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Poettker Construction’s Golf Classic Raises $25,000 For Big Brothers Big Sisters

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Poettker Construction Company (Poettker) along with its business partners donated $25,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois (BBBS) from proceeds raised at the 2017 Poettker Construction Golf Classic “Building For Heroes”, which was held on July 28, 2017 at Governors Run Golf Course in Carlyle, Ill.

Poettker-BBBS Golf Committee 2017

“We sincerely appreciate the support we received from our friends, business partners, sponsors and participants of this event! This annual event gives us a chance to give back to the community which we have been a part of for 37 years”, said Kevin Poettker, BBBS Board Member and Director of Business Development for Poettker Construction Company.

Proceeds from the tournament will be used to support BBBS’s mission to help children realize their potential and build their futures.  Since 1980, BBBS of Southwestern Illinois has provided mentors for more than 500 youth facing adversity in Clinton, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair Counties.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters has a strong presence within the Southwestern Illinois community,” said Natalie Jablonski, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois.  “We are honored to recognize our volunteer mentors and youth they serve through this generous ongoing partnership with Poettker Construction.”

To learn more about BBBS of Southwestern Illinois, visit<>.

Founded in 1980, Poettker Construction Company of Breese is a second generation family-owned business that focuses on building strong relationships while providing construction management, design-build, and general contracting services.

Photo at Top (L to R)
Natalie Jablonski, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois, Kevin Poettker, BBBS Board Member and Director of Business Development for Poettker Construction Company

KAI Selected Architect for Extensive Renovations, Additions to South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, TX

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KAI has been selected as the architect on a $52 million addition and renovation project for South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, TX. With the design phase nearing completion, construction is expected to begin in Fall 2017.

KAI is providing programming/planning, architecture, interior design, community engagement, project management and construction administration on the project, in which 90% of the school will be renovated, with three additions totaling approximately 60,000 square feet. The design theme centers around creating a 21st century learning environment supportive of current and future students.

South Oak Cliff High School received funding through the 2015 Dallas Independent School District bond program. Prior to the design start, KAI participated in a 3-day charette with the community to gather and formulate ideas for the school’s extensive renovation.

“Our community engagement led to a transformative design solution that will prepare students for the 21st Century. The designs include a new, welcoming front entrance with a 2½ story atrium and the creation of new learning environments for career/technical training, a collegiate academy, fine and performing arts, life skills and general education,” said KAI Texas President and COO Darren L. James. “The original school, built in the 1950’s, had undergone previous renovations, but none to the extent of this one. The existing building’s systems were not adequate or in good working order. Our designs call for the replacement of the entire mechanical system, with the exception of a recently installed chiller that will be re-purposed to cool the new athletic addition.”

A new athletic facility is planned that includes a competition basketball, 2,000-seat gym and auxiliary gymnasium that serves as a storm shelter. This new addition will attach to the existing facility by a circulation space that creates a grand, three-story, light-filled concourse nicknamed the Legacy Concourse that celebrates the heritage of the school’s student athletes. The terminus of the Legacy Concourse is the Bear Den, serving as the new student entry celebrating the morning arrival of students and a gathering spot during the day for academic and social activities.

Along Marsalis Street, KAI designed a new entry for the public, creating a new, two-story expression highlighting the new changes and emphasizing the academic excellence exhibited by the students. The two-story addition houses new administration offices, four new science labs, a community meeting space, and new entry connecting to one of the previous hidden jewels, a light-filled landscaped courtyard.

The two underutilized courtyards are being re-purposed for outdoor learning with new landscaping in both. One will have a terraced amphitheater connecting two of the three floors, the other will have seating for lunch and other academic uses.

On two sides of each courtyard inside the existing school, KAI designed new collaboration spaces adjacent to classrooms allowing access to the courtyard at the first floor or an overlook into the courtyards on the second floor.

About KAI Texas

Founded in 1999, KAI Texas is one of the most respected, minority-owned design and build firms in the state with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multidiscipline professionals and expertise in an integrated project delivery process. KAI Texas specializes in architecture, MEP engineering (mechanical/electrical/plumbing) and construction management services. Headquartered in Dallas, KAI Texas has an office in San Antonio. For more information about KAI Texas, visit or call 214.742.0400.

MSD Board Set To Award $150 Million Tunnel Project To Second Lowest Bidder

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Would Cost $2.4 Million More 

By: Steph Kukuljan, Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal

The Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is set to give final approval this evening to the second-lowest bidder on a controversial tunnel project that will cost $150 million. The second-highest bid is $2.4 million more.

The controversy has gone on since last year when the MSD board rejected the lowest bid of $145,300,000 for a large underground tunnel to be constructed from Clayton to Shrewsbury. The sewer district board is instead going to approve a contract with the second-lowest bid of $147,700,000. It gave preliminary approval last month.

The lowest bid for the tunnel project came from a joint venture of Jay Dee Contractors Inc. of Michigan and Frontier-Kemper from California. The second-lowest bid is from SAK Construction of O’Fallon, Missouri.

Jay Dee then filed a lawsuit against MSD, claiming the board acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in denying them the contract. The St. Louis Circuit Court ruled against the firm. It isn’t known if the ruling will be appealed.

A second lawsuit against MSD was filed yesterday by A.L.L. Construction, a minority contractor in the Jay Dee bid, alleging MSD had it removed from the bid in retaliation for the firm’s owner questioning the district’s minority contractor program.

A contract for SAK is on the agenda for final approval at tonight’s MSD board meeting.

Tom Sullivan of University City told the board at its June meeting: “Other than giving the contract to the lowest bidder, your only course of action is to reject all the bids and re-bid the project.”

Sullivan also quoted the MSD Charter to the board in the section titled, “Competitive bidding.” It states: “All bids may be rejected. Except for such right of rejection . . . the purchase or contract must be let to the lowest responsible bidder.”

Outside influence caused the board to reject the lowest bidder and go with the second-lowest bidder, said Sullivan. He has been saying a prime suspect is County Executive Steve Stenger. Sullivan noted that trustee Michael Yates changed his initial vote on the tunnel project, from supporting to opposing the contract with the lowest bidder, which killed it.

Yates was just nominated last week by Stenger to the board of commissioners of the Bi-State Development Agency.

The contract came up for preliminary approval at the December 8, 2016 board meeting and was rejected by a 5-1 vote with no discussion. That was surprising as just a single “no” vote is a rare occasion at sewer district board meetings. Rejecting an agenda item is rarer.

The reason for the 5-1 vote was supposedly a problem with a minority subcontractor, A.L.L. Construction, that SAK claimed was not qualified for the work. The contractor was then replaced – which was highly unusual.

The contract came up again at the February 9 meeting this year for preliminary approval. It was approved by a majority of the board with a 3-2 vote. However, for final passage a proposed ordinance requires two affirmative votes from both St. Louis and St. Louis County trustees.

The absent board member, Rev. Ronald Bobo, is a county trustee. It appeared he could have the deciding vote when the contract came up for final approval as one county trustee voted for the contract, one did not.

In addition to the Rev. Bobo, other county trustees are Michael Yates and James Singer. Trustees Yates and Bobo were appointed by County Executive Steve Stenger; Trustee Yates was appointed by County Executive Charlie Dooley.

City trustees are Ruby Bonner, James Faul and Ruby Bonner. All were appointed by Mayor Francis Slay.

The contract came up for final approval at the April 13 board meeting. It was standing room only in the board room. Representatives of the NAACP, MoKAN, civil rights organizations and minority contractor organizations and their workers pleaded with the board to approve the Jay Dee/ Frontier contract. But it was defeated on a 3-3 vote.

The Reverend Bobo voted in favor but board member Michael Yates switched to a no vote. The two county trustees voting no killed the contract. Two city trustees voted in favor; one voted against.

Michael Yates initially refused to say why he switched his vote. He told the Post-Dispatch: “I have my reasons and that’s all I’m saying.” A city trustee, Ruby Bonner, told the Post she is not prepared to make a public statement.

“One thing for sure – the contract could not have been rejected unless one or both appointing authorities agreed,” said Sullivan. “If both Stenger appointees would have voted for the lowest-bid project, it would have been approved.” 

The Deer Creek Sanitary Tunnel Project is part of the $4.7 billion of projects the sewer district must do to meet clean water regulations.

The public portion of this evening’s MSD board meeting will be at 5:00 p.m. at MSD offices, 2350 Market Street in downtown St. Louis.

Tom Sullivan has followed MSD operations for a number of years. His tracking of payments to a former MSD general counsel led to a 23-count federal indictment for fraud, theft, tax evasion, etc. The counsel was sentenced to nearly four years in prison

American Institute of Architects Provides Feedback on Recently Introduced Energy & Natural Resources Act of 2017, S. 1460

in Associations/News

The following letter from American Institute of Architects CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, was sent yesterday to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell, Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

The letter outlines concerns the AIA has with language in the bill that would repeal targets for the reduction of emissions from federal buildings, as well as language that could negatively impact the codes development process.


Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chair U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 304 Dirksen Senate Building Washington, DC 20510

Senator Maria Cantwell, Ranking Member U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 304 Dirksen Senate Building Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators:

Thank you for your leadership in modernizing our nation’s energy policies. The American Institute of Architects would like to provide feedback on the recently introduced Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, S. 1460. Although we support the goals of greater energy efficiency, we have concerns with language that would repeal targets for the reduction of emissions from federal buildings, as well as language that could negatively impact the codes development process.

Almost 40 percent of all US energy is consumed by buildings that produce carbon through heating, cooling and lighting and through their construction. Architects work to reduce such operational and embodied carbon production with passive design techniques, energy efficiency measures and low-impact building materials that increase human health and productivity. Architects also integrate renewable energy sources into buildings, making them more sustainable, resilient and economical. Greater efficiency, particularly in the building sector, has saved billions of dollars for both consumers and taxpayers.

That is why AIA is deeply opposed to language that would repeal goals for the federal government to increase the performance of its buildings. Section 1114 of S. 1460 would repeal Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. As you know, this provision sets targets for the reduction and eventual elimination of fossil fuel use in new and renovated federal buildings by the year 2030.

This policy is the only requirement enshrined in law that obligates the federal government to address greenhouse gas emissions from the buildings sector. As the largest landlord in the country, it is of the utmost importance that the federal government maintain its leadership in reducing the environmental impact of its buildings. Therefore, we urge you to retain Section 433 in any legislation that addresses our nation’s energy policies.

AIA also has concerns with changes made to the codes language, as compared to the Senate-passed language contained in the Energy Policy Modernization Act during the previous Congress. In particular, we believe that the use of the term “economically justified” to replace “lifecycle cost effective” as the criteria for the Department of Energy’s evaluation of new code proposals will create a lack of clarity. This new terminology would require additional economic modeling that the DOE would not be equipped to conduct, particularly when taking into account the steep cuts proposed to its funding. Furthermore, changing DOE’s code evaluation standards will make it much more difficult to compare previous iterations of the code to future codes analyzed under the new criteria.

In addition, this legislation also fails to address stretch codes, important tools that jurisdictions may adopt to achieve higher levels of energy savings beyond the base code if they choose to do so. Previous legislation explicitly directed DOE to provide support for stretch codes, while this legislation makes no mention of these vital resources. It is critical that the federal government reaffirm its support for stretch codes. We believe that the federal building performance and energy codes provisions in this legislation deserve additional consideration in light of reports that this bill may be fast-tracked for floor consideration, bypassing the committee process. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you to achieve the best possible energy policies for the built environment and our nation.

Sincerely, Robert Ivy, FAIA

EVP/Chief Executive Officer

New Edwardsville Senior Living Community Opens After $1 Million Renovation

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Construction-management firm IMPACT Strategies today announced it has completed work on a $1 million renovation project that transformed the former Relais Bonne Eau Hospice Home in Edwardsville into a new memory care community for Cedarhurst Living. Ruth’s House, a 20,600-square-foot community named in honor of the grandmother of Cedarhurst founder and owner Joshua Jennings, celebrated its grand opening on July 24, 2017.

The project’s scope of work involved a reconfiguration of the building’s footprint to make room for additional residents units.  The building now accommodates up to 24 residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia related illness. Construction crews also removed doors, windows, and walls around the central corridor to create a more open, inviting area for residents and guests. Some of the building’s amenities include an on-site chapel, a large great room for gathering with friends and family, as well as private bathrooms in every apartment.

“IMPACT once again surpassed our expectations by providing outstanding results, on time, and within budget,” said Josh Stevens, president of Cedarhurst. “We appreciate their reliability, their understanding our business model, and their knowledge of what we need to achieve with our projects.”

Information about IMPACT Strategies and its projects is available at


Contegra Construction Co. Completes 1.1 Million SF Logistics Optimization Center in Wentzville, Mo.

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Facility Serves GM Wentzville Assembly Plant

A massive 1.1 million-square-foot logistics center in Wentzville, Mo. is now serving the nearby General Motors Corp. assembly plant. Built by Edwardsville-based Contegra Construction Co., the multi-million dollar facility was built for developer NorthPoint Development.

Located on a 132-acre tract at 201 Wentzville Industrial Drive, the facility serves as a logistics optimization center for the GM plant.  It is designed and constructed to optimize delivery, storage and processing of parts and products for timely transport to the assembly plant.  TVS Supply Chain Solutions operates the facility.

The seven-month project was constructed with a conventional steel frame, metal frame roof, and site-cast tilt-up concrete panel walls.  It features a 32-foot clear height ceiling, 168 dock doors and six drive-in doors.

“Contegra did a great job managing the schedule overcoming a record rainfall that deluged the region as construction was getting underway,” said Larry Lapinksi, vice president, NorthPoint Development.

The project is among 14 logistic facilities in the Metro St. Louis that Contregra is currently building or completed in 2017.  Since 2014, Contegra has performed work on 20 logistics projects in the region, including two fulfillment centers for Amazon and a number of distribution and warehouse facilities.

Based in Edwardsville, Ill., Contegra is one of the St. Louis area’s largest general contractors and serves a national customer base that includes industrial, institutional, municipal, multi-family, office and retail projects.  Its capabilities include building developer- and owner-driven projects and site development.  Learn more at


Fabick Cat Centennial Celebration Surprise Donation

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Fabick Cat Surprises Six St. Louis Based Charitable Organizations with $100,000 Donation Each ($600,000 in total) to Kick-Off Company’s Centennial Celebration

In addition to the surprise donation announcement at headquarters in Fenton, MO, Fabick Cat celebrated with generations of dedicated employees and their families, charitable partners and customers at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri and Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Fabick family is humbled and honored to celebrate with those who have made this monumental anniversary possible.

Video Links Below:

Busch Stadium Video Link:

Lambeau Field Video Link:

Fabick Cat “We Were There” Video Link:

Western Specialty Contractors Takes Extra Care to Protect Vegetation While Re-Roofing Research Facility at Historic Missouri Botanical Garden

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Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Roofing Branch faced a multitude of unique challenges recently when it replaced the roof on the John S. Lehmann Building located in the center of the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.

Founded in 1859 by philanthropist Henry Shaw, the 79-acre Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO features Shaw’s original 1850 estate home, the oldest continually operated greenhouse west of the Mississippi River, the largest Japanese garden in North America, the Climatron geodesic dome conservatory, a children’s garden and pioneer village, and a rose garden, among other features.

Not open to the public, the John S. Lehmann Building, opened in 1972, houses the garden’s executive staff and important research programs, historical herbarium samples and a scientific and archival library. The St. Louis Roofing Branch was contracted to remove two existing asphalt roofs on the building and replace them with a fully-adhered, 80 mil TPO membrane roofing system. There was no room for error in the execution of this project.

Accessing the building through the botanical garden was a major concern. A 15-ton truck crane and half of the roofing material had to be hauled 700 feet via a walking trail to the building. Significant precautions were taken to protect the garden’s plant life along the trail from damage by the equipment and compaction of the soil. Western crews worked with garden officials to evaluate which trees along the route would need to be trimmed in order to make room for the materials.

“The crane and each forklift load of material had to be carefully escorted to make sure our material handling equipment stayed on the walking path and did not bump into any overhead branches,” said former St. Louis Roofing Branch Manager Keegan Tune, who is now Branch Manager of Western’s new Kansas City Roofing Branch. “The elevated level of skill in workmanship and communication exercised by our field crews made this project a success in all aspects.”

Another challenge that Western crew’s faced on the project was maintaining a tight schedule. Phase one of the project had to be completed before any decorative lighting for the garden’s annual “Garden Glow” event could be installed around the building.

“In order to shorten the critical path of the schedule, we had to fast track the submittal process and start immediate procurement of the materials. After the material was in place, it was a matter of providing sufficient labor and overtime until the deadline was met,” said Tune.

To protect the building’s valuable contents during the construction process, Western crews worked with the plumbing and ceiling contractors to install new internal overflow drains and piping to safely convey storm water from the roof to the retaining area. An architectural sheet metal company was also used to match the existing custom metal edging profile of the drainage system.

Western completed the project on time and within budget with zero change orders due to the accuracy of the specifications and drawings.

“At the end of the day, it is very rewarding to have taken part in helping preserve plants and science for the future generations to enjoy,” said Tune.

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

KAI Celebrates Grand Opening of Lacy Clay Center for Children’s Health in St. Louis, MO

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KAI provided architecture, MEP engineering and interior design on the project

KAI recently celebrated the grand opening of the Lacy Clay Center for Children’s Health in St. Louis, MO. KAI provided architecture, MEP engineering and interior design on the $6 million project.

Located at 5647 Delmar Blvd., the new 18,000-square-foot facility provides behavioral health, clinical and counseling support to children ages three to 17. The facility is owned by Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers.

The three-story facility houses administrative offices, examination rooms, therapy spaces, conference rooms, a kitchen, medical records room and an art therapy room, with two outdoor roof terraces on the third level.

KAI designed the family-friendly facility to be bright, open and comfortable. Day lighting was utilized throughout the building’s design to promote the productivity and well-being of the building’s occupants, while large windows were specified in rooms where children would gather, such as the art therapy room.

The building’s exterior was designed for low-maintenance and durability, featuring a combination of fiber cement panels, brick veneer, aluminum storefront and curtain wall glazing systems. The building is supported on spread footings bearing on structural fill, with load bearing masonry wall construction and interior steel columns and steel bar joist.

KAI’s interior design team focused on creating a soothing atmosphere using neutral and cool tones and incorporating soft metals that glimmer when light reflects off the material. Floor to ceiling, curved metal panels are used as an artistic piece on a wall greeting visitors as they enter the main lobby. The same language follows as curves are used in the floor pattern, ceiling clouds and reception desk.

Thoughtful use of color in the flooring, art panels, furniture and casework is seen throughout the second floor. KAI worked with St. Louis artist Cbabi Bayoc to create various artistic images of children playing within tempered glass panels to define each waiting area on the second floor. KAI consulted with health center representatives to select furniture for the first and second floor public areas that utilized materials that could withstand a healthcare environment and worked well with the color scheme.

“The overall goal was to deliver a great project that was within the budget,” said KAI Interior Specialist Asha Perez.  “We listened and paid close attention to the needs of the owner and the community whom we understood would visit this building.”

Dwayne A. Butler, CEO of Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health, expressed his satisfaction with KAI’s work, calling the building, “a game changer in urban behavioral health.”

“My performance expectations of our team have always been so high, that I am rarely shocked by the product of our efforts, but after taking a tour of the interior of our new children’s building, I was almost speechless. The new building is utterly extraordinary. I cannot imagine a more fitting gift to our communities’ most ignored and deserving children and families,” said Butler.

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

Wiegmann Associates completes HVAC work on $17.5 million Cedarhurst of St. Charles Assisted Living Community

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Wiegmann Associates has completed the HVAC system at Cedarhurst of St. Charles, a new $17.5 million assisted living and memory care facility in St. Charles, Missouri. The 100-unit senior living facility is located at University Commons, Lindenwood University’s mixed-use development directly across from its main campus. The facility has 76 assisted living and 24 memory care units.

Wiegmann installed an energy efficient Variable Air Volume (VAV) system for common and corridor areas of the 99,000-square-foot building. They also installed packaged terminal air conditioning units in resident rooms and a Delta Controls building automation system.

Cedarhurst is the first senior living community in the St. Louis region to be strategically located adjacent to a university campus. The owner/developer of Cedarhurst is Dover Development, LLC. The construction manager was Impact Strategies.

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor serving the commercial, industrial and institutional markets, and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects.

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