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Electrical Connection Launches Boat Dock Safety Campaign

in Associations/News

In advance of the summer boating season, the Electrical Connection is offering tips to boat dock owners to ensure their docks are electrically safe.    Recently, the mother of two children electrocuted while swimming around a boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks said more needs to be done to avoid fatal electrical shock from unsafe boat docks.   The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“Missouri lawmakers are currently considering boat dock safety legislation in SB 297 introduced by State Senator Jake Hummel,” said Tim Green, director of governmental affairs for IBEW/NECA.  “Members of the state assembly are rightly concerned about recent tragedies on Missouri lakes where people, including children, were electrocuted swimming near docks with electrical hazards.”

“We fully support Senator Hummel’s bill,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection.  “But now is the time that boat dock owners need to make sure their docks – and neighboring docks – don’t have electrical issues that would endanger anyone on the dock or swimming around the dock.”

The Electrical Connection, which is the single largest source of licensed electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the State of Missouri, recommends boat dock owners consider the following:

  • A Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) should be on all dock receptacles.  A GFCI measures the current in a circuit. An imbalance of that current, such as a discharge into the water, will trip the GFCI cutting off power.
  • The GFCI should be tested at least once a month or per the manufacturer’s specifications.  The GFCI should be located somewhere along the ramp to the dock so it can be easily found and tested by local fire departments as needed.
  • The metal frame of docks should have “bonding jumpers” on them to connect all metal parts to a ground rod on the shore.  That will ensure any part of the metal dock that becomes energized because of electrical malfunction will trip the GFCI or the circuit breaker.
  • Make sure the switch to disconnect power is at the dock entrance and easily found for first responders.  You don’t want to attempt any kind of rescue from a charged dock.
  • Never use an extension cord on a dock.
  • Neighboring docks can also present a shock hazard.  Ensure your neighbor’s dockside electrical system complies with the National Electrical Code and has been inspected.
  • All electrical installations should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Because docks are exposed to the elements, their electrical systems should be inspected at least once a year.

More boat dock safety tips can be found at


Stakeholder Advisory Committee Begins Planning Work On Future Development Of Maryland Park Lake District

in Associations/News

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee formed in January to work with the City of Maryland Heights on the preparation of a development plan for the Maryland Park Lake District held its first public meeting on April 6 and began its planning work.  Twenty-one representatives from economic and infrastructure partners got an overview of the City’s vision for the 2,000+ acre area and discussed a wide range of transportation, wastewater and economic development planning issues.  Agencies participating in the meeting included:

  • Louis Economic Development Partnership;
  • Louis County Planning Commission;
  • Louis County Parks and Recreation Department;
  • Louis County Highway Department;
  • Major land owners including Creve Coeur Airport, Penn Gaming/Hollywood Casino, McBride Homes and Riverport Business Park;
  • Transportation agencies including Metro and East-West Gateway;
  • Howard Bend Levee District;
  • Great Rivers Greenway;
  • Public school districts including Pattonville and Parkway; and
  • Fire protection districts including Maryland Heights, Pattonville and Monarch.

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee is charged with consulting and preparing findings and recommendations for the Maryland Heights City Council, Economic Development Commission and Planning Commission regarding individual elements of the development area’s infrastructure, conceptual develop and economic development plans.

“We are seeking the advice of these highly knowledgeable people and the agencies they represent, and we will share their advice with our City’s elected and appointed officials,” said Wayne Oldroyd, Director of Community Development for the City of Maryland Heights.  “This first meeting fostered a positive atmosphere for a productive dialogue that we hope to continue until the Committee completes its important work.  We are extremely thankful and appreciative for their active participation.”

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will meeting again in May, and plans to hold additional meetings and eventually a public hearing to share their findings with the City.  The meetings are open to the public, and the public may also submit written comments to the Committee through the Maryland Park Lake District website at  This website will be updated regularly with new information from the Committee, including all meeting notices.

Awards Recognize Outstanding Best Practices in Construction

in Associations/News

Best practices in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium, St. Louis, MO.   The annual awards recognized successful use of Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to improve project quality, budget and schedule.  Five projects and their teams were presented Best Practices awards.

Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence

The team from MC Industrial and Burns & McDonnell were recognized for use of the Advanced Work Packaging Best Practice on the Boeing St. Louis Composite Center of Excellence.  This is one of the newest Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute.  Although new, it did not stop the team from using the best practice, along with Planning for Startup and Change Management for the construction of a 425,000 square foot manufacturing and paint facility for the Boeing Composite Center of Excellence.  As a design build delivery project, it was critical to meet a tight schedule for the expansion to provide protection from the elements for the large equipment procurement which was well underway.

Since the schedule was fast-paced for this enormous facility, numerous design packages were required, 30 in all.  Each was separately tracked and progress reported to stakeholders on a weekly basis.  The packages had to carefully coordinated between each other and monitored to integrate with adjacent and sometimes dependent building systems.  Each package had numerous review stages with the client and construction team.

The team employed a 3D model walk through and cloud based interface systems to facilitate the reviewer comments and to act on them.  The review times were drastically reduced and this provided a coordinated platform to track and archive the documentation, providing a common pool for project information.  As the project progressed, the 3D modeling was published on a recurring basis, allowing stakeholders to visualize the facility as the design progressed.

Since all trades were modeled in virtual space, clashes in the field were identified during the design phase.  This minimized costly delays and re-work in construction.  The models were passed to subcontractors as a starting point for their fabrication models and further reducing the time typically required.

Hospital Realignment at Nellis Air Force Base

KAI Design Build and United Excel Design were recognized a major realignment project for the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.  The project employed the Best Practices of “Planning for Startup” as well as “Front End Planning” and “Project Risk Assessment” for a complicated $93 million hospital renovation across 4 floors.  It involved more than 2 dozen departments in an operational hospital with an antiquated layout that was also undersized for its mission.

With a design charette as a starting point, floor plans were developed for the design build project.  This translated into the architectural, interior, structural, MEP engineering and other renovation needs.  Although the renovation encompassed 3 years, design submittals and pre-planning for the project were necessary early in the project for use by design sub-teams.

Project risks were identified for renovation of different areas of the hospital in phases while keeping occupied areas operational.  A project rating index and project risk assessments were employed throughout the project to provide sufficient scope definition and to assess risks.  This empowered decision makers to evaluate parts of the project prior to moving forward with design and construction. Mock-up rooms were built for major rooms, such as operating rooms, intensive care and labor and delivery to coordinate equipment and utility outlet locations such as power and data, medical gas and headwalls.  Sustainable design concepts were incorporated into the project which is tracking for LEED Silver Certification.

American Optometric Association Headquarters Renovation

The challenge to build new or renovate was faced by the team recruited to support the American Optometric Association (AOA).  Initial plans called  for constructing a new facility for the 44,000 member trade association with offices on Lindbergh Boulevard.  Team members including Northstar Management, Gray Design and BSI constructors, completed a pre-planning effort which indicated a cost of $14 million for a 30,000 square foot new building.  Then when they compared this option and the associated project budgets, including land acquisition and additional Owner operational costs, with an alternative option for a full gut renovation, the latter option’s lower cost of $10 million altered plans.

The design and construction team worked in close alignment to devise a plan for the renovation.  To support ongoing operations of the association’s staff during construction, the project included 2 phases in which staff relocated to one half of the building, while the other half of the building went through renovation in Phase 1.  Then staff moved to the completed half to make room for renovation of the 2nd half the building. This also enabled the team to address lessons learned from work on the Phase 1 when the project moved to Phase 2.

The team created a project organizational chart to implement a level of governance for the project.  This included representation from the Owner and the team members together with a steering committee to develop project goals & objectives, to review crucial decisions and to relay them to the Owner’s Board of Directions.  Subcommittees were formed to assist with interior finish and furniture selections and with review design of casework, café, and print copy rooms.  Town Hall meetings were conducted with the association staff to discuss the process for relocations during the construction phasing plan.

Quantifiable results included a 29% savings from the original new building concept while adding 50% more square footage and providing all new infrastructure.  Lessons learned from Phase 1 that were implemented on Phase 2 created resources for added scope as well as paving a smooth transition for Owner activities and occupancy.  The alignment best practice provided for a well informed team to make team decisions resulting in a project completed on time and 5% under the project budget.

Elanco Formulation Fill Facility

McCarthy Construction was awarded a Best Practices award for front end planning of a project for the Elanco Animal Health division of Eli Lilly and Company.  After experiencing significant damage to critical processing equipment in a prior project,  Elanco wanted to avoid a repeat.   Front End Planning was critical for construction of a new 41,000 square foot pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.  Located in Augusta, Georgia, the 3 story building houses production areas and process support spaces to create a fully automated process manufacturing environment.

A major challenge was assembling the large, critical processing equipment.  The complexity and precision necessary to mate the equipment would have been physically impossible inside the building because the building’s interior height constraint eliminated the opportunity to stack equipment.  Two pieces of the equipment were being built by different manufacturers in different countries, Germany and Switzerland.

With Front End Planning, a temporary outdoor enclosure and concrete pad were constructed for assembling the equipment so that it could be put together and tested.  With the assembly and testing completed in the temporary enclosure, the equipment was slid into the new facility in one piece.  Over $ 3/4 of a million in savings in logistics and labor were saved with this approach.

Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Health Care Mid Campus Center

Construction of the Washington University School of Medicine / BJC Mid Campus Center

called for the effective and timely integration of construction knowledge into the planning, design, construction and field operations of a project.  A team, including Clayco, KAI Design Build and Christner, employed the “Constructability” best practice for this 12 story, 517,000 square foot office building in the heart of the growing medical campus in the St. Louis Central West End.

Having design documentation ready to meet critical benchmarks, such as for civil, structural, shell, core and fit-out packages was critical to avoid delays for this project as well as future projects in the overall campus.  An overriding goal was to design a structure that could be erected quickly.  To accomplish that goal, the project team pursued a cost effective unitized curtain wall system to conform with the Owner’s construction budget.

With planning and scheduling, the joint venture team juggled demands of a rigid phased delivery schedule with the needs and desires of the Owner.  This included engaging a host of design assist subcontractors to perform constructability exercises and to source materials early in the process.  Other processes used to promote constructability included logistical plans and aerial photos to maximize lay down area and to develop hoisting plans for the tower cranes; early involvement of the curtain wall contractor to size its buck hoist dock and to accommodate large material crates; coordination meetings between the Clayco-KAI joint venture team, designer, subcontractors and Owner to maintain accessibility while minimizing impact on surrounding buildings and vehicular and pedestrian traffic; safety reviews on all sides, including 2 active roads, a substation and an overhead pedestrian link; and use of Building Information Modeling from the beginning to coordinate the trades in the ongoing architectural design.  In conjunction with “Advanced Work Packaging” efforts and “Change Management,” this project was completed on schedule in just under 20 months.

There are seventeen best practices which have been validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to provide savings in cost and schedule.  Validation is based on results from projects throughout the country.  The CII is recognized as a principal construction industry forum for improving the business effectiveness and sustainability of capital facilities.

Diversity and inclusion champions in the construction industry were also recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during the annual awards.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) is the owner organization representing major buyers of construction.  SLCCC serves as the owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery and is the regional leader that champions best practices through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration


Awards Recognize Diversity and Inclusion in Construction

in Associations/News

Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the construction industry were recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during its annual awards on March 6, 2017 at the Palladium, St. Louis, MO.  Awards were presented to St. Louis Lambert International Airport for Organizational Excellence, to Brandt Contracting as the Minority Business Enterprise of the Year and to Sal Valadez of the Laborers Union and to Dan Lester of Clayco for Inclusion Champions.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport Wins Organizational Excellence Inclusion Award

Piloting the journey for Excellence was the Business Diversity Development team at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  The scope of their efforts extended beyond the local and federal programs for inclusion and are designed to level the playing field for minority and women owned firms.  Contract proposals included provisions for participation in all areas, including construction, professional services, concessions and goods and services.  The 2016 annual report encapsulated their success.  For federally funded construction projects, DBE’s received 28% of over $25 million spent.  Under the local program for construction and professional services, MBE’s received 32% and WBE’s received 7% of the $45 million spent.

The Business Diversity Development program has promoted diversity and inclusion by making it easier for companies to manage contract compliance through tools such as an online portal to streamline reporting requirements and to manage their records.  They also provided an online certification process through a re-vamped web site that has seen a dramatic increase in the number of companies certified.

Lambert also partners with other organizations for inclusion.  This has included collaboration with the SLCCC, Missouri Department of Transportation, Justine Petersen, the St. Louis Development Corporation and the Missouri Regional Certification Commission, as well as their own Annual Business Diversity Forum.

Lambert has implemented diversity and inclusion with their own policies and practices including their own programs and employment and with support for active mentoring programs for women and minority owned firms..

Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award

The Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award was presented to Brandt Contracting, a specialty contracting firm that provides excavation, grading and cleaning services.  Formed in 2007, the business has grown to $3 million in annual volume.  That growth has been guided by an advisory committee through the Regional Union Construction Center and includes participation from a construction attorney, insurance industry and general contractor.

The successful growth of the company was also attributable to the company’s principal, Sedrick Brandt.  He received his B.S. in Information Systems from Maryville University, graduating cum laude.  This was while working as a full time operating engineer in the construction industry and raising a young family.  His entrepreneurial spirit led him to participate in a Small Business Administration entrepreneurial forum.  From that, he purchased a commercial cleaning franchise which he operated successfully while maintaining his full time construction job.

In 2011, Brandt Contracting completed development of the “Brandt Works Safe” policy.  This was developed with the assistance of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri and Fred Weber Inc. with the goal to promote an accident free work environment.  He has made sizeable investment in information technology to support estimating and bid proposals catapulting the firm into a technology realm comparable to much larger firms.  Brandt Contracting developed a strategic plan with prescribed milestones for growth and has since expanded their foot print to work in Joplin, Jefferson City and Byrnesville, MO.

Brandt Contracting has been certified as a minority owned business, disadvantaged owned business in both Missouri and in Illinois and was also certified as a Section 8(a) through the U. S. Small Business Administration.

Inclusion Award Presented to Dan Lester of Clayco

As a fierce advocate for minorities, a diversity and inclusion award was presented to Dan Lester of Clayco.  He has leveraged his experience as a diversity and inclusion educator with his talent as a professional speaker to work with management and field personnel in construction.  He came to the construction industry from DeSmet Jesuit High School where he served as the first African American faculty member and administrator.  At DeSmet, he trained faculty, staff, students and the DeSmet community on factors of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural awareness.  He has leveraged that experience to create viable and realistic solutions to educate the construction workforce on diversity and cultural competence.

Joining Clayco’s Concrete Strategies division in 2015, his efforts supported the company’s effort to increase their employment minority percentage from 11% up to 17%.  He has worked with the ACW Alliance team on the BJC Campus Renewal Project as the Workforce Relations Manager where he has worked with companies to help them meet contractual work force obligations to include staffing with minorities and women.  He created a curriculum that trains on integrating basic cultural competence into safety orientations and started the ACW Divergence Newsletter which highlights diversity and inclusion on the project.  That project currently enjoys 20% minority participation and 6% female participation in the field work force.

Other achievements include his work with organizations such as the Missouri Governor’s Collegiate Fellows program, Construction Forum Education Foundation, PEOPLE of Construction Board Member, FOCUS St. Louis Diversity Leadership Fellowship participant,  Job Corps, Building Union Diversity (BUD) program, Diversity Committee of the SLCCC, and the Construction Career Development Initiative.

Inclusion Award Presented to Sal Valadez of Laborers Union

A second Diversity and Inclusion Award was presented to Sal Valadez of the Laborers International Union of North America – Midwest Region as a champion for immigrants.  Born in Mexico, his father was one of the World War II railroad Braceros —Mexicans who were sent under arrangements between the U.S. and Mexico to keep the railroads running in the U.S. during the war.  They were subject to racism, unsafe working conditions and poor living arrangements.

After the family arrived from Mexico with his family, this inclusion champion grew up in Aurora, IL.  He dropped out of high school, served in the U.S. Army and subsequently earned his GED, high school diploma, Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He acquired extensive experience in the non-profit and higher education sectors prior to joining the Laborers International Union of North America.  He is currently the greater St. Louis Diversity, Outreach and Marketing Representative for the Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region.

Valadez has been someone who has helped to connect newest arrivals with resources to make them feel welcome in the region.  Among his achievements, he single handedly designed and organized events from Central and Southern Illinois to Franklin County to connect immigrants and other at risk populations with resources.  This included employment opportunities in construction as well efforts to address health, education, shelter and basic human needs.  One project has been a health fair at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church which completed its 3rd annual event last year.  The fair offered free health screens, immigration and education resources and live music.  The region’s labor unions are invited participants to help focus on establishing relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

Valadez has built working relationships with community resources such as the St. Louis Mosaic Project, Immigrant Service Provider Network,  Human Trafficking Collaborative Network, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Cambio De Colores and the Gateway Welcome Project.

Best practices in the construction industry were also recognized by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) during the annual awards.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) is the owner organization representing major buyers of construction.  SLCCC serves as the owner advocate organization for achievement of best value in project delivery and is the regional leader that champions best practices through educational programs, information dissemination and collaboration.

IMPACT Strategies Builds New Medical Center in Collinsville

in Companies/News

IMPACT Strategies today announced it has completed construction of a 12,000-square-foot medical center for JCH Collinsville, LLC. The building, occupied by Southern Illinois Health Foundation, is located at 1215 Vandalia St. in Collinsville on IL-159 next to Cedarhurst Assisted Living.

The health center offers comprehensive care, including medical, behavioral health, and dental services. Working with IMPACT Strategies on the project were Braddock Architectural Services of O’Fallon, Illinois and Netemeyer Engineering Associates of Aviston, Illinois.

Joshua Jennings, CEO of Dover Development and partner of JCH Collinsville, said, “IMPACT Strategies delivered on its promise to seamlessly manage the entire development, design and construction process in a manner that was expeditious and professional. Their service was invaluable to the project’s success.”

IMPACT Strategies

IMPACT Strategies, Inc. specializes in Retail, Commercial, Medical, Senior Housing and Education construction and offers comprehensive construction services including design-build, general contracting, construction management and pre-construction management. 

$35 Million, Luxury, Southern Craftsman Apartments Planned For Shiloh

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The Savannah Luxury Apartment Community Will Border New Frank Scott Parkway & Cross Street

Three hundred plus luxury apartments are being planned for Shiloh, Illinois. The Savannah will be constructed of stone, brick and hardy board structures with a Southern Craftsman style and situated on rolling hills.

Crevo Capital, a private equity firm based in Edwardsville, Illinois, is developing the 26-acre, campus-like luxury apartment community specifically to maintain the site’s natural beauty and native trees surrounding a lake. The project may be developed in multiple phases, according to market demands.

The Savannah will offer an amenity package unmatched among other communities, including a spa-inspired health club and an indoor/outdoor community lounge with resident event space extending over the lake from the treed shoreline.

    Each of the living units will have a private, covered patio or a balcony, as well as either a private, connected garage or a private, detached garage with additional storage.

Most structures are expected to be three stories with several of them to include elevators. Features of each unit will include fully equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a gourmet preparation island and a generous pantry. Units also will have hardwood flooring, gas fireplaces, walk-in closets and an in-unit laundry room with a folding area. Many top-level units will offer the spacious feeling of either vaulted ceilings or coffered ceilings.

The Savannah will offer several optional floor plans including one, two and three bedroom layouts. Some of the options will include units larger than 1,500 square feet.

Housing Studio, an award-winning, nationally recognized architectural firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been engaged to conduct all aspects of design pertaining to the buildings and site layout. Housing Studios has designed more than 50,000 units located from the Eastern Seaboard to the Midwest.

Construction management will be by IMPACT Strategies of Fairview Heights, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri.

Corey Wenzel, president of Crevo Capital, expects to submit plans to the Village of Shiloh later this month and to host an informational open house in May. He hopes to begin construction this fall and to have units available for occupancy in early 2019.

“Research always drives our planning,” Wenzel says. “We are excited to bring a community that offers a living experience that young professionals, families and seniors all are seeking. Some who work in the Metro-East are commuting from St. Louis because they haven’t been able to find the type of environment here that we’ll soon be able to offer.”

“Location is critical, and this Shiloh location is perfect, adjacent to the new BJC Healthcare System Memorial Hospital and medical office building, minutes from the U.S. Transportation Command and close to the many professional services and retail stores in the rapidly growing Shiloh-O’Fallon corridor,” Wenzel says.

Crevo Capital has developed multi-family, student housing, single family resident subdivisions and commercial properties throughout Illinois and Missouri.

Longevity, Sustainability Key Priorities in Design, Construction of Educational Institutions

in Companies/News


New and renovated educational buildings are rising around the St. Louis region and their design requires a special set of eyes.

Educational institutions – whether a university, high school or elementary school – feature characteristics different than other projects such as hospitals, corporate headquarters or retail centers. One of the biggest characteristics from a construction standpoint that sets educational facility construction and design apart from other types is the challenge of working on a project while school is in session.

Creating a safe environment for students is paramount, according to architects and general contractors. With all the educational construction occurring now, several general contractors and architectural firms addressed the issue of safety.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

In May, Washington University will begin one of the most significant capital projects in recent history: the eastward expansion of the Danforth Campus from Brookings Hall to Skinker Boulevard.

The plan includes three new academic buildings, an expansion of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, two new multi-use facilities, an 800-space underground garage and a new Central Green. The project’s completion is expected by May 2019.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is general contractor for the project. Project Manager Ryan Moss said working on a large school project has to take into consideration the pedestrian traffic in and around a work site.

“Keeping in mind that education is the main goal, and that we are visitors there,” Moss said, “we have to make sure before we put a shovel in the ground that we are preplanning and communicating our overall construction plan with the university. We work through the scenario of what sidewalks and roads will be shut down, and the temporary means for the university to access areas either by cars or foot,” he said.

The project’s unique challenges include the fact that although it appears to be one large, single project, according to Moss, it is actually comprised of multiple buildings and elements, each with their own design and function. “We’ve had to dissect each building to figure out the best approach to balance design, budget, and schedule so that the project functions as a single project from a construction standpoint,” said Moss.

Philadelphia, PA-based KieranTimberlake is the architect for the project, which is working toward LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. In defining the differences between designing in the educational realm as opposed to corporate or retail, Partner Richard Maimon said one difference is the importance of place to the institution’s identity.

“At Washington University, the character of the campus, architecture and landscape are intrinsic to the university’s image,” Maimon said. “Universities build for the long term. Instead of a commercial development that may be leased and sold, university buildings are built to last for 75 years or more, so clients carefully consider the quality of materials, the cost of ownership and environmental sustainability over the long term.”

PARIC Corporation

Webster University is adding a new Interdisciplinary Science Building to its campus. The $44 million LEED-designed project will triple the number of science labs on campus and support greater academic collaboration. Attached to the existing East Academic Building, the 85,000-square-foot, four-story ISB will house science, technology, engineering, arts, math and medical programs. PARIC Corporation is the project’s general contractor. Completion of the project is anticipated in June.

Jason Szachnieski, PARIC senior project manager, said it is essential to work within the university’s academic calendar deadlines.

“We’re on an active campus, so typical protocol is to isolate the building with the appropriate barricade,” Szachnieski said. “With a June completion, the university will have time to move the equipment, fixtures and faculty into the new building, to be called Browning Hall, before school starts in August.”

CannonDesign performed the architectural work with Richard Bacino as project manager.

Bacino said that although there are similarities in designing a building, whether it is an educational institution, a corporate headquarters or a hospital, the unique design differences emerge while assessing the client’s needs.

“Different projects have different needs, and that’s how you start to deviate,” Bacino said.  “Educational facilities – whether elementary, high school or university level – tend to work with more of a select age group. A healthcare facility may address a population from pediatrics to geriatrics, while a corporate office building might have needs that are similar to an educational facility but with a diverse age group. Corporate and healthcare design is flexible to a degree, but educational facilities have to be designed for change – that’s important,” he added.

Another aspect of educational facility design is what Bacino refers to as “soft space,” meaning less rigidly defined space where collaborating and socializing often occur.

“Corporations have borrowed that design concept that from the academic world to encourage people to come together and exchange ideas,’ he said.

S.M. Wilson & Co.

S.M. Wilson & Co. is giving facelifts and additional space to three area schools.

Ladue Horton Watkins High School is receiving an $82.2 million, 363,000-square-foot addition and renovation focusing on updating the academic core of the building. Work is scheduled for completion in time for the 2018-19 school year.

Cor Jesu Academy is adding an $8.9 million, 39,000-square-foot, three-level Performance Gymnasium and Student Commons complex. This project broke ground in April 2015 and will be completed in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

Maplewood Richmond Heights Early Childhood Center is undergoing a $7.9 million, 15,000-square-foot renovation to include a new 90-space parking lot and classroom improvements. The project is expected to reach completion this August.

Kort Cole, S.M. Wilson & Co. director of operations, manages all three of these educational projects; Cole said the way that construction contracts are issued for educational projects differs from that of other commercial construction work.

“On Cor Jesu, we hold the contract for the actual project, and we are responsible for the overall cost of the project,” Cole said. “The Ladue and Maplewood projects have the construction manager as an agent. The school district holds contracts with the individual trades, so it’s a little different in that regard.”

Another uniqueness among educational design and construction projects is that the school facilities are typically occupied while construction is taking place, requiring communication and coordination with the faculty and administration to cause as little disruption as possible.

“That’s part of our ‘Beyond the Build’ tagline,” said Cole. “It’s not just the bricks and mortar that make up the building. We’re constantly coordinating with students’ activities so kids can get to and from class without incident.”

Construction work is not quiet work; although constructing an office building can be distracting, jackhammers and bobcats can really wreak havoc on young minds when educational construction is taking place during the school day.

“During naptime at the Maplewood Richmond Heights Early Childhood Center, we find work that doesn’t involve loud noises or we work in another location,” Cole said, adding that while renovations and additions are nothing new to hospitals or corporate offices, a construction project for a school can involve unfamiliar territory.

“This may be the one big project in those educators’ career,” Cole said. “We typically place a concentrated emphasis on a lot of pre-project education with the school districts, since they have a board to respond to and they may not have much experience in the construction world.”

Hastings+Chivetta Architects, Inc. is the architect of record for the Ladue Horton Watkins High School and Cor Jesu Projects. Bond Architects, Inc. is the design architect for Ladue Horton Watkins High School and Maplewood Richmond Heights Early Childhood Center.

Stephen DeHekker, Hastings+Chivetta senior vice president, said one difference between school projects and others is that schools see their buildings as a long-term investment. “They have no intention of selling their facilities,” DeHekker said. “Schools usually expand in their location, so there’s a permanence there. However, students are constantly changing and their needs evolving, so flexibility and the ability to expand is very important.”

Public and private entities have different ways of financing their projects, according to DeHekker. What both share in common, however, is the requirement of portraying their project’s legitimacy. Both, therefore, need to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, he said.

“What differentiates good school design is that it is really designing to improve curriculum,” said Art Bond, co-founder and managing partner of Bond Architects. “A lot of these facilities were done originally or expanded in a cookie-cutter fashion. What we’re doing today is determining how to maximize the educational opportunities within these buildings.”


Sometimes a facility is so wanted and needed, funding can come from expected sources.

HOK designed the new College of Optometry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Paul Whitson, HOK senior vice president said that one of the big drivers of an educational facility is the board of overseers and how it appropriates capital for construction projects.

“For many state universities, there is less state funding,” Whitson said. “UMSL is a great example.

Because the student body felt so strongly about it, and because Chancellor Thomas George had such a good vision, UMSL voted in favor of an increase in its service fees to cover the cost of the building,” Whitson said. ”It turned into a wonderful collaboration between students, faculty, the administration’s board of regents and us as architects to come up with a lot of great things.”

IWR North America

Although IWR North America is a building enclosure contractor and not an architectural or engineering firm, it works closely with architects and engineers in a design-assist role by focusing on total building envelope solutions – including wall panels and glass – that create a distinct look for a particular building.

“We direct the client on what could be used and what does and doesn’t meet code,” said Keith Myers, executive vice president of MHS Legacy Group, the St. Louis-based holding company of IWR North America. “Hospitals will be more concerned with the internal climate so they will be looking for enclosures that meet certain values, like UV values so the sun doesn’t affect patients,” he said. “They care more about interior comfort level.”

Educational facilities prioritize durability, Myers said, regardless of students’ ages, because the ease and cost of replacement is a true concern. “The first thing we do is ask the architect and owner what they want to achieve,” Meyers said. “If it’s a private university like Washington University, aesthetics are important because it can impact student recruitment. In contrast, public schools are more concerned about cost,” he added. “We provide clients the information upon which to base their decisions.”


Hager Companies: School Security Systems


Since April 20, 1999, the date of the Columbine School massacre, schools nationwide have been reexamining their security systems and procedures.

Hager Companies manufactures American-made door hardware products and works with school districts across the country to implement both simple and complex solutions that replace classroom barricade devices.

According to Hager, the unintended consequences associated with those devices could put children at even more risk and the school exposed to increased liability.

Brian Clarke, director of architectural specifications and technical support for Hager Companies, said these issues could occur if some of the classroom barricade devices require more than two hands to operate.

“We know that an active shooting is a tragedy, but if another emergency happens – such as a fire or if another shooter comes in from another direction – you’re locked in that room or building with nowhere to go,” Clarke said. “Our building codes are designed for immediate and free egress (exit) from the secure site out of the building. These independent devices to lock the doors don’t allow free and immediate egress out of the room, and that’s a major concern.”

Hager Companies has a system that can be connected into a network where pushing one button instantly locks down all the doors. There are a lot of different ways to make this type of system happen, according to Clarke, and the best way to do it is via electronics. “While that does increase the cost of building the school, it creates all of the safety and security features that schools want and need,” he said.

Another means of accomplishing the same goal is by installing a classroom intruder lock so the teacher can mechanically lock the door without opening it. “Most every school we work with, we incorporate automatically, at a minimum, the mechanical intruder style lock because of safety,” Clarke said. “Some school districts, colleges and private schools are investing the money to opt for the electronic version so that they can control it from one central location. Many times it depends upon their monetary circumstances when they either refurbish or build a new school.”

Eric Rose, vice president of domestic sales at Hager Companies, said the goal of any school facility is to control foot traffic onto the property. This can be accomplished with access control using electrified locks or electrified panic hardware along with many other configurations of electronic door hardware, according to Rose. “Even a simple buzzer used in conjunction with an electric strike can provide remote release by administration of a locked door, keeping in mind that any access control must allow free means of egress.”


Mosby Seeking Volunteers for May 6th Rebuilding Day

in Companies/News
Doug McCauley

A longstanding volunteer at the St. Louis remodeling firm is a Rebuilding Together St. Louis House Captain 

If you can swing a paintbrush or turn a screwdriver, Mosby Building Arts project lead Doug McCauley wants you on his team on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Be it a skilled tradesperson or an enthusiastic DIYer, McCauley welcomes and encourages your assistance.

For this year’s annual Rebuilding Together St. Louis Building Day, McCauley (above) is the House Captain who will coordinate and help volunteers working on a home in University City, MO. Improvements to the home include plumbing repairs and upgrades, electrical work, and carpentry and painting to a bathroom, bedrooms and the exterior of the home.

McCauley, who has been volunteering his carpentry skills with Rebuilding Together St. Louis since 2010, says of his home assignment: “Barbara (the homeowner) is the sweetest elderly lady; to meet her is to feel lucky to help her out. She has previously submitted applications for Building Day, so she is real grateful to now have this chance to improve her home.

“The To-Do List for Barbara’s home has 17 items. All skill levels are needed and welcome. The more people I can bring to the team, the better the odds of completing them all in one day. With your help, I think it’s an achievable goal.”

If you would like to be part of Doug McCauley’s Building Day team, please call the Mosby Building Arts office at 314.909.1800 or email to volunteer. Mosby will take care of all the details, so you are ready to go on the morning of May 6th.

Since 1992, Rebuilding Together St. Louis has brought together volunteers and communities to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. Since 2005, Scott Mosby – CEO and owner of Mosby Building Arts – has been an advisor and spokesman for Rebuilding Together St. Louis.

Scott’s love of the volunteer group runs deep: “Rebuilding Together St. Louis believes in a safe and healthy home for every person. They improve existing houses so the owners can remain secure and productive right where they are. I’ve dedicated my whole life and company to this same vision, so we consider it a privilege to use our skills to be of help to homeowners who don’t have the means just to pick up a phone and hire a remodeler.

“From the day in 2010 when Doug McCauley came to work with us at Mosby, he has been a tireless, hands-on volunteer for Rebuilding Together St. Louis. His passion inspires the rest of us to take part year after year. We hope even more people outside the Mosby family will follow his lead and help Doug make a positive difference.”

About Mosby Building Arts

Mosby Building Arts has been the trusted resource for home remodeling, design and architecture in Metro St. Louis for 70 years. As a family-owned business, Scott Mosby and his team have been recognized nationally and locally for high standards of customer service, business ethics and design. Learn more at

Midwest BankCentre and Friendly Temple Church Team to Open

in News

First New Full-Service Bank Branch in North St. Louis Since 2009 

More Than 150 Accounts Already Opened at New Branch; Targeting Growth to $35 Million in Deposits in Three Years

Midwest BankCentre and Friendly Temple Church today officially opened a full-service bank at the church’s North St. Louis campus to serve previously unbanked and underserved residents and businesses in the rebounding Wells-Goodfellow community.  It is the first new full-service bank branch opened in North St. Louis since 2009.

“We see the potential to make the Friendly Temple location a $35 million in deposits branch within three years,” said Alex D. Fennoy, executive vice president and director of community and economic development for Midwest BankCentre. “We are off to a strong start with more than 150 checking, savings, CD and money market accounts already on the books.”

The bank created five new full-time positions. “The bank is more than just an economic catalyst,” noted LaTonya Jackson, branch manager. “It is a symbol of safety and stability that adds credibility to the neighborhood. Short-term, residents now have a reputable alternative to predatory check cashing and payday lending. Longer-term, small business owners offering needed neighborhood services will have greater confidence in locating here.”

Located at 5501 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive at Belt, the branch serves customers in an open, airy space with two indoor teller stations, computer kiosks, and a community meeting room with a big-screen TV, free WiFi and a whiteboard. The room is available for use free of charge to community groups. The branch also has two drive-up lanes, one with a 24-hour ATM. A second ATM is located inside the church lobby.

The architectural firm of St. Louis Design Alliance, under the leadership of Project Manager Duane Thompson, created the bank out of 2,750 square feet of repurposed office space on the church campus. O’Toole Design Associates, a WBE firm, designed the interiors. Friendly Temple Church acted as general contractor for the project, with Friendly Temple Church member Zac Hamilton as project manager. Eleven MBE/WBE firms collectively completed a majority of on-site construction. (For a list of participating MBE and WBE contractors, please see “Editor’s note” below.)

“The rapid growth in accounts affirms our belief of unmet demand in the Dr. Martin Luther King Corridor for a full-service bank willing to partner and equip aspirational families and businesses with the financial tools to succeed,” added Friendly Temple Church Senior Pastor Rev. Michael Jones. Under the auspices of Robert Fulton Community Development, Inc., the 12,000-member church has, since 1996, invested more than $100 million in revitalizing areas bordering its campus.

Friendly Temple becomes the sixth MidwestBankCentre branch to operate in the city of St. Louis and the third serving neighborhoods in North St. Louis and near North St. Louis County. “As our ‘Rising Together’ theme affirms, MidwestBankCentre is fully committed to providing smart, sensible banking options to the unbanked and underbanked residents of majority minority communities,” said Midwest BankCentre Chairman and CEO Jim Watson.

Midwest BankCentre has been a mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906. It ranks among St. Louis’ largest locally owned banks with assets of about $1.8 billion and deposits of $1.3 billion. It provides integrated financial services with expertise in commercial, retail and digital banking; business cash management; mortgage lending; consumer lending; and insurance.

The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force and its Bank-On Save-Up St. Louis initiative since its inception in 2011. Midwest BankCentre has consecutively achieved the Bauer Financial 5-Star Superior financial rating each quarter since 2001.

Midwest BankCentre (, founded in St. Louis in 1906, employs a staff of 300 currently working at 21 bank locations in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. In April 2015, it acquired Southern Commercial Bank, formed in 1891. In July 2016, it purchased Bremen Bank & Trust Co., founded in 1868.

More than 60 percent of the construction and supply services for development of Midwest BankCentre’s Friendly Temple branch were purchased from Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or Women Business Enterprise (WBE) firms. Friendly Temple Church served as general contractor.

Minority Business Enterprise (MBC) Firms

  • Barry’s Sewer & Drain, LLC, plumbing
  • Faison & Associates Consulting and Environmental Services (F.A.C.E.S. LLC, concrete and grading
  • Harambee Masonry Service, masonry (nonprofit which exclusively hires minorities)
  • Michael Austin Painting, painting
  • Philip Person Roofing, roofing
  • Showcase Renovations, LLC, carpentry
  • Superior Lawncare Services, landscaping
  • Williams Heating and Cooling, LLC, HVAC

Women Business Enterprise (WBE) Firms

  • ACME Glass Corporation, glass and windows
  • O’Toole Design Associates, interiors
  • Prints Charm Art, custom art

Other Construction Team Members

  • A to Z Laminating Specialists, Inc., casework
  • Acoustical Ceilings, LLC, ceiling
  • Aladdin Insulation of Missouri, insulation
  • Architectural Sheet Metal Systems, Inc., canopy sheet metal
  • EK Design, LLC, flooring
  • G&S Architectural Products, window treatments
  • H&G/Schultz Door, handicapped door
  • Imperial Ornamental Metal Co., Inc., steel
  • MJ Products Co., toilet accessories
  • Negwer Door Systems, doors
  • Supreme Drywall, Inc., drywall
  • Triton Electric Co. LLC, electrical

Saint Louis University Students Call for Clean Energy on Campus

in Homepage Primary/News

Student Government Association passes bill calling upon University Administration  to acknowledge climate crisis, demand clean energy from Ameren Missouri

Saint Louis University (SLU) Student Government Association recently passed in an unanimous vote on a bill calling upon the SLU Administration to show regional leadership on clean energy and climate.

“SLU just cut its Sustainability Masters Program as well as the Sustainability Director position. Not only does this show a lack of foresight on the university’s part, but it is also not in line with what students here on campus want. So as the student representatives, SGA has taken the step to express to the administration that clean energy, climate action, and sustainability are a priority for students and for our future,” said Erin Kollar.

While schools such as Missouri S&T have shown leadership in committing to 100% clean energy, SLU is reliant on Ameren Missouri for the campus electricity needs.  Ameren is only getting about 1 percent of its energy from wind and solar, but other utilities in Missouri are getting over a third of their electricity from clean sources.

The resolution points out that the SLU mission of ‘the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity’ demands that we acknowledge the truth of climate change and act in a way that serves our neighbors.  The bill language outlines several steps that the SGA would like to see SLU Administration take to show leadership in line with its stated mission.

They are strongly encouraging the Administration call upon Ameren to provide campus with clean energy. The resolution also calls for the Administration to sign the St. Francis Pledge, a Catholic Climate Covenant, as well as publish a statement of solidarity with Laudato Si, the Pope’s encyclical, which focused on the humanitarian threat of catastrophic climate change. Saint Louis University was interestingly the only Jesuit University to not sign the statement of solidarity with Laudato Si, or the Saint Franciscan pledge of action to respond to climate change.

At the end of the academic year, this resolution will be taken to the Administration for review and consideration.  Students are enthusiastic that the resolution is reflecting their efforts towards bringing clean energy to SLU and the St. Louis region. Students are hopeful that their Administration will become a stronger leader regarding sustainability in the St. Louis community.

“Cities, businesses, and universities are making the commitment to transition to 100% clean energy.  While efforts to address climate at the National level are being thwarted, we still have power at the local level to address fossil fuel pollution.We believe this goes hand in hand with SLU’s mission and so we are committed to fight for a cleaner future.” said Tommy English.

The full resolution language can be viewed

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