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Ameren Illinois Modernizing Power Grid in East St. Louis

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Ameren Illinois announced today it will start building a new 34-kilovolt power line that will move power through East St. Louis to the intersection of Cleveland and 27th Street where the company will break ground for a new substation later this summer. The new substation will be named in honor of Katherine Dunham and will enhance electric service reliability and meet the evolving demands of business and residential customers in the future.

Ameren Illinois will set 70 new poles – 65 wooden and five fiberglass power poles. The company will add two miles of power lines from multiple substations to the Katherine Dunham substation to strengthen the grid in the City. The new lines will create alternate pathways with other substations to re-route and deliver power if an outage occurs.

The Katherine Dunham substation will feature a 14-megavolt transformer (MVA) and its design provides room for an additional 14-MVA unit to accommodate future growth in the City. Two 34-kV power lines will serve the substation; one line will serve as a backup to improve service reliability for customers. There will be four 4-kV feeders exiting the substation, which will extend south along the west side of 27th Street and the east side of 29th Street. The feeders will extend west on Broadway Avenue and in the alley north of Missouri Avenue and tie into existing feeders to enhance reliability. Customers throughout East St. Louis will benefit from this electric grid work.

“These projects represent an important step in our long-range plans to fortify the electric delivery system and reduce outages,” said Raymond Riddle, director of Division Operations for Ameren Illinois covering St. Clair County. “The grid is evolving and we’re excited to bring these enhancements to customers in the region.”

Since 2012, Ameren Illinois has implemented hundreds of system reliability projects by adding new technology and fortifying the energy grid.  As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 17 percent, saving Ameren Illinois customers an estimated $48 million a year. The utility has added more than 800 employees, and more than 1,200 Illinois-based contract workers who are supporting Ameren Illinois projects.

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois.

Home Builders Association Donates $10,000 to Rebuilding Together-St. Louis

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On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2016 HBA President Kim Hibbs of Hibbs Homes (left) and HBCF Vice President Dave Griege of Paramount Mortgage Company (right) presented a $10,000 donation to Dave Ervin, executive director of Rebuilding Together-St. Louis (second from right), and Mark Jansen, Rebuilding Together board member.

The donation will be used toward Rebuilding Together-St. Louis’ Rebuilding Day program. Rebuilding Together revitalizes neighborhoods in partnership with the community by rehabilitating the houses of low-income home owners, particularly the elderly and the disabled, so that they may continue to live independently in comfort and safety. Rebuilding Day is the organization’s annual one-day blitz where volunteers make home repairs to the homes of low-income elderly and disabled home owners in the St. Louis Metro area.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 500 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.

Home Builders Association Donates $15,000 to Great Circle

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On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2016 HBA President Kim Hibbs of Hibbs Homes (left) and HBCF Vice President Dave Griege of Paramount Mortgage Company (right) presented a $15,000 donation to Erica Holliam, advancement manager for Great Circle.

The donation will be used to renovate and upgrade four restrooms in Great Circle’s Leighton Cottage. Leighton Cottage serves as a residence for girls on the organization’s Webster Groves Campus. Great Circle is one of only two residential/school programs offering autism diagnostic, academic, residential and respite services in the St. Louis area. In addition to housing, the children have access to educational programs which include typical core curriculum surrounded by music, speech/language and occupational therapies.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 500 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.

3010 Apartments Win National Historic Preservation Award

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Trivers Associates is celebrating the recognition awarded to the 3010 Apartments renovation for historic preservation.

The 2015 National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation was presented to the 3010 Apartments Limited Partnership for rehabilitating and transforming a historic home for orphaned and abandoned boys into affordable housing.

The Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation recognizes efforts that both advance the Nation’s historic preservation goals and provide affordable housing and economic development opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents.

The 3010 Apartments building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as Father Dunne’s News Boys’ Home and Protectorate. The home was established in 1906 by Father Peter Joseph Dunne at 3010 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri. In 1907, the 3-story home with an attached two-story chapel over an institutional kitchen and a detached laundry building were completed. The facility was enlarged substantially in 1911 by a 3-story addition at the protectorate’s east end.

For over 100 years, this historic building complex provided shelter and care to the homeless, initially for orphaned and abandoned boys, and after the Salvation Army renovated it in 1970 as the Harbor Light Center, the facility served people affected by addiction, chronic homelessness and various disabilities.

The recent historic rehabilitation of the building complex converted the existing barracks-like institutional housing into 58 one-bedroom, private residential apartments for low- to very low-income adult residents, with preference given to veterans and the disabled, especially the homeless.

Rehabilitation was accomplished without drastically altering the interiors and retained several historic elements, such as the main entry and its broad staircase. The building complex’s many stained glass windows, including those in private apartments, were also repaired and retained. The original hallways were preserved along with the rhythm of historic millwork: chair rails and slightly recessed, transomed wood paneled doors that now serve as entrances to many of the apartments. Additionally, the reception room, which contains columns and elaborate plaster moldings, was restored to its original appearance and is now used a communal lounge for residents.

Guarantee Electrical Wins Prestigious “Willis Excellence in Construction Safety Award”

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Guarantee was recently selected as the winner for the national award due to its comprehensive safety program which is driven by stressing competency over mere compliance.  To wit, Guarantee has one of the lowest Experienced Modification Rates (EMR) and Total Recordable Incident Rates (TRIR) in the electrical industry.

AGC’s Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA) program is the industry’s elite safety excellence awards program for companies of all sizes and occupational divisions. The selection process is unique because invited finalists make presentations to judges who then ask each finalist a series of probing questions. CSEA recognizes companies that have developed and implemented premier safety and risk control programs and showcases companies that have achieved continuous improvements and maintenance of their safety and health management systems.

Unlike other safety award programs which limit the criteria to frequency rates, the CSEA selection process is considerably more comprehensive.  Each applicant is reviewed for evidence of:

  • Company management commitment
  • Active employee participation
  • Safety training
  • Work site hazard identification and control
  • Safety program innovation

According to Dennis Dubitsky, Corporate Director of Safety and Risk Management for Guarantee Electrical Company, “From top to bottom we focus on competency. Competency is about the independence of the individual workers who have been provided the training, tools and resources, and empowering them to continuously monitor their environment for hazards, allowing them to take all necessary action to work risk free.  Competency is also about senior management leading the process and creating an environment that makes safe, quality production the focus thereby protecting both the individual and the bottom line.”

IMPACT Strategies Expands & Re-Locates Missouri Office

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Construction firm IMPACT Strategies, Inc., is expanding and relocating their Missouri office to the Power House Building at Union Station, 401 S. 18th Street, St. Louis to better serve growing construction market opportunities.

The larger space will allow the company to align their staff with the needs of a growing market in St. Louis for commercial construction. Some sectors of the regional construction market are among the fastest growing in the nation, according to IMPACT Strategies President Mark Hinrichs.

Since its organization in 2002, IMPACT Strategies has experienced steady growth expanding both its geographical service area and market sectors it serves. The company has maintained a near perfect safety record and deploys a structured 8-step safety program to minimize risk to its employees and those of its subcontractor partners.

IMPACT Strategies specializes in retail, commercial, medical and education construction as well as senior and multi-family housing. Services include construction management, pre-construction management, design-build and general contracting.

The telephone number for the Missouri office remains the same at 314.646.8400. The Illinois headquarters office is at 340 Office Ct., Fairview Heights. More information is available at www.BuildWithImpact.com.

Modest Expansion for Architecture Billings Index

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Business conditions softening most in Midwest in recent months 

The Architecture Billings Index saw a dip into negative terrain for the first time in five months in January, but inched back up in February with a small increase in demand for design services.  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI score was 50.3, up slightly from the mark of 49.6 in the previous month. This score reflects a minor increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.5, up from a reading of 55.3 the previous month.

“March and April are traditionally the busiest months for architecture firms, so we should get a clearer reading of underlying momentum over the next couple of months,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “Hopefully the relatively mild weather conditions recently in most parts of the country will help design and construction activity move ahead at a somewhat faster pace.”

 Key February ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (51.1), West (49.9), Northeast (49.5), Midwest (49.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (53.0), commercial / industrial (52.3), institutional (48.1), mixed practice (47.7)
  • Project inquiries index: 59.5
  • Design contracts index: 51.7

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity.

KBR Launches Craft Training Program for Veterans

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KBR, Inc. announced it is creating a program to train active duty military in the pipefitting trade to assist service members who desire to pursue an industrial civilian career following their military service. The initiative is in partnership with Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) and Fort Polk, located in Vernon Parish, Louisiana.

The Veteran Pipefitting Training Program was created for active duty military at Fort Polk and applicants will be selected for the sixteen week program by Fort Polk’s Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) and KBR. Trainees will receive training credentials for both academic and hands-on practice by the National Center for Construction Education and Research upon the successful completion of the course.

“KBR is proud to help provide this great opportunity for soldiers to continue their education and build upon the foundation of their military training,” said David Zelinski, President of KBR’s Onshore Americas business division. “This generation’s post-9/11 veterans represent an extraordinary pool of talent and leadership that the craft industry needs. Our training partnership with Fort Polk provides a vehicle for veterans to translate their skills into the craft professions while supporting their transition to the civilian world,” continued Zelinski.

KBR is making a significant investment in CLTCC’s facilities for this training program as well as covering fees associated with the instructors who will be key contributors to the overall success of this program.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity for our Fort Polk & Transition Assistance Program to partner with KBR,” said Col. David G. Athey, Fort Polk Garrison Commander. “The leadership at Fort Polk has been behind this program from day one. It is a great honor to be part of a program that further develops the skills of our veterans to help them prepare for a career in the craft labor industry. The talents that these soldiers bring to the table are invaluable and we are excited that KBR wants to help our veterans succeed after serving our country.” continued Athey.

KBR has a long history of working alongside of the U.S. military and is proud to continue that tradition with helping veterans transition from military service to successful civilian careers.

KBR, Inc. is a global technology, engineering, procurement and construction company serving the hydrocarbons and government services industries.

‘Light it Up Blue’ in St. Louis for Autism Awareness Month

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St. Louis to Join Worldwide Lighting of Structures & Landmarks Blue 

Autism Awareness Month will kick off on Friday April 1, 2016 in St. Louis with landmarks and structures in the region lit blue.  The structures and landmarks will remain lit through Saturday April 2, 2016, which is World Autism Awareness Day.  On April 1, 2016, the St. Louis Blues will also dedicated their game against Boston Bruins to autism awareness. The worldwide awareness campaign is coordinated by Autism Speaks.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism is diagnosed in one out of 68 children.

Among the structures and landmarks to be lit are:

  • James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One union hall in South St. Louis
  • Express Scripts in North St. Louis County
  • The Magic House, Kirkwood
  • Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield, Mo.
  • West County EMS & Fire, Ballwin, Mo.
  • West County Shopping Center in Des Peres, Mo.
  • Burns & McDonnell Engineering Consultants in Chesterfield, Mo.
  • Knights of Columbus Development Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, St. Louis
  • Shaw Park Plaza, Clayton, Mo.
  • MilliporeSigma, South St. Louis
  • Saint Louis Zoo, in Forest Park
  • Peabody Plaza, downtown.
  • University Fountains at Saint Louis University in Midtown St. Louis
  • Civil Courts Building, downtown.
  • 360 Hilton at the Ballpark, downtown.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Building at 501 North Grand at Grand Center.
  • Metro Lighting in Brentwood and Chesterfield.
  • Peabody Opera House, downtown
  • The Laclede Group at 700 Market, downtown

 

A gallery of beautifully lit structures in past years can be found at the St. Louis Chapter Autism Speaks Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153750884914115.1073741843.89272979114&type=1

In addition to lighting St. Louis blue, schools, businesses and civic organizations are being asked to encourage the wearing of blue clothing on or showcase the color blue in some way. To learn more on how to participate, visit www.lightitupblue.org or call the St. Louis Chapter of Autism Speaks at 314-989-1003.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The CDC has called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown. For more information, visit www.autismspeaks.org.

KJWW Client Executive Named to ENR Midwest Top 20 Under 40

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Mike Lawless of KJWW Engineering Consultants has been named to ENR Midwest’s 2016 Top 20 Under 40. Lawless, PE, FPE, LEED AP, is a client executive working out of the firm’s St. Louis office.

ENR’s Top 20 Under 40 honors individuals under the age of 40 who represent the “best-of-the-best” in their construction and design careers by giving back to their industry and communities. Winners were cited for leadership, career progress, community involvement and creating landmark projects for their region.

Lawless has been with KJWW for his entire 15-year career. He leads large, technically challenging and complex healthcare and science and ­­technology projects, including the current designs of the new 250,000-square-foot BJC West County Hospital and the new 357,000-square-foot University of Kansas Hospital. In addition to new construction, his projects include renovations, expansions, and infrastructure upgrades. He also provides quality control and peer reviews for many projects, overseeing the coordination of disciplines and quality of documents.

Mike works collaboratively with architectural and construction firms to maximize buildings’ operational efficiency through integrated design solutions while maintaining or lowering construction costs. He continually researches new opportunities for applying proven technologies in unique ways to blend reliable solutions with cutting-edge thinking.

For more on the ENR Top 20 Under 40, visit enr.com/top20under40.

KJWW, headquartered in the Quad-Cities, Ill., has more than 500 employees in 15 national and international locations, and is a subsidiary of IMEG Corporation.

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