staff will review the proposals and determine the winner.

Students will present their proposals at a special banquet on the Arch’s 52nd anniversary of its completion, Saturday, October 28. The winner will be announced and presented the Dick Bowser Trophy, named after the designer of the Arch’s tram system and made from recycled tram parts. The Gateway Arch’s builders will also be in attendance and recognized at the banquet, in celebration of the 52nd anniversary of the Arch’s completion.

If the winning design indeed works, the Arch tram mechanical staff intend to implement it.

WHAT: Gateway Arch Engineering Competition Awards Banquet
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 28; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Award will be given out closer to end of the event.)
WHERE: Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch; 2 South Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Student competitors, faculty coaches, Gateway Arch builders
MEDIA NOTE: The banquet is a private event and not open to the public. Media are invited to attend. Please contact Park Ranger Tony Gilpin at 618-792-6145 to alert him of your attendance.

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