Construction is complete on the expansion and renovation of the new weight room at Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School in St. Louis. Kwame Building Group (KWAME) served as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR). The project included updating the building’s footprint in order to expand the current weight room by approximately 1,200 square feet. The upgraded facility will help Cardinal Ritter develop and extend their athletic program and create a space that enhances the learning experience for students.
Compared to the previous facility, the new weight room adds collegiate level exercise equipment, a large amount of natural light and direct access to outdoor fields. It also features a commercial washer and dryer and a charging station for student use. The KWAME team managed the design and construction process, performed cost estimates, produced project schedules and reviewed the design team’s deliverables. Knoebel Construction was the general contractor partner for the project. The architect was JEMA.
A new athletic field and track is also part of the school’s athletic complex update. The upgraded complex will be a community resource for other elementary schools, youth clubs and community-based organizations. It will serve the more than 10,000 youth and adults who will use the school’s athletic facilities each year.
“This facility is nothing short of state of the art. It’s on a collegiate level and fits nicely into our strategic health and wellness plan,” said Tamiko Armstead, president of Cardinal Ritter.
Cardinal Ritter alumna Jasminn Jones was KWAME’s project manager for the renovation. While a student, she participated in the Intern Leadership Program and interned for two summers at KWAME. Jones, a graduate of Alabama A&M University, joined KWAME in 2018.
“It is an honor to be working as a project manager at my Alma Mater. I would have never imagined that I would have this opportunity and it is completely full circle. I enjoy Construction Management and I loved my time at CRCP, so to merge the two together, has been very rewarding and impactful,” said Jones. “Cardinal Ritter’s unique afrocentric style of teaching set the foundation for me to be a young black professional in the corporate world with confidence.”
“It was gratifying to witness how this has gone full circle through Jasminn, who is Cardinal Ritter graduate, former Kwame intern and now working as a full time project manager,” said Armstead. “We need more businesses like Kwame to invest in our students as interns, so they can experience careers like Jasminn and stay in St. Louis to live, work and give back.”
The renovation is part of the Cardinal Ritter’s Health and Wellness Initiative, funded in large part by the Taylor family and Enterprise Holdings Foundation, with support from our other donors, including Centene Charitable Foundation, Edward Jones and William T. Kemper Foundation.
ABOUT CARDINAL RITTER COLLEGE PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL
Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School (CRCP) was established in August of 1979 as the first African American co-educational Catholic college prep high school in the country. The mission of faith development, academic excellence, and leadership has withstood the test of time, providing an exemplary college preparatory educational experience for more than 3,000 St. Louis metropolitan area youth since 1979. Graduating classes achieve 100% college acceptance rates, and CRCP college persistence rates of 82% are higher than the average of all high schools nationally. Learn more about Cardinal Ritter College Prep at cardinalritterprep.org.
ABOUT KWAME BUILDING GROUP
Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. Celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2021, the employee-owned company provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. KWAME’s public and private sector projects include educational facilities, major airports nationwide, light-rail systems, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities and government facilities. KWAME is headquartered in St. Louis with division offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle. For more information, visit www.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.