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Knoebel Construction completes The Learning Experience in St. Peters, MO

in Companies/News

The location is the first to be built to a new design prototype


The Learning Experience early childhood center in St. Peters, MO is complete and open, with Knoebel Construction serving as the general contractor. This newly built location is the first to be built to the brand’s new design prototype. The 10,000-square-foot facility features ten, colorful classrooms; a spacious outdoor, fenced play area with soft turf; kitchen; offices; reception area; and an interactive, whimsical classroom that features a miniature Main Street, USA. The architect was CASCO + R|5.

The design goal of The Learning Experience’s purpose-built centers is to create an environment where children feel comfortable, safe and ready to learn. Additional facility features include secure, private access; rounded corners in hallways and classrooms; and bathrooms designed for age-appropriate use.

The Learning Experience in St. Peters will open this Fall. One of the fastest-growing childcare franchises in the United States, 300 The Learning Experience early education centers are open or under development.

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction. Projects range from major regional shopping centers to local restaurants. For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.

Helmkamp Restructures Management Team for Sustainable Growth

in Companies/News

In its 81 years of business, Helmkamp has focused on building relationships with clients built on trust, quality, integrity and safety leadership.  This focus has only grown stronger as they continue to thrive under the new ownership of Rob Johnes, President of Helmkamp since 2012, who acquired the company from the family’s third generation owner in early 2018.  However, a hard look at the current structure of the organization as it continues to grow is always a worthwhile exercise.

Johnes recently formed an internal leadership team whose purpose was to develop future company plans.  In particular, to discuss and investigate several company structures that would allow Helmkamp to grow while emphasizing what has made them successful to date.  The organization of the management team was a standout action item among these preparations for sustainable growth.

Joe Stang

Joe Stange, formerly Director of Industrial Construction, will now adopt the role of Director of Operations.  Stange will ensure all jobs are executed to Helmkamp standards, manage manpower and equipment to support field operations and implement training to help continually develop project management and superintendent staff.

Brian Bechard

Brian Bechard, formerly a Senior Project Manager on the team, has been promoted to Director of Pre-Construction.  Bechard will oversee the marketing, business development and estimating efforts as they align to growth goals.  This role will also allow someone with direct project management experience to work with new and existing clients on project solutions while strengthening relationships.

While Helmkamp is committed to being the area’s builder of choice and focusing on deep customer relationships, this restructuring and plan for growth was also outlined to allow further investment in its employees, equipment, technology and paths for charitable giving.

Since 1938, Helmkamp Construction Co. has built relationships based on quality, integrity and safety leadership.  Helmkamp is the builder of choice for the repeat, professional buyer of construction in Industrial, Building and Life Science markets.  To learn more, visit

Apartment Industry & Residents Contribute $18 Billion to St. Louis Metro’s Economy

in Associations/News

A new Hoyt Advisory Services Study commissioned by the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) reveals that the apartment industry and its residents annually contribute $18 billion to the St. Louis metro’s economy, $38.4 billion to Missouri’s, and more than $3.4 trillion – or $9.3 billion daily – to the national economy. The new report, available at, provides a detailed breakdown of the economic impact nationally, by state, and in 50 metro areas.

In St. Louis, the apartment industry supports 96,358 jobs.  Other financial contributions break down as follows: resident spending contributes $16.1 billion to the local economy, operations add $780 million, new construction contributes $810 million, and renovation and repair add $320 million.

“St. Louis city is currently seeing an unprecedented amount of development including over 2,000 apartment units in the pipeline. The city is going to receive over 50% of the units currently under construction in the St. Louis MSA, even though it contains only 11% of the population. Demand drivers, such as the $1.75 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency project, which is set to break ground this summer in north St. Louis, and the continued development of the Cortex Innovation Community are turning the city into a tech-hub. Apartment developers are taking note,” said John Morrissey, Broadmoor Group, St. Louis Apartment Association Board of Directors.

“As demand for apartments continues to grow locally and nationally, the significant contributions to the St. Louis metro’s economy also increase. Apartments drive our local economy by adding employment opportunities, as well as revenue from resident spending, new construction, renovation and repair, and operations, all of which are positively impacting St. Louis,” Morrissey added.

The study also determined that the apartment industry has a major impact on local, state and national tax economies. Locally, tax payments associated with local apartment operations added $120 million and their residents contributed more than $1.3 billion in taxes to the St. Louis metro economy. These taxes support schools, improvements to local infrastructure, and other critical services in St. Louis.

Highlights from the report include:

  • All four sectors of the industry have posted very strong growth, punctuated by the construction industry ramping up to meet the unprecedented demand for apartments this cycle – reaching a height of 346,900 new apartments built in 2017, up from 129,900 in 2011.
  • Previous research by Hoyt Advisory Services demonstrated a need to build an average of 328,000 apartments per year at a variety of price points, which would bring continued economic activity. This number of apartment completions has only been surpassed twice since 1989.
  • Hoyt research also found that a significant portion of the existing apartment stock will need to be renovated in the coming years, boosting the renovation and repair sector.

“The apartment industry’s contribution is one that has grown in recent years, fueled by increased rental demand overall as population and employment growth continue and renting becomes a preferred tenure choice for millions of Americans,” said Eileen Marrinan, Managing Director of Eigen 10 Advisors, which partnered with Hoyt.

Visit and view the data, which is broken down by state and metro area. Visitors can also use the Apartment Community Estimator (ACE), a tool that allows users to enter the number of apartment homes of an existing or proposed community to determine the potential economic impact within a particular state or metro area.  For the purposes of this study, apartments are defined as rental apartments in buildings with five or more units.

For more than 25 years, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) have partnered on behalf of America’s apartment industry. Drawing on the knowledge and policy expertise of staff in Washington, D.C., as well as the advocacy power of more than 150 NAA state and local affiliated associations, NAA and NMHC provide a single voice for developers, owners and operators of multifamily rental housing. For more information, please visit or

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.

Erica O’Connor Joins Geotechnology as Human Resources Manager

Erica O’Connor

Geotechnology, Inc., is pleased to announce hiring Erica O’Connor to serve as our corporate Human Resources (HR) Manager. She is based in the firm’s St. Louis headquarters.

In this role, Ms. O’Connor will direct and coordinate all HR functions, including talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, training and development, safety, and employee relations, for Geotechnology’s ten offices. She will also be responsible for compliance with federal, state and local requirements.

Ms. O’Connor has more than 15 years of human resources experience, having served in HR Management and HR administration roles. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Human Resource Management through Lindenwood University.

Established more than 35 years ago, Geotechnology, Inc. is a professional corporation offering a comprehensive range of consulting services in applied earth and environmental sciences, including geophysics, underground consulting services, geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing and drilling. Geotechnology has provided expertise on thousands of major construction projects in the Midwest and Mid-South regions, and is ranked in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms. The company is based in St. Louis, Missouri, and has offices in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. For more information, visit

Nation’s 103rd Largest Home Lender, Employee-Owned USA Mortgage, Promotes Two Senior Executives to New Leadership Roles

Ron Mueller

Fast-growing, employee-owned USA Mortgage (USA),the #1 home lender in Missouri and the 103rd largest home lender in the United States, has promoted two senior executives to new key leadership roles.  Announcing the management succession was Doug Schukar, who formed USA Mortgage as an operating subsidiary of holding company DAS Acquisition Company, LLC., in 2001.

Linda Pring

The moves are topped by Schukar, 55, handing off his duties as president of USA Mortgage to Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Linda Pring, a fixture at the home loan originator since 2001. Pring will retain her COO responsibilities for the time being while USA engages in a national search for a COO.

Linda Pring has been with me from Day One,” stated Schukar. “Words can’t describe the scope and significance of her contributions. She is a unique talent who inspires Nth degree professionalism from co-workers.”

Moving up to Executive Vice President of USA is Ron Mueller, 42, currently Senior Vice President (SVP). Mueller joined the firm in 2001 as a loan officer. He became a branch manager in 2006, a post he held until his promotion to SVP in 2018.

As chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of DAS Acquisition, Schukar plans to devote more time to the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) adopted in 2017 when he transferred sole ownership of USA Mortgage to its employees. “As CEO of the holding company, a primary focus will be on growing the ESOP platform, a core component of our culture and legacy,” Schukar said. “I also anticipate working to surface new growth opportunities be they organic or achieved by merger or acquisition.”

The succession announcement comes on the heels of a successful 2018 in which USA Mortgage generated loan volume of more than $1.74 billion from 9,858 closings.

September 6, 2019

Chris Lozano Named President of Halcyon Shades 

Chris Lozano

St. Louis Marine combat veteran, attorney and businessman Chris Lozano has been named president of Halcyon Shades, headquartered in University City.  Lozano is using his diverse business and military operational background to revitalize the Halcyon brand of shading products.  Lozano’s focus is to upgrade Halcyon’s manufacturing technology and operations to expand their product lines and sales, with an emphasis on sustainable products.

“Window shades are no longer just an aesthetic, now they are an integral of a building’s overall energy profile,” says Lozano.  “Halcyon specializes in providing high tech shading materials and automated control systems that can significantly reduce energy costs.  Controlling the light and heat entering a building is paramount to every business and homeowner now – and we’ve found a way to deliver with attractive energy-efficient shading systems that allow natural light into the space.”

Under Lozano’s leadership, Halcyon is exploring partnerships with local manufacturing companies to create new products.  Lozano is also working with community partners, such as MADE St. Louis, to help in the creation of new manufacturing jobs in the St. Louis.  Many Halcyon products contribute to the LEED point system developed by the US Green Building Council.

Lozano has a law degree from Washington University and undergrad from St. Louis University.  He is a Marine and was called back to active duty after the September 11 attacks, where he served in combat operations in both Kuwait and Afghanistan.  He was awarded the Bronze Star. Lozano has also worked in leadership positions in several IT companies, prior to joining Halcyon Shades.  Lozano resides in St. Louis, and he and his wife have seven children.  His passions are supporting the causes of military veterans and building jobs for the middle-class.

Sam Golterman Joins G&S Acoustics as Project Assistant

Sam Golterman

St. Louis-based G&S Architectural Products has hired Sam Golterman as a Project Assistant. Sam’s responsibilities will include managing customer orders, creating shop drawings, issuing purchase orders and releasing orders to the company’s production shop.

Sam Golterman has sales experience across several industries, including marketing and insurance. Before joining G&S Architectural Products, Sam worked as an Inside Marketing Consultant with Dex Media in the Greater Denver Area. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from the University of Kansas.

Sam hopes to have a positive impact by “aiding customers, contractors and architects throughout their sound solution process to ensure that every job is done with accuracy and professionalism.”

In his free time, Sam enjoys golf, tennis and other outdoor activities, as well as spending time with family and friends.  Sam is the son of Ned Golterman and is the fourth generation of the family to work in the business.

G&S Architectural Products is a leading provider and installer of architectural products such as acoustical products, visual display boards and operable wall systems that are primarily used for commercial, education and healthcare industries.

Matt Costello Promoted To Project Manager

Matt Costello

Mike Deihl, Director of Operations at Holland Construction Services (Holland), is pleased to announce the promotion of Matt Costello to Project Manager. 

“Matt’s can-do attitude, sense of urgency, and ability to get things done the right way are keys to his success,” said Deihl. “He is more than deserving of this promotion as this has been a long time coming.”

Costello joined Holland in 2014 as a Project Engineer.  He has worked on several notable projects including a new 300,600 square-foot, $34.5 million luxury apartment complex, Alinea at Town & Country, an addition and renovation project of the Behavioral Health Unit at Touchette Regional Hospital, a new nursing training facility at Missouri Baptist University and most recently a $28 million senior living facility in Westerville, Ohio.

Costello graduated with a degree in Construction Management from Missouri State University.  He has also received the Health Care Construction Certificate from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

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

August 16, 2019

Allison Huggett Joins Geotechnology as Marketing Assistant

Allison Huggett

Geotechnology, Inc., is pleased to announce hiring Allison (Allie) Huggett to serve as Marketing Assistant. She is based in the firm’s St. Louis office.

Ms. Huggett’s responsibilities include assisting with the many tasks of the Marketing Department including preparing client submissions, project summaries, descriptions of speciality services, and professional resumes, for all ten Geotechnology offices, while upholding the company’s brand standards.

Before joining Geotechnology, Ms. Huggett served in a marketing position with an architectural design company and as an account representative with a marketing company. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international business with a focus in marketing from the University of Missouri, Robert J. Trulaske College of Business.

“We welcome Allie to our department and our company,” said Geotechnology Marketing Manager, Kelly Townsend. “Her skills and experience are valuable assets in helping us to better serve our clients and to grow our business.”

Established more than 35 years ago, Geotechnology, Inc. is a professional corporation offering a comprehensive range of consulting services in applied earth and environmental sciences, including geophysics, underground consulting services, geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing and drilling. For more information, visit

St. Louis CNR Magazine Welcomes Brandy Scheer

Brandy Scheer

St. Louis Construction News and Review Magazine welcomes Brandy Scheer as the publication’s newest team member.

Bringing 25-plus years of local industry marketing, sales and networking experience to the table, Scheer will work as St. Louis CNR’s marketing director and sales associate.

In her new position, Scheer will assist the St. Louis construction community in connect with one another and with St. Louis CNR’s readers.

Having previously worked with numerous local engineering and architectural firms and having worked as an editor and contributor to several local industry publications, Scheer understands key relationships that exist between readers, advertisers and community organizations. She embodies the professionalism, mission and values of St. Louis CNR.

Tyler Westerfeld joins Wiegmann Associates as Project Engineer

Tyler Westerfeld

Tyler Westerfeld of St. Charles, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as a project engineer. Westerfeld is responsible for designing and engineering the heating, cooling and ventilation systems for various Wiegmann Associates projects. His tasks also include load calculation, sizing and selection of equipment, coordinating with other trades, creating permit drawings and providing construction support.

Westerfeld has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Missouri University of Science & Technology. He has also earned Engineer in Training (EIT) certification. Prior to being hired as a full-time employee, Westerfeld held two summer internships at Wiegmann Associates, where he gained experience in the HVAC industry and supported full-time project engineers.

Wiegmann Associates is a St. Louis-based mechanical contractor and a national leader in design/build HVAC projects. Since 1995, Wiegmann Associates has engineered and installed innovative, energy saving and cost-efficient HVAC solutions, refrigeration systems and automation controls for clients in a wide range of industries. For more information, visit or call (636) 940-1056.

Murphy Hires Coats; Promotes Kniesche

Jim Coats

Jim Coats has been named an HVAC/refrigeration project manager at Murphy Company. Bob Eichelberger, manager of refrigeration for the area’s largest mechanical contracting and engineering firm, made the announcement. Coats has nearly 25 years’ experience in the HVAC industry, most recently as president of his own consulting and manufacturers’ representative firm, Coapico Technologies, Inc. since 2011.  Prior to that he was a senior application engineer in the refrigeration industry, primarily serving Canadian food service clients. From 2005 to 2011 he served as a senior product engineer, providing industrial coils and hygienic air units throughout the country. He began his career in Mt. Vernon, IL where he served as a resident engineer and sales professional for design build HVAC business in a five-state region. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois and is currently working towards an MBA at Webster University.

Nick Kniesche

Nicholas (Nick) M. Kniesche has been promoted to project  manager, commercial, for Murphy Company, a leading mechanical contracting and engineering firm. The announcement was made by Conrad Philipp, vice-president,commercial. A 2017 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Kniesche initially joined Murphy as a project management intern during the summers of 2015 and 2016. After graduation he was hired full-time as an engineer, commercial.  While at Mizzou Kniesche was 2015-17 president of Mizzou’s Mechanical Contractors Association of America student chapter, which is sponsored by MCA-EMO.  During his tenure the student chapter captured First Place in the Final Four Competition at the MCAA National Convention in San Diego in March 2017.  That same year the UMC student chapter also was named MCAA Student Chapter of the Year from among a total of 52 student chapters nationwide. He also is OSHA-10 certified. While studying at UMC, he also was executive treasurer of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) student chapter for which he also served as a mentor for architectural studies.  He also was a member and sub chairman of the marketing committee for Pi Sigma Epsilon, a professional business fraternity.  Additionally, he was a member, executive secretary and member of the judicial board and finance committee, and Homecoming build chair for Alpha Tau Omega. An active community volunteer, he volunteered for Sacred Heart Church, Caring for Columbia, and the Thompson Center for Autism.

Founded in 1907, Murphy Company is one of the nation’s top mechanical contracting and engineering firms delivering innovative solutions to the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. For more information, visit

Spellman Brady & Company Expands Design Team 

Laura Kreher

Laura Kreher,  IIDA, LEED Green Associate 

Spellman Brady & Company, an award-winning interior design firm, is pleased to announce that Laura Kreher has joined the firm as a Designer.  In this role, her creativity will support the team with design, furniture specification, space planning and renderings within the healthcare, senior living and higher education market sectors.

Ms. Kreher is a recent graduate of Maryville University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design.  While attending Maryville University, she served as an intern with Spellman Brady and studied abroad at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments.  For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit

August 10, 2019

McCarthy Holdings Announces New CEO

Raymond Sedey

After a deliberate, multi-year succession process, McCarthy Holdings, Inc., one of America’s premier building companies, announced today the selection of Raymond J. Sedey, 42, as the firm’s next chief executive officer. On Jan. 1, 2020, Sedey will assume this position, currently held by Michael D. Bolen, who will continue in the role as chairman of the McCarthy board of directors.

“Today’s announcement concludes a comprehensive, deliberate and thoughtful evaluation and selection process. Ray Sedey is an experienced leader grown from within McCarthy. He brings a deep understanding of our company strategy and unique ownership culture, together with a strong commitment to delivering an exceptional experience for clients. I am pleased to have Ray succeed me in the CEO position.”

Sedey began with McCarthy in 2000 as a project engineer in the firm’s Southwest Region. He then moved through several core operations roles including superintendent, project manager and director, before being promoted to vice president, operations for the Las Vegas office in 2009. In 2012, Sedey was promoted to executive vice president responsible for leading business operations in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. In this role, he was instrumental in helping position McCarthy as a builder of choice in infrastructure, aviation, commercial, healthcare and entertainment projects, including successfully positioning the firm as a builder of choice for complex projects on the Las Vegas Strip.

In 2015, Sedey was selected to lead the McCarthy Texas Region as regional president. Under his leadership, McCarthy strengthened its position across the state of Texas with a focus on client results, safety, financial performance and talent management. In 2018, Sedey then led efforts to combine operations of the McCarthy Southeast Division and Texas Region to form a new Southern Region and assumed the position as Southern regional president.

Sedey is expected to maintain an office in Dallas as well as in the McCarthy Corporate Headquarters in St. Louis.

McCarthy Holdings, 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 or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram

Alan Bergfeld Joins Holland Construction Services As Director of Business Development

Alan Bergfeld

Mike Marchal, President of Holland Construction Services (Holland), is pleased to announce that Alan Bergfeld has joined the Holland team as Director of Business Development.

Alan comes to Holland with over 10 years of experience, most recently with a national design-build firm where he was responsible for a multi‐state region ranging from Missouri to Wyoming to Texas.

“Between the fantastic reputation and bright future of Holland, I’m extremely excited and honored to join the team,” Bergfeld said. “Their supportive and collaborative culture is a great place to have a successful career.”

Marchal added that “Alan brings a reputation for identifying and delivering clients’ objectives and his personality is the right fit for our culture. As part of Holland’s strategic initiative to expand our growth and presence in our local market, he will be an additional resource in cultivating relationships and identifying new opportunities.”

Alan was born and raised in St. Louis and a graduate of Truman State University. He currently resides in Des Peres, Missouri with his wife and two children.

Holland Construction Services is a fullservice 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

Douglas McElvain has joined Rosemann & Associates, P.C.

Douglas McElvain

Douglas McElvain has joined Rosemann & Associates, P.C. St. Louis as project manager, bringing more than18 years of architectural expertise to his new role. His depth of experience and passion for design will be instrumental to Rosemann’s success as it continues to grow. Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

State-of-the-Art St. Louis Community College Center for Nursing and Health Sciences Opens to Students

in Companies/News

Representatives from the community, students and educators gathered on Aug. 23 to celebrate and cut the ribbon on the new St. Louis Community College (STLCC) Center for Nursing and Health Sciences – the first new building at the STLCC-Forest Park campus in 20 years. Minority-owned KAI Enterprises and Tarlton Corp., both based in St. Louis, are credited with the design and construction of the state-of-the art facility.

“We are really excited about the Center for Nursing and Health Sciences. The new building creates an opportunity to expand learning and career preparation for students in nursing, dental assisting, surgical technology and many other programs,” said Dr. Jeff L. Pittman, Chancellor, St. Louis Community College. “We’re looking forward to a bright future for our students, and to increasing our impact in workforce development in the community.”

The four-level, 96,000-square-foot learning center sits along Oakland Avenue, a highly visible location as 150,000 vehicles pass by it daily on adjacent I-64. KAI’s designers used the busy site to create a much-needed, new “front door” for the campus. The KAI team also provided technical services necessary to build the facility to achieve a LEED v4 Silver certification.

“In addition to accommodating clinics, labs, classrooms and flex space to promote experiential learning, KAI’s insightful design has provided for the campuses’ new front door in a perfectly integral fashion,” said Sondra Rotty, Vice President of Tarlton Corp. “It subtly connects the past, present and future through architecture. The sustainable design and implementation of the construction, along with a very diverse group of contractors, tradesmen and artisans who crafted the project are a direct representation of the college’s progressive thinking and requirements in today’s climate.”

The building’s exterior is comprised of brick and metal panels, solar glass and shading, and an illuminated section. The building serves as a welcoming point for vehicle and pedestrian traffic from Oakland Avenue through to the campus.

“It’s an architecturally significant campus, so the design needed to be forward thinking and also respectful of the context,” said KAI Project Architect Carl Karlen. “It’s a modern building that houses a modern program. The building needed to perform in its current use and for the future and respond to the existing materials used on campus.”

KAI held workshops with the college’s administration, staff and faculty to finalize a design programmed to closely meet the needs of the end user. Interior spaces were designed for flexibility so they could be transformed into different functions in the future. Spaces include a dental clinic, surgical technology laboratories, teaching labs, classrooms, computer rooms, study areas, lounges, conference rooms and office suites.

KAI Senior Interior Designer Terry Crotty described the building’s interior as contemporary with white walls and punches of accent colors including green, blue, purple, orange, fuchsia and yellow used on the furniture, lockers and walls. According to Crotty, the LEED v4 requirements called for the use of lightly colored, highly reflective materials on the floors, ceilings and work surfaces. Natural, neutral materials were used in the permanent structures and include a wood accent wall in the lobby and wood floors and cabinets.

The building’s interior design also provides opportunities for studying in groups or individually in unexpected spaces such as seating niches in the corridors, bean bag chairs and nesting tables.

“We incorporated different types of seating arrangements that allow for different types of postures,” said Crotty.

The new structure consolidates the Forest Park campus’ existing Allied Health programs (Nursing, Respiratory Care, Clinical Laboratory Technology, Surgical Technology, Dental Hygiene and Assisting, Radiologic Technologies, and Diagnostic Medical Sonography), plus relocates the EMT/Paramedic Technology currently offered at another campus.

“For our students, the college is a pathway from secondary education to a four-year degree or a good paying job. For our residents and employers, the college is a responsive resource to an educated and skilled workforce,” said Dr. Julie Fickas, Campus President and Chief Academic Officer, STLCC-Forest Park. “Our commitment to our students’ futures is why we are really proud and excited about this new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences. It will help address the critical skills gap that exists with area health employers.”

Approximately 900 students will be served by the new facility, which will allow the college to expand programs in healthcare careers to serve more students, according to STLCC Communications Manager Nez Savala.

“The center is a strategic response to the need for more skilled nurses and healthcare professionals in the region. In the past 10 years, the growth for healthcare jobs was 14%, compared to a one-percent growth rate for all industries. In 2018, there were more than 21,000 posts for healthcare jobs,” said Savala.

The project also included overall site development and demolition of portions of the A and B Towers of the East Wing to make way for the new building. More than 20 subcontractors designated as MBE, WBE, DBE and others were involved in the facility’s design and construction.

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

Missouri University of Science and Technology Announces 62nd Annual Asphalt Conference

in Associations/News

2019 marks the 62nd appearance of the Asphalt Conference, going back to 1958, which makes it one of the oldest asphalt conferences in the country. I’ve been privileged to be the director since 1985, building on the success of the six directors that preceded me. The conference has seen many changes through the years. The conference has grown from a partial day to a full day-and-a- half, numbers of presentations from 7 to over 20, and registration from 150 to well over 300 participants. Presentation media in the old days included 35 mm slides and overhead transparencies. The technology today is strikingly different! The location of the conference has remained primarily in Rolla, but has shifted sites on campus. The one constant that has been true from the get-go is the high quality of speakers, including nationally prominent individuals. Throughout the years, the conference has maintained strong ties to the Asphalt Institute, MoDOT, and the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association. The topics presented, of course, have changed with the needs of the day, from the “Ottawa Road Test” to smoothness specifications to Superpave to recycling and sustainability. The introduction of industry exhibitors and corporate sponsors round out the changes over the last 6 decades.

Through it all, the goals of the conference have always been the same: to provide timely, up-to-date, and relevant topics covering the spectrum of activity in the asphalt paving industry, all at a reasonable price. Keeping abreast of the current desired topical trends is only possible by the hard work and expertise of the conference planning committee: 10 to 20 members of the asphalt community drawn from all walks of the asphalt world.

Who should attend? The short answer is anyone that works in the asphalt world: pavement construction, design, specification, maintenance, and material production and supply. So, the folks that attend are typically paving contractors, binder and mixture material suppliers, aggregate producers, equipment suppliers, public agency engineers and staff at the local, state, and national levels, consulting engineers, and testing lab personnel.

Do you want to get your questions answered? Learn new things? See old friends? Network with employers? Well then, mark your calendars and come on down to Rolla December 3rd and 4th, 2019!

Electrical Connection Donates Digital Scoreboard to Herculaneum High School

in Associations/News

The Herculaneum High School Black Cats saluted the Electrical Connection for donating a new scoreboard to enliven football games.  The digital scoreboard was dedicated on Sept. 6, 2019 prior to its football with Fredericktown High School. The scoreboard was installed by Schaeffer Electric and electricians from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1.   IBEW partners with the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to form the Electrical Connection.

“There’s always excitement in a new Herculaneum High School Football season, but new scoreboard brings added energy to the games, said Dunklin R-5 School District Superintendent Stan Stratton. “We are grateful to the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership for making our games even more memorable with the donated scoreboard.  They are a great supporter of our school and community.”

Herculaneum High School has 440 students and is part of the Dunklin R-5 District, which serves 1,700 students in pre-kindergarten through high school.  The Sept. 6, 2019 game had a disappointing outcome for the Black Cats as its record dropped to 1-1 with a loss to Fredericktown High School.

Members of the Electrical Connection partnership have proficiently installed a number of electrical improvements to schools in the Dunklin R-5 District.  NECA contractor J.F. Electric is currently working on some electric upgrades for the district and in addition to its scoreboard installation, Schaeffer Electric has performed other work in the district.  NECA contractors Aschinger ElectricOzark Electric and Kaemmerlen Electric have also served the district. IBEW offers an electrical contractor hotline to help customers find reliable and quality electrical service providers at 314-932-6526.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  The Electrical Connection offers the largest data base of Missouri’s most reliable and proficient electrical contractors at  Or you can call the IBEW electrical contractor hotline at 314-932-6526.

Home Builders Association Donates $15,000 to Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis

in Associations/News

On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2019 HBA President John Suelthaus (Kingbridge Homes) (left) and HBA Executive Vice President Celeste Rueter (right) presented a $15,000 donation to Deirdre Schaneman, resource development operations manager for Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL).

The donation will be used to support Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis’ 2019 build program. The funding will play an integral role in helping HFHSL reach its goal of building 10 new homes in the La Saison neighborhood. Once the homes are completed, they will be purchased by hardworking, low-income families who will perform 350 hours of sweat equity to qualify for their purchase, and take on a 30-year, affordable mortgage payment.

The HBA is a local trade association of more than 600 member firms representing the residential construction industry. The Home Builders Charitable Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing assistance to people or organizations with special shelter needs.

St. Louis Trades Say They’re Robust Compared to Shortage Pockets Nationwide

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Some 80 percent of construction firms across the U.S. report they are having a difficult time filling hourly craft positions across construction trade categories, but St. Louis construction industry execs say the region’s labor supply is adequate to meet the demands of current and near-future building projects here.

“That said, I don’t think we can ever have enough or too many people in the pipeline,” said Len Toenjes, president of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri.

The nationwide 80 percent statistic hails from August 2019 findings of a National Worker Shortage Survey Analysis conducted by Autodesk and the AGC of America. Nearly 2,000 survey respondents included those representing union and open-shop companies ranging from $50 million and under to more than $500 million in annual revenues.

Labor shortages are prompting many firms to boost pay and compensation, according to the survey, with 29 percent reporting they’re using incentives and sign-on bonuses to attract craft workers. Also, 46 percent of respondents said their organizations have launched or enhanced in-house training programs. One-half of all those surveyed said they’ve become active in career-building programs.

On the regional level, organizations including the St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562, the AGC of Missouri and the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis are continually reaching out to articulate the message of what a career in the trades can mean to individuals and families.

“In the last three years, we’ve brought in more than 400 new members,” said John O’Mara, business manager and secretary-treasurer for Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562. “There are certainly pockets of the country that are struggling, but here in St. Louis we’re not having problems (recruiting). Our active membership is in the 2,900 range. We’ve been intentional about it over the past several years. We went from a one-man recruiting team to a team of six that is constantly recruiting, with individuals applying online year-round.” Local 562’s recruitment strategy includes a VIP program that courts individuals retiring from military service, he said.

David Gillick, executive director of the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis, agreed that St. Louis’ construction workforce scenario, from his vantage point, compares favorably to the national shortages because of a key ingredient: retention of existing members. The MCA of St. Louis’ membership includes Bricklayers Local 1 and Tilesetters Local 18.

“Our average age of (MCA of St. Louis) member is 44,” Gillick said, “which is relatively young. In the past, that age was more like 50. What makes our program a bit unique is that we have a high percentage of retainage…90 percent of those who start their careers with us remain with us. I think that’s because there’s a commitment in both directions (from the employer and from the worker).”

Contegra Construction Co. Building EXO Lounge and Nail Bar in Edwardsville, Ill.

in Companies/News

Renovation Creates First-of-its-Kind Venue that Caters to the Senses.

The EXO Lounge and Nail Bar is coming to Edwardsville, Ill.  Billed as a sexy, vibrant and inspiring place to relax, the first-of-its kind venue unites an elegant cocktail lounge with manicure, pedicure and other restorative services in space that is carefully designed for the senses.  The EXO Lounge and Nail Bar, the vision of founder of Gina Gamblin, is taking shape in a more than 8,000-square-foot renovation at the 157 Center complex.  Contegra Construction Co. is transforming the space and expects to complete the project for a November 7, 2019 debut.

“EXO Lounge is all about the senses and a place to escape from the stress of life with some unique pampering,” said Gamblin.  “It is also a place to meet and enjoy the company of the others in an environment built around service and fun.”

The first-of-its-kind cocktail lounge and nail bar will work in harmony. The nail bar will offer manicures, pedicures, eyelash extensions and waxing.  From the European seating, customers will be able to enjoy a cocktail or beverage, ordering from EXO Lounge iPads at every station.  It will also feature a specialized ventilation system at every station to vent fumes from nail polish.  The lounge will offer a relaxing social setting offering seasonal organic cocktails, mocktails, beer, wine and coffee.  Gamblin says seasonal aromas, fresh flowers, music and more will create a soothing experience throughout the lounge and nail bar.

Contegra’s renovation will feature elegant finishes, including recessed and vaulted ceilings accented with gold paneling and brightened with ornate chandeliers.  Vibrant tile floor patterns enliven the nail bar.  The lounge area features darker flooring, a black Cambria Quartz bar top, velvet seating and a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio area with fire pits.

“The lounge offers endless possibilities for fun and relaxation for men and women and is open to the public for special events,” noted Gamblin. “It’s a place where woman can come for a girls night, guys can grab a drink after a long day golfing. The outdoor patio features cabanas from which to enjoy a drink and relax with friends.”  She adds that private liquor boxes will be available for rent.

The inviting entry features a white EIFS façade, a seamless black metal roof, champaign bronze metal panels and a glass curtainwall to flood the interior with natural light.  The 15-foot clearstory entrance is ornamented with a large chandelier.  For more information, visit

“Contegra has been amazing,” said Gamblin.  “They fully understand the vision of relaxation built on personal service and their attention to detail on fixtures, furniture and all amenities has been great.”

Based in Edwardsville, Ill., Contegra is one of the St. Louis area’s largest general contractors and serves a national customer base that includes industrial, institutional, municipal, medical, multi-family, office and retail projects.  Its capabilities include building developer- and owner-driven projects and site development.  Learn more at

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