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SIUE Construction Leadership Institute Celebrates 2018 Graduates

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The Construction Leadership Institute (CLI) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville celebrated 29 graduates of its program Friday, March 9 as a part of the CLI Alumni Day and Graduation celebration. Developed by the SIUE Schools of Business and Engineering, the CLI provides the knowledge, skills and strategies that individuals and companies need in today’s challenging construction industry.

Program Co-Directors Chris Gordon, associate dean of the SIUE School of Engineering, and Kristine Jarden, director of executive education in the SIUE School of Business, oversaw the ceremony.

“The CLI program is designed to align with leadership development needs of the rapidly changing construction industry,” said Gordon. “The CLI Advisory Board takes an active role in helping us continuously update this unique and innovative leadership development program to develop future building industry leaders.”

“CLI’s mission is to produce accomplished leaders who will improve the processes and outcomes in the construction industry,” Jarden said. “We thank the employers for their vision in supporting the education of future business leaders in the industry.”

CLI alumni representing 15 years of the program and the Class of 2018 participated in the festivities. The Class of 2018 graduates are:

The Class of 2018 graduates are:

  • Christopher Ballard – Simms Building Group
  • Katy Beckerle – Alberici Constructors
  • Kerry Brown – Stevens Industries, Inc.
  • Bobby Christopher – Wright Construction Services, Inc.
  • Jake Clancy – Alberici Constructors
  • Christopher Darr – Federal Steel & Erection Co.
  • Brian Dayton – Holland Construction Services
  • Tim Doran – S. M. Wilson & Company
  • Dan Ems – Icon Mechanical
  • Craig Gonet – Alberici Constructors
  • Walker Gusewelle – Poettker Construction
  • Nathan Haas – Kaiser Electric
  • Anne Hoffmann – Raineri Construction
  • Eric Hoffman – McCarthy Building Company
  • Patrick Horan – Drury Development Corporation
  • Eric Kues – Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.
  • Nathan Munie – L. Keeley Construction
  • Cory Parker – Contegra Construction Company
  • Kyle Pfundt – Alberici Constructors
  • Ben Pratt – McCarthy Building Companies
  • Cody Ryan – The Korte Company
  • Matt Schmid – Guarantee Electric
  • Amy Schmidt – The Korte Company
  • Miranda Stevens – Holland Construction Services
  • Dan Sullivan – O’Shea Builders
  • Joe Tucker – Raineri Construction
  • Chris Walker – Guarantee Electrical
  • Matthew Walters – Alberici Constructors
  • Landon Williams – Stevens Industries, Inc.

CLI is an executive education program jointly developed by SIUE’s School of Business and the School of Engineering’s Department of Construction. It brings together professionals from many sectors of the building industry.

Since CLI’s creation, approximately 370 emerging leaders and executives have benefitted from the nine-week program that strengthens leadership, strategic thinking, communications and key management skills.

For more information on the Construction Leadership Institute, visit or call 618-650-5440.

Photo Above:

(Front Row L-R) Nathan Haas, Joe Tucker, Matthew Walters, Chris Darr, Patrick Horan, Kerry Brown.

(Row 2 L-R) Tim Doran, Anne Hoffmann, Dan Sullivan, Chris Ballard, Miranda Stevens, Amy Schmidt, Cory Parker, Kyle Pfundt , Katy Beckerle

(Row 3 L-R) Bobby Christopher, Chris Walker, Dan Ems, Jake Clancy, Eric Kues, Walker Gusewelle, Cody Ryan, Matt Schmid, Landon Williams, Craig Gonet, Brian Dayton, Ben Pratt.

Kadean Construction Developing New Surgical Center in Mayfair Plaza In North St. Louis County

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Kadean Construction is building a new ambulatory surgical center, which will be named Advanced Surgical Care of St. Louis, in the Mayfair Plaza Shopping Center near Parker Road and Highway 367 in North St. Louis County, it was announced today.

The new surgical center located at 232 Mayfair Plaza will have two surgical suites, a procedure room, a treatment room, a clean room, a waiting area, two private recovery rooms, and six recovery bays. The company will perform a range of outpatient surgical procedures, from minor operations to knee and hip replacements.

The project also includes the installation of new plumbing, mechanical, fire protection, and electrical systems including a back-up emergency generator, said Kadean President Mike Eveler.

“We’re excited to be converting a former retail space into a surgical center that will provide a tremendous service for many people in the North County area,” Eveler said. “We’ve just started construction and will be finished in June for the owner to occupy.”

Advanced Surgical Care of St. Louis is an affiliate of SurgCenter Development, which operates 110 surgical centers around the country, and serves nearly 190,000 patients a year.

“The demand for ambulatory surgical centers continues to increase on both a local and national level,” Eveler said. “Our nation’s population is continuing to age and the need for joint replacements and other out-patient surgeries continues to grow. These centers provide excellent medical benefits to people in their local communities by eliminating the need to travel far distances to major hospital facilities.”

Kadean Construction, one of the fastest growing and most successful construction companies in the greater St. Louis area, specializes in pre-construction, design-build, construction management, and general contracting in the medical, retail, commercial, and industrial sectors.

In addition to building surgical centers in the St. Louis area, it has built or is constructing new surgical centers in Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

The company’s healthcare division has also undertaken major building and renovation projects in recent years for BJC HealthCare at Barnes Jewish Hospital, Missouri Baptist Medical CenterSiteman Cancer Center, and other major medical facilities. Expanding its medical and senior living construction work is part of Kadean’s continuing growth strategy, Eveler said.

Lab Expansion at Missouri S&T Receives $300,000 Gift from St. Louis-Based ARCO Construction Co

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A major lab expansion at Missouri University of Science and Technology has received $300,000 in funding from ARCO Construction Co. Inc., a St. Louis-based general contracting firm. The contribution will support one of the university’s top priorities, the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML).


The ACML project marks the final phase of a $10.5 million initiative focused on advancing Missouri S&T’s national leadership in infrastructure engineering. The lab will provide space for research on next-generation construction materials and methods vital to building and maintaining roads, railways and other transportation systems. These advances have the potential to revolutionize traditional construction products and processes, making them stronger, more secure, more cost-effective and environmentally greener.


“As a nation, we face aging infrastructure challenges,” says Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T. “Thanks to ARCO’s investment, as well as support from other industry partners, individuals and the University of Missouri System, this lab will extend S&T’s strong legacy and capabilities in the international field of infrastructure engineering.”


ARCO was co-founded in 1992 by two Missouri S&T alumni, Dick Arnoldy, retired chairman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in engineering management from S&T, and Jeff Cook, president and chief executive officer, who holds a master’s degree in engineering management from S&T. 


Over the past two decades, ARCO has supported many university projects, including the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, home of 18 S&T student design teams. The company employs more than 25 S&T alumni.  


“ARCO stepped up because Missouri S&T — and the S&T alumni who work at ARCO — have been a large part of our success,” says Arnoldy. “ARCO is a firm believer in giving back, and S&T has helped us achieve what we have as a company.”


The research initiative’s first phase was completed with a U.S. Department of Transportation grant that funded $2.5 million in testing equipment. The second phase added new faculty positions in civil, architectural and environmental engineering as well as materials science and engineering. The final phase is the $6.5 million Advanced Construction and Materials Lab, which will add 16,000 square feet of space to the existing High-bay Structures Laboratory in S&T’s Butler-Carlton Hall. 


Thanks to financial support from the University of Missouri System, as well as funding from S&T’s College of Engineering and Computing, other industry partners and alumni, nearly $5.5 million has been raised in support of the $6.5 million project. Gifts to the lab are matched through a bequest from James A. Heidman, a 1965 civil engineering graduate.


“ARCO is excited to invest in this project,” says John Komlos, company vice president and a Missouri S&T civil engineering graduate. “Over the next several years, we can expect significant infrastructure investments nationwide. We must act now to develop innovative methods and materials for these projects.”


For more information on the lab expansion, contact Shannon De Bourg at or 573-341-4944.

McCarthy Completes Construction of New Patient Tower & Other Renovations at Mercy Hospital Jefferson

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Campus expansion project includes construction of new front entrance and extensive interior renovation of existing hospital facilities.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has completed construction of a new three-story, 120,000-sq.-ft. patient building on the campus of Mercy Hospital Jefferson in Crystal City, Mo.

Constructed to the south of the existing hospital facility, the $73 million tower features 90 private patient rooms and is designed to accommodate a potential vertical expansion to add new patient floors in the future.

The project also involved renovating the hospital’s main entrance to improve patient and visitor access. The new main entrance features a covered canopy, full window lantern element, reflecting pond, and stone and brick façade. Inside, patients and visitors experience improved wayfinding and new corridors that efficiently connect the emergency department, imaging, surgical services and admitting areas.

An extensive interior renovation of the existing hospital building included construction of a new emergency department waiting area and triage rooms; additional cardiology facilities; and MRI suites. Construction of a new childbirth center on the third floor of the existing tower includes new labor and delivery suites, remodeled postpartum rooms and two dedicated surgical units.

Other campus enhancements include relocation of the emergency helicopter landing pad and ambulance entrance as well as a parking expansion and repaving of Emergency Drive, which loops through the hospital property.

All construction activities progressed while the 251-bed hospital continued to provide full services to patients and the community.

“Delivering a significant construction project on an active medical campus requires constant communication with hospital staff, patients and the community,” said John Farnen, executive director of strategic projects for Mercy. “Mercy has worked with McCarthy for more than 30 years, and we rely on their healthcare expertise and ability to minimize disruptions throughout construction.”

The construction team leveraged technology, including full building information modeling (BIM) for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) coordination, to facilitate construction efficiency and accuracy.

“McCarthy values its long-term relationship with Mercy, and we were pleased to partner with them on this project to expand care to patients throughout Jefferson County and the broader community,” said McCarthy Vice President of Operations Doug Mangers.

McCarthy served as construction manager for the expansion project. Bates Architects designed the new patient tower and Heideman Associates served as MEP engineer.  

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 and 2016 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.


McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has been setting the industry standard in healthcare construction for over a century. Consistently ranked as a top healthcare builder by Modern Healthcare and Engineering News-Review, McCarthy has constructed more than 800 significant healthcare facilities and renovated thousands more. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+.

CREW St. Louis Honors Members, Lesley Hoffarth at 13th Annual Networking Awards Ceremony

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Leader of Forest Park Forever receives Woman of Influence honors 

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) honored members at its 13th Annual Networking Awards held on March 8 at The Saint Louis Woman’s Club. In addition to members, CREW-St. Louis presented its third annual Woman of Influence Award. The award recognizes a female leader who has impacted the commercial real estate industry through her leadership, accomplishments and service to the St. Louis region.

Cindy Preszler, broadcast and web meteorologist, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

The awards revolve around CREW-St. Louis’ mission to advance, educate and support women to influence the commercial real estate industry. Those honored in 2018 were: 

Woman of Influence: Lesley Hoffarth, President and Executive Director, Forest Park Forever

Hoffarth was recruited by the board to lead Forest Park Forever while still overseeing the $535 million I-64 project. A 20-year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, Hoffarth joined Forest Park Forever after she completed the massive transportation project one month ahead of schedule and $11 million under budget.

In January 2010, she assumed the helm of Forest Park Forever, the private nonprofit conservancy charged with restoring, maintaining and sustaining one of America’s greatest urban public parks.

Hoffarth is leading the organization through a transition of its mission. Initially focused on rebuilding the 1,300-acre park, the organization has expanded its mission to partner with the City to restore, sustain and maintain it forever. To do so, Hoffarth and her team successfully negotiated a first-in-the-nation innovative agreement with the City that forms a partnership, secures funding for ongoing maintenance and builds the next phase of capital projects. This public-private partnership is considered a leading national model, with requests from around the country for advice on what it takes to make it work.

As part of this mission, she launched Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future. The $130 million campaign was designed to raise $30 million dollars to complete urgent capital projects and $100 million to expand the endowment for long-term park maintenance.

The most ambitious fundraising initiative in Forest Park’s history, the Forever campaign exceeded its goal.

Those gifts already have been made an impact in improving the park:

  • Rebuilding the roads around the Zoo and Art Museum, adding safe crossings, LED lighting and more than two miles of new sidewalks;
  • Rebuilding the bridge between the Boathouse and the Muny and adding safe sidewalks and a connection to the path system;
  • Installing a comprehensive new way-finding system for drivers, cyclists and walkers;
  • And overhauling the Festival & Parking Plaza above the Muny.

New Member of the Year: Lauren Berry, Gershman Commercial Real Estate

Berry jumped right in after joining CREW-St. Louis in late 2016. She serves as a key member of the communications committee. As a major contributor to its social media outreach, she recently agreed to chair the social media subcommittee.

She started an informal networking event for younger members and also serves as co-chair of the organization’s ambassador committee.

CREW Impact Award: Stacey Hudson, CORE Facility Services

Hudson was honored for advancing the chapter’s success. In particular, she has devoted numerous hours to capturing the spirit of CREW-St. Louis in her photographs. Additionally, she compiled a history of the chapter’s past presidents. She currently serves on the executive board as secretary.

Her impact on CREW-St. Louis started almost the day she joined in 1991. She became a board member filling the slot of someone moving away. Since then, she has co-chaired the programs committee and continues as a member on this important committee. She also has shared the opportunities available in commercial real estate with female high school and college students.

Economic Impact: Sarah Davis and Brittany Burke, CRG; Julie Panagos, Koman Group; Farris Hughes, Fifth Third Bank; Jenny Marler, Dentons US LLP; Eryn Bassett, Environmental Operations Inc. (Everly on the Loop)

The award honors a development project that impacts a community and the CREW-St. Louis members who played a pivotal role in the completion of Everly on the Loop

It took vision to convert what had been a vacant lot into a 14-story, 209-unit residential complex. The site formerly housed the Yellow Cab Company but the building was demolished in 2006.

Working with the community, area business leaders and political entities, formal approval to rezone the property took place in February 2016. Construction began soon after in May 2016. It was completed in record time, opening its doors in August 2017.

The student housing high-rise development anchors the East Loop in St. Louis City. Its impact extended development beyond Skinker Boulevard and connects to the nearby MetroLink station. And it will encourage future development.

The $66 million development greatly added to the region’s economy, supplying nearly 1,000 jobs as it rose from the ground. Equally impressive, 29 minority and women-owned firms were awarded contracts, expanding their capability to tackle larger projects in the future. Apprentices received experience, including several from the Construction Career Development Initiative.

Developed by CRG and the Koman Group, Everly on the Loop features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that appeal to students at nearby universities such as Washington University, as well as to young professionals who cherish urban living. Leases have been signed for more than 80 percent of the residential units.

The vision to move this forward required the skills of several CREW-St. Louis members.

Sarah Davis with CRG provided legal counsel before, during and after construction, and Brittany Burke handled public relations and marketing support.

Other members include those in the Koman Group, which became a partner in the project. Julie Paganos oversaw finish selections for the common areas and residential units, as well as details for the amenities and security.

Farris Hughes represented Fifth Third Bank, the project’s key lender, and she enlisted Denton’s Jenny Marler to oversee the legal work and due diligence to complete the $52 million syndicated construction loan. Eryn Bassett with Environmental Operations performed the environmental due diligence.

Career Advancement for Women: Erin Torney, Colliers St. Louis

CREW-St. Louis members recognized Torney for her constant efforts to support and advance the careers of women in commercial real estate. In fact, one nominee credits her for helping when she contemplated a transition to a new company.

Part and parcel, she has served in key positions as a member of the golf and ambassador’s committees. She then became co-chair of the ambassador’s committee, which welcomes new members and provides networking opportunities to all members. She is ideally suited for her latest role as co-chair of the membership committee.

Torney holds leadership positions with other organizations outside of CREW-St. Louis, focusing her efforts on education and advocacy to help others advance their careers.

CREW-St. Louis is one of the largest of CREW Network’s global chapters. Its more than 200 members come from all disciplines in commercial real estate. For more information, visit Follow CREW-St. Louis on Twitter @CREWSTL.

Civic Pride Greatest Asset in Selling St. Louis, ULI St. Louis Panel Agrees

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By KERRY SMITH, Editor, St. Louis Construction News & Review

Nearly 100 members and guests of Urban Land Institute St. Louis gathered in the historic Magnolia St. Louis boutique hotel March 8th to hear a message of how crucial civic pride is in attracting business, investment and visitors to The Gateway City.

The organization, whose mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating sustaining, thriving communities, convened a panel Thursday morning to talk through St. Louis’ strongest development-related assets. Of the list they articulated, a less conventional one rose to the top: civic pride.

Kitty Ratcliffe, president of Explore St. Louis – formerly known as the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission – said messaging coming from the mouths of those working on the front lines of the hospitality industry have the ability to influence site selectors, developers, investors and convention venue scouts as to whether or not they seriously consider St. Louis. Ratcliffe said the convention and visitors commission formed a nonprofit educational entity, St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation, in 2013 to “create a culture of confidence and competitiveness among St. Louis area residents” to propel the city’s growth. At Thursday’s panel discussion, Ratcliffe said equipping local hospitality industry workers with the same plusses about their city is every bit as critical.

“We all know what a great community this is and how much we love it,” said Ratcliffe. However, five years ago we formed the foundation because we felt that our own people were in some way, shape or form our worst enemies in selling St. Louis as a destination.”

Back then, despite a vibrant destination-driven ad campaign in cities such as Washington D.C. and Chicago that drew prospects to visit St. Louis, Ratcliffe said too many of these leads were met in cabs, at hotel front desks, at St. Louis restaurants and elsewhere with less-than-stellar messaging from the city’s own.

“Clients would come in, take a cab from the airport and check in at the front desk and they were met with responses such as, ‘Why would you look here? Why would you want to choose St. Louis?’ With support from local corporations, our foundation has now trained more than 1,000 cab drivers, hundreds of hotel workers and a great number of others working in the St. Louis hospitality sector how to respond with what’s great about St. Louis,” she added. “We absolutely have to train and encourage people in our community to be evangelists for our community. It has to start from the inside out.”

Robert O’Loughlin, a fellow panelist at the ULI St. Louis event, is chairman and CEO of Lodging Hospitality Management, which owns 20 hotels across the St. Louis metro area. O’Loughlin agreed.

“You can’t go out and sell prospects on coming to a particular area until you first sell your own people on it,” O’Loughlin said. “It has to start from the ground up, from the inside out. When employees feel good about where they’re at, visitors and prospects will hear a very sincere story.”

McGrath & Associates completes renovation of the Missouri Baptist Medical Center Heart Center

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McGrath & Associates has completed a renovation of the Missouri Baptist Medical Center Heart Center in St. Louis.  McGrath served as construction manager. The architect was Christner.

The renovation and relocation project involved several spaces on the Missouri Baptist campus totaling approximately 16,000 square feet – two physician office suites, a PET/CT imaging room, and an outpatient testing area. Located in multiple buildings and areas of the hospital complex, the projects were carefully phased and several were constructed simultaneously to ensure completion within an accelerated six-month timeline.

McGrath completely renovated a doctors’ office suite in a medical office building on campus, upgrading the physicians’ offices, four exam rooms, a reception/waiting area and a workroom. McGrath also built a new PET/CT imaging room, which was moved to accommodate the renovation and relocation of cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon office space. The imaging project involved installation of extensive lead shielding for radiation safety prior to relocating the PET/CT equipment. The renovation also included construction to support outpatient cardiac testing.

Because the renovation took place in occupied health care areas, McGrath implemented strict isolation and infection prevention measures to ensure a clean and safe environment for patients and staff.

McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial, health care, industrial, institutional and pharmaceutical construction projects since 1983. McGrath is ranked among the top 20 largest general contractors in St. Louis by the St. Louis Business Journal and was named 2016 “General Contractor of the Year” by the American Subcontractors Association Midwest Council, an award the company has received six times out of 20 nominations. McGrath is a member of the Associated General Contractors and the St. Louis Construction OSHA Partnership. For more information, call Ken Knobbe at (314) 772-7600 or viisit

St. Louis NECA Salutes Doug Martin for 40 Years of Service

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Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), was honored by colleagues in the construction industry for 40 years of service to NECA.   The March 6, 2018 salute at the Missouri Athletic Club in Des Peres was the second time Martin was honored this year by the St. Louis construction industry.  On Feb. 22, 2018, Martin received the Al Fleischer Management Award for 34 years of service to the venerable Saint Louis Construction Cooperative (SLCC)

A strong advocate of labor-management cooperation, Martin works closely with Frank Jacobs, business manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1, guiding the NECA/IBEW labor-management partnership, Electrical Connection, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Both the St. Louis NECA and the SLCC celebrations of Martin’s service drew leadership from labor, management and the businesses served by the construction industry.

“Doug has always been a champion of advancing construction proficiently and uniting owner, contractor and trade union to overcome any challenges that may arise,” noted Steven S. Sobo, PE, FMP, SFP director, capital projects, Washington University School of Medicine. “He is very attentive to the owner’s needs and is quick to respond when called for guidance or assistance.”  Sobo is a member of the SLCC.

For the St. Louis Chapter NECA, Martin helps guide a trade association representing more than 200 electrical and communication contractors located in eastern Missouri.  “NECA represents the most proficient electrical contractors in our region, large and small, who provide a wide variety of electrical and communications services,” said Emily Martin, president of St. Louis NECA and president of Aschinger Electric.  “Doug’s 40 years of advocacy for NECA at the bargaining table, in the legislature and to the public has helped sustain the robust electrical contracting industry we have today.”

Martin is responsible for negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements with three local unions of the IBEW, under which more than 5,000 electricians and communication technicians are employed.  Martin serves as a management trustee on multi-employer health, pension and other employee benefit funds.  He also coordinates education, marketing and public relations programs for member contractors and is a spokesman before governmental agencies in connection with legislation impacting the electrical and communication contracting industry.

“There is trust and mutual respect with Doug,” said Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1 business manager.  “We don’t agree all the time, but Doug listens and always presents his point of view with honesty and conviction.  Most importantly, Doug is very passionate about the value of skill and safety in the electrical industry upon which IBEW and NECA collectively build its future as labor-management partners.”

In his role with St. Louis NECA, Martin works with Jacobs and Electrical Connection Executive Vice President Jim Curran to help market skills and safety, invest in workforce development, develop strategic business and education partnerships, fortify STEM education and develop NECA/IBEW as a valuable resource to meet Missouri’s future energy and technology needs.

Their work recently earned the Electrical Connection two prestigious awards:  The St. Louis Regional Chamber Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award and the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers Inclusion Award for Organizational Excellence for Inclusion

“The electrical industry is fortunate to have Doug with technology rapidly changing our world,” noted Curran.  “Doug has the vision to meet challenges with thoughtful solutions that will guide our contractors and workforce through the changes.”

Photo Above: Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association and Emily Martin, president of St. Louis NECA and president of Aschinger Electric

Electrical Connection Earns Inclusion Award

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The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (SLCCC) has presented the Electrical Connection with an Inclusion Award for its efforts to strengthen diversity in the St. Louis construction industry.  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).

In earning the SLCCC’s Organizational Excellence for Inclusion Award, the Electrical Connection was saluted for taking a holistic approach to investment in training and creatively expanding outreach to minority communities.  Today more than 25 percent of apprentices accepted in the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center are minorities.  IBEW/NECA invest $3 million annually in training, developing highly complex electrical and communication technology skills. The training center has a graduation rate of more than 90 percent.  Its career-building education is free of charge, at no taxpayer expense, and allows apprentices to earn a living with benefits as they develop the skills and safety needed for next generation electrical and communications installations.

Ten years ago, the Great Recession devastated the ranks of the region’s skilled construction workforce.  Many dropped out of the industry or moved away. IBEW/NECA fortified its investment in training from 8,000 hours to 10,000 hours in 2011.  It also tasked its Electrical Connection partnership to develop new strategies to energize minority outreach through its business relationships and partnerships.

Among those in the minority community who have benefited from the outreach is 47-year-old Trisa Newburn whose massage therapy business was shut down by the Great Recession.  Now in her final year of apprenticeship at the training center, Newburn is on the threshold becoming an IBEW electrician.  “This career would be great for lots of people nowadays especially when you can get out of college and still not have a job.  I can get out of school and have many jobs to go to, with good money,” noted Newburn in a Feb. 22, 2018 Fox 2 story on the recovery and resiliency of the St. Louis construction industry.

One of the biggest IBEW/NECA investments was made in fall 2017, when it committed $500,000 to a STEM education partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center that fortifies an eight-year-long commitment helping schools improve science, technology, engineering and math education.  The investment helps the Science Center reach more schools serving minority communities.

“The Science Center’s mission is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO, Saint Louis Science Center.  “The Electrical Connection is a great partner in advancing that mission while broadening outreach to minority communities, where we work together to cultivate greater opportunities for minorities in the electrical trades.”

Other investments and outreach has included:

  • Effective STEM partnerships that unite programs like the Saint Louis Science Center and FIRSTRobotics with the unique skills of the electrical industry that are in high demand to serve science and technology.  STEM subjects are connected to electrical careers in compelling ways as more than 10,000 students have been engaged in school districts with a significant minority student body.
  • Connecting its education programs with key business/education organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, St. Louis Gateway Chapter; American Association of Blacks in Energy, St. Louis Chapter; Project Lead the Way(Jennings School District) and more.
  • Creating a career development education partnership with St. Louis Community Collegein 2017 that allows apprentices and journey workers to earn associate degrees.
  • Participation in more than 20 career fairs annually at high schools throughout the area and furthering outreach through its membership in Missouri School Board Associationand the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
  • Publicizing details of compelling transitions to electrical careers by minorities
  • Fully supporting the Building Union Diversity (BUD)program, a series of nine-week pre-apprenticeship training programs that ready minority construction career aspirants for apprenticeship training.
  • Creatively broadening outreach through trust-building programs aimed at younger children through its $10,000 support of the Ferguson “Shop with a Cop”program 2016 and 2017.  The charity helped familiarize young children with the electrical industry
  • Continuing support of the Regional Union Construction Centerand its mission of creating a sustainable minority contracting community.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers represents the buyers of construction services in the St. Louis region.  Learn more at

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information visit

Image above, L to R: Carol Daniel, KMOX; Mike Newton, IBEW Local 1; Ramon Tumblin-Rucker, BJC HealthCare and SLCCC Diversity Committee chair; Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1; and St. Louis NECA representative Ken Naumann, Kaiser Electric.

KWK Architects Designs New Living/Learning Community for Emporia State University

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With its housing facilities aging, Emporia State University in Kansas responded to input from students, parents and alumni to create inviting residential spaces on campus. University administrators decided to construct a 324-bed living/learning community for ESU students to replace two outdated residence halls on campus.

St. Louis, MO-based KWK Architects was hired as the design architect on the $22 million project, with HTK Architects of Topeka, Kansas serving as the architect-of-record.

The process of designing the new residence hall was very inclusive, with a close-knit client group that included representatives from a wide variety of stakeholders, including students, faculty, Residential Life, Student Affairs, Building Services, Information Technology and others.

The design of the new 91,000-square-foot building, recently named Schallenkamp Hall after the university’s 14th president, Dr. Kay Schallenkamp, features four stories and three residential wings, each with a variety of bedroom configurations (doubles, accessible doubles, singles and singles + bathroom). The residential wings are also designed with lounge areas, corridors with natural light and community bathrooms that afford privacy.

The design for Schallenkamp Hall also includes a learning commons area that features:

  • Two music practice rooms
  • Art studio
  • Team study room
  • A mid-sized classroom
  • Flexible collaboration space
  • Two-story lounges with community kitchens

“The entire design process for Schallenkamp Hall has maintained focus on the creation of intentional places and spaces for community and learning to develop and deepen,” said Cass Coughlin, Director, Department of Residential Life, Emporia State University. “The design of a learning commons as the hall’s ‘front porch’ connects the liberal arts and sciences to the residents via music practice rooms, an art studio, and several areas for group collaboration and study. The design looks great on paper, but Schallenkamp Hall will not realize its full potential and beauty until students — past, present and future — and the Lyon County community animate the building and its design intents.”

The new hall will be constructed directly across Market Street from Beach and King Halls, which house the art, theater and music departments. Market Street is the main corridor through campus. Schallenkamp Hall is scheduled to open in August 2019 and replace Central and Northeast Morse Halls, which are both scheduled for demolition in summer 2019. Central Hall (opened in 1951) has 114 beds and Northeast Morse Hall (opened in 1964) has 151 beds.

About KWK Architects

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

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