Category archive

Companies

Mueller Prost Webinar Shares Expertise on How to Build and Safeguard a Remote Workforce

in Companies/News

By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Three St. Louis-based companies with clients in the construction industry shared their expertise on how to prepare and equip a firm’s IT systems in the wake of a scenario like COVD-19.

St. Louis-based Mueller Prost CPAs + Business Advisors, Chameleon Integrated Services and Western Specialty Contractors hosted a webinar May 19 about the steps that companies need to take to minimize the impact of unanticipated events such as the current pandemic.

“We really didn’t have to prepare for COVID-19 because more than two years ago we put a plan in place to position ourselves for a global, remote workforce,” said Shawn Nichoalds, operations IT director for Western Specialty Contractors, an exterior building restoration contractor. “So, when COVID hit, we were ready.”

Gaining executive management buy-in, standardizing and streamlining organizational processes and migrating relevant services to the cloud rather than on-premise are all components of a strategy for building a global, remote workforce, Nichoalds said. Reducing cybersecurity risks, minimizing down time and reducing a firm’s dependence on a few virtual employees for company information that can leave a firm vulnerable.

Chameleon Integrated Services President Drew Acree said the IT consulting firm’s longstanding resume of defense industry clients – including the Dept. of Defense and Scott Air Force Base – shape the company’s holistic perspective on analyzing and designing IT systems for construction companies and others that stand the test of cyber-attacks. “Our defense experience has really ingrained in us the sense for following a strict set of policies and procedures to protect the organization’s information from falling into the hands of an unintended audience,” Acree said during the webinar. “Chameleon strongly recommends having a cybersecurity assessment done now to determine the steps necessary for protecting your company’s ability to preserve and contain a risk that no organization can control.”

Mueller Prost is performing such risk assessments for construction industry firms in St. Louis and beyond. Tim Grace, director of technology risk advisory services at Mueller Prost, said risk remediation strategies typically include a risk assessment followed by a phased approach where Mueller Prost analyzes the data obtained from the company’s key stakeholders and others to determine gaps, issues or opportunities so the client can then implement any necessary corrective actions.

“As we have all discovered through COVID-19, business continuity is critical,” Grace said. “Minimizing the impact to organizations during times like these is essential.”

Teri Samples, partner and director of real estate and construction services at Mueller Prost, said firms’ IT plans and infrastructures are a crucial facet leading to their overall health and prosperity, particularly when times are uncertain.

“An integrated IT plan and infrastructure is an important part of your overall business plan,” said Samples. “It is crucial to be able to serve your customers with as much ‘up time’ as possible. While everyone is especially concerned with expenditures during these times, keeping your company operating seamlessly will help to maintain your revenue and business growth.”

Do You Have a Technology Road Map?

in Companies/News
Marty Hooper, Account Manager Common Sense Solutions

What’s your technology plan for the future? Do you have one? Should you have one?

In today’s fast-paced world it can be challenging to take the time to pause, take a breath, and see where your business is headed. It’s equally as challenging to understand how current technology, and any future technology, can help you get where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years or 20 years.

That’s especially true for companies in the construction industry. From estimating to bidding to managing jobs and projects, it’s sometimes all you can handle just to keep up. It’s easy to forget about long-term planning when all hands are on deck just to manage the current workflow. Planning for technology, when you don’t even know what might be available, can be a daunting task. Even planning with current technology is difficult since there is so much out there that may or may not be of value to your company.

Should you have a technology road map? The answer is definitely yes! Technology helps companies be more efficient, more productive and more profitable. Applying the proper technology for your business is critical to being competitive, and ultimately successful. The right plan should augment and support your overall business plan, thereby helping you attain your revenue goals.

So, where to start? The good news is, just committing to creating a plan, and starting on that plan, is the biggest and most important step. You are making a commitment to the process and dedicating resources to create your individual road map.

The next step is to put the right people in place. This is probably the most crucial step, since those people are going to lay out the final road map and help implement it. The biggest mistake I see is companies that draft the most technical person in their employ to find the technology that might serve them. Too often, those folks don’t have the breadth of knowledge and experience to find technologies that they are not familiar with. The most successful companies may leverage internal staff, but also look to outside consultants to assist in the planning phase. Find a consultant or managed service provider that knows your business and industry but is also well versed in current and up and coming technology.

The other good news is that you don’t need to worry about finding the latest and greatest new technology. Other than cutting-edge high-tech companies, most companies don’t need and won’t want untested software and devices. The key to finding the right fit for you is to task your team with finding practical and proven technology that has been successfully employed in similar industries. It’s not uncommon to see companies that have adopted the latest and greatest software, only to find out it doesn’t really fit in their organization or current workflow. They end up abandoning it, or underutilizing it, and must start a new search for something that really fits.

After the road map is developed, the next step is to get everyone on board. Change is always a challenge for a lot of folks. Some may resist overtly, while others seemingly accept the new direction but may not be fully invested enough to make it work the way you had intended. It’s important to help everyone in your organization understand the importance of the changes that are happening and get their full cooperation during implementation. Without a full commitment from both internal staff and field personnel, your road map will never realize its full potential. That’s why a phased approach may be best for your organization. Small steps are easier to accept and implement.

A technology road map can, and should be, a road map to success. The key is to plan carefully but start planning now.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in Companies/News

The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

Daniela Grushevska Named New Interior Design Director at Oculus Inc.’s Dallas Office

Daniela Grushevska

Oculus Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm, has hired Daniela Grushevska as the interior design director for its Dallas office. In her role, Grushevska will oversee interior design services for clients that are served by the Dallas location. She will also support business development for the interior design teams in the St. Louis headquarters and Portland, Ore., office.

Grushevska brings more than 20 years of interior design experience to Oculus with expertise in the hospitality, education and nonprofit sectors. She has a skillset that includes strategic planning, thoughtful design, creative problem solving and building client relationships, among other areas. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Grushevska most recently served as interior design for a St. Louis-based architecture firm. She has also worked for additional architecture and interior design firms in St. Louis and Dallas, where she worked on projects, such as St. Louis Union Station Midway and Pointe 400 in St. Louis and the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Nashville and St. Louis. She has a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Maryville University in St. Louis.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior design, planning and move management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities and spaces. Oculus creates high-performance design that supports change and promotes value for clients in the commercial, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, restaurant and workplace industries. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design. Oculusinc.com.

May 15, 2020

KAI Announces New Hire Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director 

Connie Northcutt

KAI proudly announces the hiring of Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director.

As Project Controls Director, Northcutt will work with KAI’s Architecture and Engineering leadership to provide oversight, direction and assistance to KAI’s project managers regarding project financials. She will work to improve and standardize project controls processes and best practices to help project managers achieve financially successful projects.

She has over 26 years of experience in the Project Controls profession and has held numerous leadership roles throughout that time. Her experiences have included development of tools, standards and best practice documents for project financial management; development of curriculum and facilitation of training for project controls and project management professionals; analysis of challenged projects; consulting for the development and implementation of a global project controls system; and management of program controls for an international buildings client.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Statistics from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois.

During her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at Baylor University Medical Center, ballroom dancing, taking walks, listening to audio books and spending time with her partner Barry, two daughters and grandson.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Ryan Bader Joins McCarthy as Quality Director in Central Region

Ryan Bader

Bader, who began his construction career at McCarthy 24 years ago, will oversee quality initiatives on projects across 28 states. 

Ryan Bader has joined McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.as Quality Director in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In this position, he guides project teams in the development and implementation of effective quality programs to ensure McCarthy delivers exceptional work to clients throughout all project phases—from preconstruction to closeout. He also collaborates with other McCarthy regional quality directors to share best practices and lessons learned that can be applied to future projects.

“Ryan’s extensive construction knowledge, years of experience as an owner managing projects and commitment to continuous improvement make him an ideal person to lead our quality initiatives across the Central Region,” said Brian Boeglin, McCarthy Vice President and leader of the Central Region’s quality group.

Prior to joining McCarthy, Bader served as Executive Director of the Facilities Planning, Design and Construction team at Mercy. In this role, he supervised feasibility, planning, design, construction and closeout of more than 200 projects in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.

Bader began his construction career working for McCarthy as a laborer in 1996, and he spent the bulk of his early career working on McCarthy projects in St. Louis, Denver, Omaha and Oklahoma City. During his McCarthy tensure, he delivered a range of healthcare, education and mixed-use projects.

Bader earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering and construction management from Oklahoma State University. A LEED-accredited professional, he is active in the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Lean Construction Institute (LCI), Missouri Hospital Association and Oklahoma Hospital Association. He also serves on the advisory board for Oklahoma State University College of Engineering Technology and Construction Engineering.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Laura Haralson Joins Hastings+Chivetta

Laura Haralson

Laura Haralson joined Hastings+Chivetta Architects as an Executive Assistant. As such, she provides administrative support to Erik Kocher, the firm’s Design Principal, and collaborates with President and CEO Christopher Chivetta and Executive Assistant Debra Derleth to keep the firm running smoothly. Laura discovered her love for administrative and clerical work at age 14 as a hospital volunteer exploring a potential future in nursing. Outside of work, Laura loves all styles of dance and is a Zumba and yoga instructor. She completed her coursework at St. Louis Community College, Meramec.

May 8, 2020

The UP Companies Hires Mike Marshall as Estimator & Project Manager

Mike Marshall

The UP Companies (UPCO) proudly announces the hiring of Mike Marshall as Estimator and Project Manager for the Square UP Builders Drywall Division.

In his new position, Marshall will be pricing and running drywall and acoustical ceiling work for Square UP’s diverse customer base along with bringing new relationships to the firm. Mike also has a painting background and will add capacity to further service Square UP’s select painting accounts.

Prior to UPCO, Marshall was an Estimator and Project Manager at Sundermeyer Ltd. in Bridgeton, Missouri and at Vetter Construction in Arnold, Missouri. He has 25 years of industry experience.

“Mike has the core values, experience, and relationships needed to continue to expand our Drywall Division,” said Brian W. Arnold, Vice President of The UP Companies. “We are excited to have him on board managing some of our larger drywall projects. His skills and industry reputation are a real asset to our team and to our clients.”

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For more information, go to www.theupcompanies.com or call 314.865.3888.

KAI Announces Appointment of Tim McMinn, AIA as Design Principal

Tim McMinn

KAI Enterprises proudly announces that Tim McMinn, AIA has been named Design Principal. McMinn was previously Director of Architecture at KAI. The transition is recognition of McMinn’s passionate drive to create innovative and highly creative solutions for clients.

As Design Principal, McMinn is responsible for the overall creative direction, solution development and quality of architectural design at KAI supporting offices in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis. In addition, he has a key leadership role in recruiting and developing talent, advancing the architecture practice, business growth, industry recognition and driving innovation.

Prior to KAI, McMinn owned a consulting practice for nine years in Belleville, Illinois named DesignSix; he was Director of Design for EWR Architects in Fairview Heights, Illinois; Sr. Project Manager for Roseman Associates in St. Louis; Vice President – Director of Design for Image Architects in Carbondale, Illinois and Vice President – Director of Design at FGM Architects in O’Fallon, Illinois.

McMinn’s designs have been recognized by the Illinois Capital Development Board, United States Department of Defense, American Institute of Architects – SI Chapter, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Boards.

McMinn has an Associates Degree in Architecture from ITT Technical Institute and continuing education in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis; University of Wisconsin-Madison; American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He has also studied Master Planning/Campus Planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

He is a Certified Project Manager through the Illinois Capital Development Board and a Registered Architect licensed through the Wisconsin Department of Professional Regulation. He has volunteered for the past 26 years with the American Institute of Architects as a Charrette Architect for communities in distress, working with towns and cities faced with overwhelming environmental or socio-economic challenges.

McMinn is also a published author of two contemporary literary fiction novels, “Fall Darkly” and “Rise Darkly,” both published in 2018.

He and his wife Judi and their daughter Megan divide their time between residences in St. Louis and Dallas.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Castle Contracting Promotes Austin Anway and Zach Kelly to Senior Project Engineer

Castle Contracting has promoted Austin Anway and Zach Kelly to senior project engineer. Both previously served as project engineer.

In their new roles, Anway and Kelly assume more responsibility in support of Castle projects, including daily tracking of field time and materials, subcontractor management and coordination, document control, change order control, production tracking, and punch list execution.

Austin Anway

Anway joined Castle as project engineer in 2017. Prior to signing on, he worked in the engineering division of the City of St. Charles Department of Public Works. He is a licensed drone pilot and has been on site at the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility project in Johnson County, Kan. Anway earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia. A veteran and former member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, he served as a Platoon Sergeant and Reserve Administrative Chief. Anway currently resides in Overland Park, Kan.

Zachary Kelly

Kelly joined Castle in 2014 as an intern. He is a licensed drone pilot and has spearheaded the use of drone footage to help quantify sitework production and inform scheduling on projects such as the Washington University East End Transformation of the Danforth Campus. He also contributed to Castle’s civil construction work on the Gateway Arch National Park, IKEA, City Foundry and many solar projects. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. He volunteers regularly with his alma mater, Chaminade High School, and he is on the Young Professionals Board for HomeFirst STL, a community organization that connects homeless people with affordable housing, community resources and volunteer advocates. He and his family live in Ballwin, Mo.

“Austin and Zach are two partners who just take the lead to do what needs to be done for the team and the client. They are focused on developing a full understanding of civil construction and applying technology to bring efficiencies to our projects,” said Michael Pranger, vice president of operations, Castle Contracting.

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation services, site utilities, earthwork and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors. The company’s earthmoving expertise is visible throughout the St. Louis region and from coast to coast. Castle’s recent civil contracting projects in St. Louis include Gateway Arch National Park, the East End transformation of Washington University’s Danforth campus, Next NGA West, and Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Cohen Architectural Woodworking Named A Forbes 2020 ‘Small Giant’ Among America’s Best Small Businesses

in Companies/News

Forbes has named Cohen Architectural Woodworking one of its 25 ‘Small Giants’ for 2020, recognizing America’s top small businesses. The exclusive list is represents a select group of companies committed to greatness over fast growth, enabling them to best serve their customers, employees and communities, while maintaining profitability.

Each year, Forbes teams up with the Small Giants Community to identify the top 25 best small companies in America (a.k.a. Small Giants). These companies are honored at a celebration during the Small Giants Community Summit and in Forbes magazine. The winning companies share six common qualities: purpose, leadership, culture, finance, relationships, and community.

The magazine highlighted Cohen’s humble beginnings, started by Phillip Cohen, Founder and CEO, making wooden porch swings in a neighbor’s barn as a way to recover from a life of violence and drug abuse. It discusses the formation of the company in 1982, multiple woodworking awards for architectural design and the company’s mission of helping those seeking a second chance at life.

“Forbes is one of the leading media companies in the world. To be named on their list of Small Giants is humbling.  I credit our entire team for this, for believing in our vision and working together. Our people are our strength. We are like a little village all pulling together to serve our clients and our community,” Cohen said.

The Small Giants Community was started with the best-selling book, Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. Small Giants digs deep into the stories of fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to prioritize purpose and people over profit. In his book, Burlingham explores these Small Giants and shares what gives these special companies their unique “mojo.” The Small Giants Community is a business community for purpose-driven leaders who want to share stories of incredible businesses and learn new practices and systems to implement in their own organizations. For more visit https://www.forbes.com/sites/maneetahuja/2020/05/12/forbes-small-giants-25-companies-that-believe-smaller-is-better/#739165fe1432

Founded in 1982, Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family-owned architectural design/build woodworking firm headquartered in St. James, Missouri. The firm has won multiple awards including the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Award of Excellence for six separate projects, and the 2016 Small Business of the Year award from the Rolla Chamber of Commerce. Recently, Phillip Cohen, President and Founder, was presented with the 2017 SBA Small Business Person of the Year award for the State of Missouri and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award while being named to the St. Louis Small Business Hall of Fame. For more information visit https://cohenwoodworking.com

COVID-19 Shutdown Ideal Time for Educational Facility Managers to Restore Building Facades

in Companies/News

While students are not in school due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the experts at Western Specialty Contractors say now is an ideal time for facility managers to restore the building facades on their campus.

“This is an ideal time for façade maintenance projects. Starting façade restoration projects earlier in the spring, rather than waiting until closer to summer when students are typically let out of school, gives workers more time to complete facade restoration work before students would return in the fall,” said Mike Tripp, Western Specialty Contractors Minnesota Branch Manager. “Minimizing disruptions and protecting the safety of students has always been a priority when working on educational facilities.”

The façade restoration experts at Western Specialty Contractors stress that maintaining the exteriors of educational facilities is just as important as maintaining their interiors for the safety and comfort of the students, faculty and staff.

There are several areas of a building’s exterior that can deteriorate and allow water penetration. If not addressed in a timely fashion, damage to a building’s facade can eventually lead to interior damage as well as other structural issues. Routinely inspecting a building’s façade and making repairs will help to ensure a safe and attractive learning environment for everyone, plus reduce more costly repairs down the road.

Brick and Mortar Joints

A building’s brick façade is built from the ground up. One story is built, then a steel lintel is installed for the next floor up. Sometimes those lintels don’t get installed properly and are installed right on top of the brick. Therefore, when the next floor is built up, it doesn’t allow for the expansion and drainage that is required, which ultimately causes the brick to self-destruct and spall. If this condition is not attended to in time, the entire brick wall may have to be repaired.

Flashing Systems

The flashing systems are another important element of a building’s exterior to consider. The mindset of the flashing system installer is generally not on the system as a barrier. In many cases involving masonry walls, when the brick is pulled out, it appears that not a lot of attention was given to the actual sealing or waterproofing of the backup substrate to the flashing. It may be absent or not installed properly. If this problem exists, the flashing system may have to be re-done, which involves removing several courses of brick above the steel lintel so that new flashing and waterproofing can be installed. This work will help ensure that any water that enters the masonry will be allowed to escape in the location of the flashing and away from the building.

Caulking and Sealants

A large and important part of any building’s exterior are its sealants. When the sealants on a building’s exterior appear cracked, spongy, or chalky it indicates that they are probably beyond their life expectancy. With most urethane sealants, the life expectancy is generally in the 5-10-year range. Silicone sealants will last longer than urethane sealants but will still need attention after about the 10-year mark.

Cleaning and Sealing

There are a lot of ways to clean different façade surfaces. Careful consideration must be given to which type of processes are used to clean the various facades. Some processes can be very damaging to the substrate. For example, sandblasting is a quick way of cleaning a surface, but it can be damaging to a lot of surfaces. There are also a lot of different cleaning compounds – some are stronger, some are milder. It is important to hire a professional architect, engineer and/or specialty contractor who has experience with proper façade cleaning to ensure that damage isn’t done to the building. Cleaning a façade is done primarily for aesthetics, however it is also done to clean algae, fungi and carbons that attach to buildings and can advance the deterioration of the structure.

While there are many different types of masonry construction, there are also different types of sealers to protect them. A Rilem Tube Test can be used to determine the effectiveness of a building’s existing water repellency. With this test, a Rilem tube is sealed to the building over the mortar joint of the masonry unit and filled with water to simulate an 80-mph, wind-driven rain to the surface. The rate that the water is absorbed into the wall is then calculated. The faster the water disappears into the mortar joint, the more a sealer may be needed. Working with an architect, engineer or experienced specialty contractor is recommended to determine existing conditions and the best type of sealer for the building.

Plaza Decks

In the case of plaza decks, the topping systems such as a poured concrete slab or pavers over a waterproof membrane can deteriorate along with the waterproofing below causing the need for complete removal and re-installation. Sometimes the topping systems are in good shape, but the waterproofing is in bad shape; maybe it was never detailed properly, or it could be a number of other malfunctions. If water is getting into the building from the plaza, the plaza deck should be fixed.

In the instance that repairs cannot wait until the school year is complete, be sure to find a specialty contractor that has experience with minimizing construction-related noises and can keep intrusions to a minimum so as to not disrupt the learning environment while the repairs are underway.

For more information about façade inspections and restoration, contact the Western Specialty Contractors branch location nearest you: https://www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/western-locations/. For a sampling of Western’s educational projects – www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/projects/markets/educational/.

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.    

Maintaining Idle HVAC Systems During the Shutdown

in Companies/News

Submitted by Synergy Group

Buildings that are closed or have reduced occupancy still need their equipment serviced

During this unprecedented societal shutdown due to COVID-19, many individuals are working from home, so most commercial buildings have either been closed down or are operating with a limited number of occupants. As a result, the HVAC systems in those buildings are likely operating on a reduced schedule, or else they may have been turned off completely.

However, just because buildings are closed does not mean that routine maintenance on HVAC equipment should be put off until occupants return to the building. Indeed, this is a good time for contractors to remind their commercial customers to take the opportunity to make repairs or upgrade their systems, or at a minimum, to keep up with the regularly scheduled maintenance.

Some Companies Are Open and Operational

The majority of the commercial customers at Air Pros USA, which has locations in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Texas, and Washington state, have remained open during the pandemic, so their HVAC systems have been operating as they normally would, said Anthony Perera, company president and founder.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Anthony Perera of Air Pros said the majority of their commercial customers have remained open during the pandemic.

“Most of our commercial clients are banks and data centers, and they are still operating as usual,” he said. “The demand for regular maintenance is still there, but a lot of major projects and retrofits are being put off for now. We’ve had some requests for UV lights, hospital-grade filtration, coil cleanings, and duct sanitation, but for the most part, owners just want to keep their equipment running as optimally as possible right now.”

For those commercial customers whose buildings have been closed, Perera’s staff has been in close contact with them, reminding them of the need to keep their HVAC systems maintained and serviced before occupants return.

“We’ve been suggesting that now is the time to take the opportunity to go through and clean the systems and get them ready for occupants,” said Perera. “Otherwise, if the systems are not running and then they are turned back on, there will be a lot of stress on the equipment, which could lead to failures. We’re expecting that could happen, and we’re ready for that.”

NEEDED REPAIRS: Some of EMCOR’s customers are taking advantage of their building’s low occupancy to complete needed repairs and replacement.

David Geith, vice president of service at EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems in Irvine, California, noted that in the commercial office space, most of their clients have tenants that are considered essential businesses, so while the buildings are running at a substantially lower load, they are occupied and therefore still operating. For this reason, Mesa, which operates all over California, Arizona, and Nevada, is still on-site at the majority of its customer locations.

“Some customers are taking advantage of their building’s low occupancy to complete needed repairs and replacement, and many customers are asking us about coil cleanings, enhanced filtration, UV lighting, and bipolar ionization,” he said.

While there is not enough information regarding whether or not ductwork and coils should be disinfected before tenants return to work, cleaning coils with biocide is always a good practice, said Geith. In addition, over-ventilation and the implementation of UV lighting coupled with proper filtration is an ASHRAE 170-recommended strategy for hospitals, he said, which makes it appropriate to use for infectious disease control in commercial buildings.

“The question we get most often is if the virus can be spread by the HVAC system, and unfortunately, no one can give a clear definitive answer to that question,” said Geith. “Having said that, we believe it is prudent to offer our clients guidance based on standards set by ASHRAE for infectious disease in hospitals. Hospitals go to great lengths to enhance their filtration, increase ventilation rates, and sometimes include UV lighting to disinfect coils and equipment. By following these standards, we can offer solutions for customers who have similar concerns in their buildings.”

Building Setbacks

The commercial clients at Whole Building Systems LLC in Charleston, South Carolina, include K-12 school districts, universities, and state and local government agencies. Most have large building portfolios and use district or campus-wide BAS to control and monitor their HVAC system performance, and all have continued to operate their systems during the existing shutdown, said M. Dennis Knight, P.E., FASHRAE, principal/engineer at Whole Building Systems and member of ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force.

ROUTINE MAINTENANCE: While buildings are empty or partially occupied, Whole Building Systems’ Dennis Knight recommends that clients do both routine maintenance and perform some deferred maintenance work.

“We are in a warm and humid climate zone, and it is never a good idea to completely shut down an HVAC system in a building in this climate zone for long periods of time,” he said. “Our clients have typically operated their systems in the unoccupied mode, where cooling thermostat set points have been set up from a normal occupied setting of 74°F to 78 to 80°F, and heating thermostat set points have been set back from normal occupied settings of 70°F to 65°F. Humidity settings have been relaxed from an occupied setting of 55 percent relative humidity to an unoccupied setting of 60 percent.”

While buildings are empty or partially occupied, Knight has recommended that clients take the opportunity to do both routine maintenance and to perform some deferred maintenance work, such as replacing units that are at the end of their useful life. (Of course, any work performed by the maintenance staff and/or contractors should follow CDC and OSHA guidelines for safe work practices.)

“I would suspect that many private sector building owners may not be as proactive or have the financial capability to take similar actions and have had to either reduce system maintenance or defer it altogether,” said Knight. “For owners who have had to bring their operations to an almost complete stop, as a minimum, I would suggest to inspect their facilities as often as possible for signs of problems and keep condensate drain traps filled to help avoid IAQ issues when restarting the systems.”

Requested Closures

AIR CONTROL: At IFS, customers are seeing the need to better control the amount of air, and quality of air, being added to and removed from buildings.

Integrated Facility Services (IFS), which is a full-service HVAC, plumbing, piping, fire protection, and building automation firm in St. Louis, Missouri, did have several commercial clients specifically request that their HVAC equipment be turned off.

“However, we strongly encourage that they run their equipment in a reduced mode to allow for continued air exchanges and to keep equipment from sitting dormant for too long,” said Chris Ruth, controls manager at IFS. “If equipment has been turned off completely, it should be closely monitored upon startup, and filter changes are always good to do after extended periods of non-operation. We recommend starting equipment up a week before occupancy to allow plenty of time for service if needed.”

SERVICE WORK: As service work orders have continued to come in, building owners have realized the need to continue having IFS maintain their equipment.

Service for some customers was halted for a brief time during the pandemic, said Ruth, as many owners and operators completely closed their buildings to visitors. However, as service work orders continued to come in, building owners realized the need to continue maintaining their equipment, so customers are slowly beginning to allow IFS to service equipment again. Other projects were completed, too, such as mechanical and controls work that involved building pressure and IAQ.

“Customers are seeing the need to better control the amount of air, and quality of air, being added to and removed from buildings,” said Ruth. “Medical facilities are requesting specific rooms or wings be configured to operate under negative pressure in order to mitigate the amount of airborne particles leaving said areas.”

For more information on HVAC maintenance and operation recommendations during the Covid-19 shutdown, visit ASHRAE’s COVID-19 Resources webpage at www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/resources (see sidebar below).

ASHRAE Guide On HVAC Maintenance During Shutdown

ASHRAE has published two statements to define guidance on managing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease (coronavirus) with respect to the operation and maintenance of HVAC systems in buildings. The official statements are as follows:

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.

Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. Unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life threatening and that may also lower resistance to infection. In general, disabling of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus.

For more information, ASHRAE’s COVID-19 Resources webpage provides a plethora of guidance regarding the operation and maintenance of HVAC systems during the shutdown due to COVID-19. ASHRAE recommends that building owners and service professionals follow the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 180-2018, Standard Practice for the Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial HVAC Systems, which has tables to show the typical maintenance required for equipment that has been in operation. Some of those recommendations are as follows:

  • Continued operation of all systems;
  • Outside air for ventilation should be increased to as much as the HVAC system can accommodate and still maintain acceptable indoor conditions during occupied hours;
  • Flushing sequence or mode may be implemented to operate the HVAC system with maximum outside airflows for two hours before and after occupied times; and
  • Systems may be operated at minimum outside air settings when the building is unoccupied or not operating in the flushing mode.

Contractors should consider using personal protective equipment (PPE) when maintaining ventilation materials including filters and condensate, and the following items should be checked during maintenance:

  • Dampers, filter, and economizers seals and frames are intact and clean, are functional and are responding to control signals;
  • Zone and air temperature, humidity, and CO2 system sensors, as applicable, are calibrated and accurately reporting environmental conditions to the BAS or local controllers;
  • Air Handling systems are providing adequate airflow, there are no blockages in the duct system (for example – closed fire/smoke dampers) and air from the air handling system is reaching each occupied space;
  • Exhaust fans are functional and venting to the outdoors;
  • Check outside air intake regularly for any potential risk such as exhaust nearby and provide proper clearance if accessible by pedestrians, etc.; and
  • Update or replace existing HVAC air filtration to a minimum of MERV 13 (MERV 14 preferred) or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass. Make sure the air handling systems and fans can overcome the additional pressure drop of the new filters and still maintain air flow at acceptable levels.

Archimages, Demien Construction Team on Ambulance District Project in St. Peters

in Companies/News

By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Kirkwood-based Archimages and Wentzville-based Demien Construction Co. have joined forces to design and construct a 5,282-square-foot base house in St. Peters for St. Charles County Ambulance District.

The one-story brick veneer building with wood frame construction is projected to reach completion later this year.

Ken Braunfeld, planning coordinator with the City of St. Peters, said the facility – which sits on a ¾-acre site at the northeast corner of Jungermann Road and Old Mill Parkway – includes four bays for ambulances and EMS vehicles along with overnight crew quarters.

Roy Mangan, associate at Archimages, is project manager for the base house design.

Julie Powers, director of economic development for the City of St. Peters, said SCCAD’s multiple design and construction projects under way are evidence of a growing district’s efforts to serve an ever-expanding population base in St. Charles County.

According to St. Charles County statistics, the county’s population has increased from 213,000 residents in 1990 to nearly 400,000 residents today.

Demien Construction is building a second SCCAD base station as well, with two additional base stations planned in future phases as part of the ambulance district’s master plan for expansion. Included in the plan is a 135,000-square-foot SCCAD headquarters and operations center, which was designed by Archimages and is currently being built by Layne Co. Construction Services of O’Fallon.

 

Demien also built Water’s Edge Banquet Center, an events venue nestled within St. Peters Golf Club, in 2019.

Preparing for Students to Return

in Companies/News

Submitted by Hastings+Chivetta 

We are living in a world with a new normal that requires at least six feet between us to keep everyone safe. The impact is universal, forcing us to reimagine the ways we live, work, and learn.  As campuses prepare for the return of students to this new normal, Hastings+Chivetta is working with our clients to help them anticipate and strategize necessary changes.  A top priority for our higher education clients is redesigning classroom layouts and course schedules to maintain social distancing.

We have developed a Social Distancing Academic Design Service that provides customized strategies for returning to campus, including classroom layouts to provide at least six feet between seating and adjustments to existing class scheduling.  By analyzing your class scheduling, classroom layouts, building touch points, and user movement, we can prepare your campus using the following strategies:

  • Spreading classes evenly across the week from 8:00am to 5:00pm to eliminate spikes in demand and enable the scheduling of multiple classrooms per course.
  • Dividing class sections into A, B, or C days or weeks with students alternating the in-class experience with Zoom sessions that can be attended remotely.
  • Expanding the daily schedule to include more sessions (if the institution has enough capacity).
  • Creating dimensioned drawings of classrooms for use by campus staff to set up new furniture arrangements and assist with demarcating the location of the furniture on the classroom floor.
  • Producing signage for each classroom with seating diagrams, distancing requirements, and circulation flow.
  • Evaluating individual campus buildings for user touch points so changes can be made to infrastructure including (but not limited to) installing automatic door openers, hands free faucets, flush valves, and drinking fountains.
  • Rearranging user traffic flow by designating in- and out-only building and classroom entries, one-way corridors, and one-way stairs.

Hastings+Chivetta is here to help you plan your return to the classroom and keep your students safe through social distancing. For more information, contact Erik Kocher at ekocher@hcarchitects.com.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

in Companies/News

The latest People in the News highlighting new hires, promotions, honors & recognition of the men and women in the St. Louis building community.

KAI Announces New Hire Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director 

Connie Northcutt

KAI proudly announces the hiring of Connie Northcutt as Project Controls Director.

As Project Controls Director, Northcutt will work with KAI’s Architecture and Engineering leadership to provide oversight, direction and assistance to KAI’s project managers regarding project financials. She will work to improve and standardize project controls processes and best practices to help project managers achieve financially successful projects.

She has over 26 years of experience in the Project Controls profession and has held numerous leadership roles throughout that time. Her experiences have included development of tools, standards and best practice documents for project financial management; development of curriculum and facilitation of training for project controls and project management professionals; analysis of challenged projects; consulting for the development and implementation of a global project controls system; and management of program controls for an international buildings client.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Statistics from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois.

During her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at Baylor University Medical Center, ballroom dancing, taking walks, listening to audio books and spending time with her partner Barry, two daughters and grandson.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Ryan Bader Joins McCarthy as Quality Director in Central Region

Ryan Bader

Bader, who began his construction career at McCarthy 24 years ago, will oversee quality initiatives on projects across 28 states. 

Ryan Bader has joined McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.as Quality Director in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In this position, he guides project teams in the development and implementation of effective quality programs to ensure McCarthy delivers exceptional work to clients throughout all project phases—from preconstruction to closeout. He also collaborates with other McCarthy regional quality directors to share best practices and lessons learned that can be applied to future projects.

“Ryan’s extensive construction knowledge, years of experience as an owner managing projects and commitment to continuous improvement make him an ideal person to lead our quality initiatives across the Central Region,” said Brian Boeglin, McCarthy Vice President and leader of the Central Region’s quality group.

Prior to joining McCarthy, Bader served as Executive Director of the Facilities Planning, Design and Construction team at Mercy. In this role, he supervised feasibility, planning, design, construction and closeout of more than 200 projects in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.

Bader began his construction career working for McCarthy as a laborer in 1996, and he spent the bulk of his early career working on McCarthy projects in St. Louis, Denver, Omaha and Oklahoma City. During his McCarthy tensure, he delivered a range of healthcare, education and mixed-use projects.

Bader earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering and construction management from Oklahoma State University. A LEED-accredited professional, he is active in the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Lean Construction Institute (LCI), Missouri Hospital Association and Oklahoma Hospital Association. He also serves on the advisory board for Oklahoma State University College of Engineering Technology and Construction Engineering.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Laura Haralson Joins Hastings+Chivetta

Laura Haralson

Laura Haralson joined Hastings+Chivetta Architects as an Executive Assistant. As such, she provides administrative support to Erik Kocher, the firm’s Design Principal, and collaborates with President and CEO Christopher Chivetta and Executive Assistant Debra Derleth to keep the firm running smoothly. Laura discovered her love for administrative and clerical work at age 14 as a hospital volunteer exploring a potential future in nursing. Outside of work, Laura loves all styles of dance and is a Zumba and yoga instructor. She completed her coursework at St. Louis Community College, Meramec.

May 8, 2020

The UP Companies Hires Mike Marshall as Estimator & Project Manager

Mike Marshall

The UP Companies (UPCO) proudly announces the hiring of Mike Marshall as Estimator and Project Manager for the Square UP Builders Drywall Division.

In his new position, Marshall will be pricing and running drywall and acoustical ceiling work for Square UP’s diverse customer base along with bringing new relationships to the firm. Mike also has a painting background and will add capacity to further service Square UP’s select painting accounts.

Prior to UPCO, Marshall was an Estimator and Project Manager at Sundermeyer Ltd. in Bridgeton, Missouri and at Vetter Construction in Arnold, Missouri. He has 25 years of industry experience.

“Mike has the core values, experience, and relationships needed to continue to expand our Drywall Division,” said Brian W. Arnold, Vice President of The UP Companies. “We are excited to have him on board managing some of our larger drywall projects. His skills and industry reputation are a real asset to our team and to our clients.”

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For more information, go to www.theupcompanies.com or call 314.865.3888.

KAI Announces Appointment of Tim McMinn, AIA as Design Principal

Tim McMinn

KAI Enterprises proudly announces that Tim McMinn, AIA has been named Design Principal. McMinn was previously Director of Architecture at KAI. The transition is recognition of McMinn’s passionate drive to create innovative and highly creative solutions for clients.

As Design Principal, McMinn is responsible for the overall creative direction, solution development and quality of architectural design at KAI supporting offices in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis. In addition, he has a key leadership role in recruiting and developing talent, advancing the architecture practice, business growth, industry recognition and driving innovation.

Prior to KAI, McMinn owned a consulting practice for nine years in Belleville, Illinois named DesignSix; he was Director of Design for EWR Architects in Fairview Heights, Illinois; Sr. Project Manager for Roseman Associates in St. Louis; Vice President – Director of Design for Image Architects in Carbondale, Illinois and Vice President – Director of Design at FGM Architects in O’Fallon, Illinois.

McMinn’s designs have been recognized by the Illinois Capital Development Board, United States Department of Defense, American Institute of Architects – SI Chapter, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Boards.

McMinn has an Associates Degree in Architecture from ITT Technical Institute and continuing education in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis; University of Wisconsin-Madison; American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He has also studied Master Planning/Campus Planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

He is a Certified Project Manager through the Illinois Capital Development Board and a Registered Architect licensed through the Wisconsin Department of Professional Regulation. He has volunteered for the past 26 years with the American Institute of Architects as a Charrette Architect for communities in distress, working with towns and cities faced with overwhelming environmental or socio-economic challenges.

McMinn is also a published author of two contemporary literary fiction novels, “Fall Darkly” and “Rise Darkly,” both published in 2018.

He and his wife Judi and their daughter Megan divide their time between residences in St. Louis and Dallas.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com.

Castle Contracting Promotes Austin Anway and Zach Kelly to Senior Project Engineer

Castle Contracting has promoted Austin Anway and Zach Kelly to senior project engineer. Both previously served as project engineer.

In their new roles, Anway and Kelly assume more responsibility in support of Castle projects, including daily tracking of field time and materials, subcontractor management and coordination, document control, change order control, production tracking, and punch list execution.

Austin Anway

Anway joined Castle as project engineer in 2017. Prior to signing on, he worked in the engineering division of the City of St. Charles Department of Public Works. He is a licensed drone pilot and has been on site at the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility project in Johnson County, Kan. Anway earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia. A veteran and former member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, he served as a Platoon Sergeant and Reserve Administrative Chief. Anway currently resides in Overland Park, Kan.

Zachary Kelly

Kelly joined Castle in 2014 as an intern. He is a licensed drone pilot and has spearheaded the use of drone footage to help quantify sitework production and inform scheduling on projects such as the Washington University East End Transformation of the Danforth Campus. He also contributed to Castle’s civil construction work on the Gateway Arch National Park, IKEA, City Foundry and many solar projects. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. He volunteers regularly with his alma mater, Chaminade High School, and he is on the Young Professionals Board for HomeFirst STL, a community organization that connects homeless people with affordable housing, community resources and volunteer advocates. He and his family live in Ballwin, Mo.

“Austin and Zach are two partners who just take the lead to do what needs to be done for the team and the client. They are focused on developing a full understanding of civil construction and applying technology to bring efficiencies to our projects,” said Michael Pranger, vice president of operations, Castle Contracting.

Castle Contracting, LLC provides turnkey site preparation services, site utilities, earthwork and trenchless technology directly to owners; general contractors; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection contractors. The company’s earthmoving expertise is visible throughout the St. Louis region and from coast to coast. Castle’s recent civil contracting projects in St. Louis include Gateway Arch National Park, the East End transformation of Washington University’s Danforth campus, Next NGA West, and Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.

May 1, 2020

David Blough Joins Wellington Environmental 

David Blough

Wellington Environmental, a specialized environmental services company, announces the hire of David Blough as its new environmental solutions manager. In this role, Blough will be involved in all aspects of the company’s services including sales, infection control prevention and mitigation and environmental remediation management.

“We are thrilled to welcome David to our team,” said Thom Wellington, president of Wellington Environmental. “His training and industry experience will be a great asset to our clients as we embark on several new environmental safety and infection control services in the coming months.”

Prior to joining Wellington Environmental, Blough served in operations and project management roles within restoration and construction firms throughout the greater St. Louis region. He brings with him an extensive background in directing environmental inspection, mitigation, remediation and specialized cleaning and disinfection services for commercial and residential facilities.

“I’m eager to join this team of talented experts with over 30 years of experience,” said Blough. “I look forward to contributing my inspection and remediation skills to help ensure our clients’ properties are safe and healthy environments.”

Blough received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Missouri Baptist University, holds multiple certifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and is a certified mold inspector.

For more than 30 years, Wellington Environmental has been providing specialized environmental services to residential, medical and corporate facilities throughout the Midwest. For more information, visit www.environmentalcare.com.

Joe Toomey Joins Keystone Construction Company

St. Louis-based Keystone Construction Company, is pleased to announce the addition of Joe Toomey to the Design/Builders’ growing team.

Toomey has joined Keystone Construction Company as Site Superintendent, where he will be responsible for overseeing on site construction activities on some of Keystone’s most complex new construction projects.  He will be in charge of subcontractor coordination, construction schedule adherence, implementation of the company safety plan and construction quality assurance. Prior to joining Keystone, Joe spent over 21 years at Duke Realty in St. Louis, overseeing many of their largest projects. Some of the more notable projects that Toomey has overseen are Amazon’s 855,000 sf fulfillment center in St. Peters and Safety National Insurance Corporate Headquarters in Maryland Heights.

Keystone Construction Company is a St. Louis based Design/Build Contractor founded in 1987. As a design/build specialist, Keystone offers a proven format to explore creative ways to get the best final product for less. Learn more at www.keystone-stl.com.

McCarthy’s Erin Valentine Promoted to Vice President, Joins Central Region Leadership Team

Erin Valentine

New leadership position reflects Valentine’s influential role in securing new projects,
building client and partner relationships, and leading national McCarthy initiatives.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has promoted Erin Valentine to the position of Vice President of Business Development in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In addition to joining the leadership team that guides McCarthy’s strategic business operations across the Central Region, Valentine will manage McCarthy’s St. Louis-based business development team that focuses on the company’s core buildings markets of Healthcare, Commercial, Education, and Advanced Technology & Manufacturing.

Since joining McCarthy in 2001, Valentine has helped position the company to secure numerous new projects while building valuable relationships with clients and industry partners. Her business development successes are visible throughout the St. Louis region, including the recently awarded Washington University School of Medicine Neuroscience research facility and a multiyear facilities contract with Parkway School District.

She was also instrumental in McCarthy’s national expansion into the federal government sector, helping to secure more than $3 billion in federal projects over a five-year period.

Valentine is a founding member of the McCarthy Partnership for Women employee resource group in the Central Region and has served on several national efforts, including McCarthy’s Business Development Leadership team. In addition, she has overseen several national McCarthy initiatives to strengthen the company’s client relationships, including the implementation of an enhanced customer relationship management (CRM) system and the rollout of a client feedback process to solicit ongoing feedback from project partners.

“In her 19-year McCarthy career, Erin has built a stellar track record of project wins and strategic business relationships while serving as a mentor and positive role model to other women in construction,” said John Buescher, president of McCarthy’s central region. “Her depth of experience and genuine passion for McCarthy make her a wonderful addition to our regional leadership team.”

A LEED Green Associate, Valentine earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been recognized as a “40 under 40” business leader by the St. Louis Business Journal, a “Top Young Professional” by Engineering News Record (ENR) – Midwest and a “Women in Construction” innovator by Constructech. She is a member of the St. Louis Forum and is a board member of the St. Louis chapters of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

FSA Congratulates Michael Prost on Becoming a Registered Architect

Michael Prost

Congratulations to Michael Prost, AIA for passing the ARE and gaining his Missouri Architect License. Michael graduated from The University of Kansas where he earned a Master’s of Architecture. FSA has been grateful to have Michael on our team since 2012.

FSA is a comprehensive architectural and design firm specializing in healthcare, laboratory design, higher education facilities, and K-12 education. To learn more about FSA, please visit https://www.fsastl.com/

Holland Construction Rebuilding Portion of Swansea School Demolished Due to Mine Subsidence

in Companies/News

Work on Wolf Branch School District Middle School to be Completed by August 2021 

Holland Construction Services is working to help the Wolf Branch School District open their middle school building by the fall of 2021 after mine subsidence caused the district to close the building three years ago. The middle school, located at 410 Huntwood Road in Swansea, closed in 2017 after significant settlement caused by the collapse of an abandoned underground coal mine was discovered. The collapse resulted in cracking and buckling of floors and walls inside the building, forcing the school’s closure.

Swansea-based Holland Construction has started work on the $16 million replacement section and interior rehabilitation of the Wolf Branch Middle School. The cost will include construction of a new 44,000 square foot addition, as well as renovations to 18,000 square feet of the original part of the structure that remains.

Project Manager, Brian Dayton, said Holland has extensive experience in school construction projects with unique challenges such as this one. His team has spent the last several months working with the design team on the project and the school district to ensure plans move forward smoothly.

“We try to take a proactive approach to projects like this and early collaboration with the design team and the school district is an essential part of that,” said Dayton. “Our approach is to iron out any potential issues upfront before they come up in the field and that helps save our clients’ money and gives a more cohesive plan for the project. Our goal is to make this addition/renovation something students and faculty are excited to move into, and something the entire Swansea community can be proud of.”

Renovations will happen on the east side of the remaining building and will include new administrative offices, along with band and choir rooms. The new addition will feature a gym and locker rooms, a multipurpose room that will house the cafeteria and kitchen, a stage, and a media center/library. The new section will include poured, tilt-up concrete walls for the large volume spaces and load-bearing masonry construction for the locker rooms and kitchen area. When complete, the locker rooms will also function as a hardened storm shelter.

“Our board went through an extensive search before selecting Holland for this project and we chose them based on their reputation and experience building schools such as ours,” Superintendent Scott Harres said. “It’s exciting to see things move forward and we feel very confident in Holland’s ability to make this building safe again for our students and staff. The silver lining in all of this is that, with Holland’s help, we were able to really think about the needs of our teachers and students and include some modern and functional design features, such as the storm shelter, that will make this a very nice addition when complete.”

Harres said the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has completed mine remediation at the site and determined it to be safe for rebuilding. The IDNR will continue monitoring the site as needed in the future. 

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm based in Swansea, Ill., guided by the principle of providing clients the best possible building experience on every project. For more information, visit Holland’s website at www.hollandcs.com.

1 2 3 112
0 $0.00
Go to Top