News - Page 2

St. Louis-Based Fox Architects Expands by Acquiring Local Architectural Firm.


Fox Architects, based in down-town Saint Louis, has acquired Zwick+Gandt Architecure, Inc. The acquisition allows Fox Architects to expand into private education and mixed-use residential sector and deepens its presence in Saint Louis.

Zwick + Gandt Architecture was founded by Brian Zwick and Joel Gandt in January of 2005.  The firm provided architectural, planning, and interior design services and had extensive experience in providing services to a wide range of clients including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, municipal, mixed-use, multi-family residential, retail, healthcare, corporate, industrial, religious, and more.  Zwick + Gandt Architecture projects of note include The Villages of Twin Oaks mixed-use development, 5300 Centre Apartments across from St. Peters City Hall, and numerous projects for local private schools including Lutheran High School South, St. Joseph’s Academy, and Westminster Christian Academy’s new Town & Country campus.

Since firm’s founding in 1978, Fox Architects has amassed comprehensive expertise in workplace design and learning environments. They continue that growth as a WBE (Women Business Enterprise) firm. Today, Fox is strategically placed at the intersection of people and place, studying how environments can encourage and inspire people to thrive individually, collectively, and as a whole community.

Fox Architects is an award-winning Architecture + Design firm that owes its longevity to its strong commitment to the success of their clients. Since its founding in 1978, Fox Architects has worked on a variety of projects from corporate offices to lab and industrial facilities, along with health care, higher education, retail, and restaurants. Fox brings the same philosophy to all project types: that results-oriented architecture comes from a deep understanding of their clients’ goals. Today, Fox Architects’ office, on the 18th floor of Gateway Tower at One Memorial Drive, boasts one of downtown St. Louis’ most stunning views. With the world-famous Gateway Arch as their backdrop, they are consistently reminded to explore and engage in new, innovative ideas that create, collaborate and connect. See examples of Fox’s 44 years of success and read more at

Acquiring Zwick+Gandt Architecture immediately fulfills Fox Architects strategic goal of increasing presence in Saint Louis market as well as diversifies sectors they serve.

“Brian and felt very comfortable with Fox Architects knowing that our staff would have excellent continued employment opportunities and our clients would be well served for years to come.” Joel Gandt said in the statement.


Contegra Construction Completes 70,000SF Headquarters & Manufacturing Facility for Diode Dynamics in St. Charles, Mo.


New Facility Visually Connects All Areas of Operation

               ST. LOUIS – Automotive LED lighting manufacturer Diode Dynamics is moving into its new 70,000-square-foot headquarters/manufacturing facility in St. Charles, Mo.   Contegra Construction has completed the facility at Fountain Lakes Commerce Center. Diode Dynamics reports high demand for its products in the aftermarket LED lighting industry, requiring expansion of manufacturing capacity to support its growth. The company is moving its existing employees from Earth City, Mo. and plans to add 36 new positions over the next five years.  The firm currently employs 90 people.

               “The design and construction team delivered a building that reflects the transparency of our company culture,” said Diode Dynamics Chief Executive Officer Paul McCain, whose firm began in 2006 and was previously located in two separate buildings in Earth City. “Our company values include teamwork. The design and construction of this new headquarters allows us to see each other and interact regularly.”

               Located at 3870 Millstone Parkway in St Charles, Mo., the new headquarters and manufacturing facility features a showroom, two drive-in engineering bays, an electronics manufacturing area, engineering laboratory, 30-foot clear height warehouse, and a two story office space. 

               “Contegra was a fantastic partner in this project, meeting our unique needs with excellent communication at every step of the way,” noted McCain.

               Visually connecting areas of operation unfolds in a number of ways.  The facility spans two floors with views into the manufacturing area. The design and construction feature contemporary aluminum frames and glass, offering a clear view of the manufacturing space from the second-floor boardroom as well.

               “Integration of the second-floor mezzanines provide an overlook into the lobby and into the manufacturing space,” McCain said. “Our 2,500-square-foot breakroom features floor-to-ceiling overlook windows from the mezzanine level.”

                    The facility also offers a glimpse of the assembly process where engineers see their concepts being produced in real time.  “On the first floor, adjacent to engineering, is our circuit board assembly line,” McCain said. “Our engineers have windows to look directly into the production process and provide fast support when necessary.”

                    The building also features a 100-foot-long, darkroom tunnel utilized in testing the light output from vehicle headlights. “By rotating headlights on specialized equipment, we can map out the entire output pattern as a means of measuring and compliance testing,” said McCain. “It’s a tunnel equipped with black-out curtains to test for light spread and ensure that the pattern of the light – as emitted by various automotive vehicles – meets all department of transportation and engineering standards.”

               The facility is constructed with conventional steel frames and load bearing exterior tilt-up concrete wall panels.  Working closely with Diode Dynamics, Contegra customized the facility to meet specific needs.  It hosts an 18,000-square-foot office, 37,000-square-foot warehouse and a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing area.  The new facility has the potential to double in size.

               Joining Contegra on the project are Remiger Design, BAX Engineering and SSC Engineering.  Subcontractors include Kaemmerlen Electric, electrical; O.J. Laughlin Plumbing Co., Inc., plumbing; Wiegmann Associates, mechanical; and Bi-State Fire Protection Corp., fire protection.

               The project was financed by Bank of Franklin County. Diode Dynamics was represented by James Delgado of Cozad Commercial Real Estate, with David Zobel of Danna McKitrick, P.C. acting as counsel. The project is also supported by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the 504 loan program of the Economic Development Council (EDC) of St. Charles County, and the City of St. Charles, Mo.

               Established in 2008, Diode Dynamics is a privately-held designer, manufacturer, and distributor of automotive lighting products. For more information, visit

       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, multi-family, office and retail projects.  Its capabilities include building developer- and owner-driven projects and site development.  Learn more at


Electrical Connection Supports the 2022 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway


The 13th St. Jude Dream Home® in St. Louis is taking shape at the Streets of Caledonia in O’Fallon, Mo. and once again the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection is donating resources to build it.  The home’s construction and sale will benefit children served by the renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.  It is donating all electrical services to build the 2,457-square-foot, two-story home which carries an estimated value of $565,000. The home is being built by Fischer Homes.  NECA contractor Grasser Electric and IBEWare performing the electrical work.

In June of this year, tickets will be available to purchase for a chance to win the home.  A total of 16,000 tickets will be offered to win the home for $100 each.  Last year, tickets to win the home sold out in 10 days.  For more information visit

Located at intersection of Dalriada Blvd & Long Haven Drive at the Streets of Caledonia, the groundbreaking for this year’s St. Jude Dream Home was held on Feb. 10, 2022.  The Grasser Electric/IBEW team began roughing in electrical on April 2, 2022. Each year, the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership pays the wages of the workforce for the St. Jude Dream Home. “But at the end of the day, our workforce agreed to donate their time and skills on Saturday to advance this worthy cause,” noted Chris Clermont, business representative, IBEW Local 1. 

The home features a morning room adjacent to the kitchen, flexible space for a living room, dining room or study, a first floor owner’s suite, a two-story family room,  three bedrooms, two and a half baths and a two-car garage.

“The purpose of the home is truly special,” said Frank Jacobs, IBEW business manager.  “St. Jude’s critical research and treatment of childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases inspires and compels our IBEW/NECA partnership to help with this worthy cause.”

The home is built with the generosity and support of sponsors, trade partners, and the local community. Every dollar raised goes straight to St. Jude for funding research and providing care. 

“The ultimate winner of the St. Jude Dream Home will appreciate the reliable electrical installations built to code that is the hallmark of all our residential projects,” noted Kyle McKenna, executive vice president, St. Louis NECA.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook ( and following us on Twitter (@stjude).

The Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership more than 5,000 highly skilled and safe IBEW electricians and the more than 150 NECA electrical contractors who employ them.  For more than 75 years, the partnership has trained more electricians/communication technicians than any education program in Missouri. Its award-winning work provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. Learn more at


Employment Stalls but New Low for April Jobless Rate, Record Openings Imply Demand Remains Strong


Employment Stalls but New Low for April Jobless Rate, Record Openings Imply Demand Remains Strong

Construction employment, seasonally adjusted, totaled 7,628,000 in April, a decrease of 2,000 from March but a gain of 235,000 (3.2%) year-over-year (y/y) from April 2021, according to AGC’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data posted on Friday. Residential construction employment, comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors, rose by 3,800 in April and 113,200 (3.7%) y/y. Nonresidential construction employment—at building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms—dipped by 2,000 for the month but climbed by 122,200 (2.8%) y/y. The number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience dropped 40% y/y to 464,000, and the industry’s unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, declined from 7.7% in April 2021 to 4.6% last month, the lowest April rate in the 23-year history of the series.

There were 415,000 job openings in construction, not seasonally adjusted, at the end of March, a jump of 69,000 (20%) from March 2021, BLS reported on Tuesday in its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release. That was the largest total for any month in the 22-year history of the series. Hires decreased by 34,000 (8%) y/y to 388,000. Openings exceeded hires for the fourth month in a row, a formerly rare occurrence. Layoffs and discharges fell by 35,000 (-29%) y/y to 87,000, the fewest in series history. Quits soared by 64,000 (38%) y/y to 232,000, a new high for March. Together, the record-low layoffs and unemployment rate and the record high for job openings, rather than a slump in demand, may account for the flattening of hiring and total employment.

Construction spending (not adjusted for inflation) totaled $1.73 trillion in March at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 0.1% from the upwardly revised February total and up 12% y/y, the Census Bureau reported on May 2. However, without a deflator, it is impossible to say how much of the gain is in units vs. price. Many nonresidential construction categories declined for the month but topped year-ago levels, while residential segments mostly posted both monthly and y/y gains. Private nonresidential construction spending skidded 1.2% for the month but climbed 8.5% y/y. The largest private nonresidential segment—power—slipped 1.2% for the month and 0.3% y/y (including electric power, down 2.3% for the month and 1.8% y/y, and oil and gas field structures and pipelines, up 2.4% in March and 5.0% y/y); followed by commercial, down 1.9% for the month but up 14% y/y (including warehouse, -0.9% and 19%, respectively, and retail, -3.6% and 14%); manufacturing, down 1.6% in March but up 32% y/y (including chemical and pharmaceutical, -3.2% and -5.9%, respectively, and computer/electronic/electrical, -0.5% and 237%); and office, 0% and 4.9%. Public construction spending decreased 0.3% for the month but rose 1.7% y/y. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, lost 0.4% for the month but climbed 7.5% y/y. Public education construction declined 0.8% and 6.2%, respectively. Public transportation construction fell 0.5% and 1.2%. Private residential construction spending increased 1.0% for the month and 18% y/y. Single-family spending climbed 1.3% and 19%, respectively; owner-occupied improvements jumped 1.1% and 22%; and multifamily declined 0.5% in March but rose 3.9% y/y.

Three new private surveys suggest demand for projects remains strong. The Dodge Momentum Index rose 6% in April from a downwardly revised March reading and 17% y/y, Dodge Construction Network reported on Friday. The index “is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. In April, the commercial component of the Momentum Index rose 9%” and 15% y/y, “while the institutional component moved 2% higher” for the month and 22% y/y.

“Economic activity in the services sector grew in April for the 23rd month in a row,” the Institute for Supply Management reported on Wednesday. Construction is listed first among 17 out of 18 services sectors that reported growth in April, first among 10 that reported increases in employment, and is among 18 that reported paying higher prices for materials and services, 16 that reported slower supplier deliveries, and 13 that reported an increase in orders. But construction respondents did not report a change in order backlogs, unlike 11 that reported an increase (and one that reported a decrease). Items reported up in price that are significant for construction included aluminum products (5 months in a row); copper (2 months); diesel fuel (17 months); freight (12 months); heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment; polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products (8 months); and steel products (16 months). Items listed in short supply included appliances (2 months), construction labor, and PVC products.

“Demand for apartments continues to exceed supply,” National Multifamily Housing Council Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky stated in a release NMHC issued on May 2, covering its latest quarterly survey. “Yet, even as rent growth and occupancy remain elevated, developers are struggling to build more housing due to the increasing cost of materials, a lack of available labor, continued obstructionism from NIMBYs, and, because of rising interest rates, an increasing cost of capital.”

There are mixed signs about future input prices. “Worries that new economic lockdowns will erode demand from [China, due to the pandemic’s resurgence] have dragged aluminum and tin down more than 17% from their recent records,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Copper “has lost 12% since its March record.” In contrast, the national retail average price of highway diesel fuel jumped to a record $5.51 per gallon on May 2, up 35 cents in a week and $2.37 (75%) y/y, the Energy Information Administration reported. Readers are invited to submit reports on materials costs and supply to


FreightWeek STL Offers Virtual Opportunity to Learn Latest Industry Innovations



The time is now to register for the St. Louis region’s fifth-annual conference that is central to all things freight.

FreightWeekSTL returns May 23-27 as a virtual event featuring seven engaging virtual discussions focused on the latest trends and innovations influencing worldwide freight movement and highlighting St. Louis’ advantages of global access.

Inland Marine Expo is partnering with St. Louis Regional Freightway in presenting panels of experts speaking on topics including: advances in rail-related innovations such as an autonomous, zero-emissions railcar; the latest information on the collaborative effort to launch container-on-vessel service to the Midwest; APM Terminals’ global operation of one of the world’s most comprehensive port networks; latest technology Union Pacific is deploying to the largest U.S. port complex; details on the significant investments being made at three prominent Midwest ports (offered virtually and also in-person); updates on the new partnership between St. Louis Regional Freightway and KC SmartPort regarding added capacity plans for Missouri’s Interstate 70 corridor; and a briefing on the economic impact of Illinois Route 3 in terms of heavy industrial development.

“We’re anticipating another great event as people join us virtually for FreightWeek STL or take advantage of the flexibility our format offers to catch up on these timely and important topics,” said Mary Lamie, executive vice president of multi-modal enterprises for Bi-State Development, which operates St. Louis Regional Freightway. “We’re committed to presenting some of the most relevant topics in the logistics industry while bringing together forward thinkers who are shaping the future of the freight industry.”

For more information on FreightWeekSTL and to register for sessions, visit


Job Safety and Mental Health


Few people may stop to consider the role of mental health on safety, but during National Safety Week, May 2 through 6, McCarthy Building Companies has embraced a mental health awareness initiative that focuses on ensuring that people who work for the company get the help they need. A key component is reducing the stigma associated with mental illness that prevents people from getting help for mental health issues ranging from anxiety, depression and mood swings to substance abuse disorders.

Whether someone works in construction or not, t these issues pose significant risks to health, well-being, safety and productivity in any job, as well as at home.

While it would be timely to do a story during National Safety Week, this topic is timeless.  We would be happy to arrange an interview for you with a McCarthy safety expert, representative of the Associated General Contractors Association (AGC), and/or a mental health professional.

By way of background, a few notes related specifically to construction:

·         According to insurance broker Holmes Murphy & Associates, the construction industry is especially vulnerable to mental health challenges because of factors ranging from financial and family pressures to workplace injuries, chronic pain and substance abuse.

·         Gender issues also play a role, as data suggest that men are less likely to talk about and work to resolve mental health concerns than women are. This is particularly meaningful for the traditionally male-dominated construction field.

·         To successfully address the mental health crisis, it’s going to take a team approach. The construction industry must work together to begin shifting the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors about mental health—particularly on jobsites, where construction workers may be the most reluctant to ask for help.   

·         This effort should focus on increasing awareness and initiating conversations that promote acceptance and reduce the stigma of getting professional help. Just as people recognize the importance of taking care of their physical health by eating right, exercising and making healthy choices, they also need to understand the significance of caring for their mental health needs.

·         As a large national builder, McCarthy recognizes its role and responsibility in helping to amplify the discussions around mental health awareness, acceptance and treatment options. An internal cross-functional team of safety, human resources and operations professionals recently collaborated on an initiative to expand outreach and communicate more effectively with employees, craft workers and other stakeholders.


People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


S. M. Wilson & Co. promotes Jeremy Hutfles to Assistant Superintendent

Jeremy Hutfles

S. M. Wilson has promoted Jeremy Hutfles to Assistant Superintendent. In his new role, Hutfles coordinates and manages all day-to-day onsite operations, coordinates with subcontractors and suppliers, and communicates with owners and architects. Hutfles currently is working on the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) College of Nursing project. He will be onsite during the entire construction phase.

Hutfles joined S. M. Wilson last year and has over 17 years experience in construction. Most recently he was assigned to the Target remodel in Jefferson City. He is OSHA certified in 30 Hour Construction Safety and Health for Construction Industry.


S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis and offices in Edwardsville, IL and Cape Girardeau, MO. Founded in 1921, S. M. Wilson is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. The 100% employee-owned company is one of the leading construction management firms in the Midwest. Areas of expertise include education, commercial, healthcare and industrial projects. For more information, visit

Carmody MacDonald P.C Hires HOA Attorney

Kerri A. Mitchell

Carmody MacDonald P.C. welcomes Kerri A. Mitchell to the firm. Kerri will spend the majority of her time working with the Homeowner and Condominium Association Practice Group. She previously served as an insurance defense counsel and represented a variety of clients, including municipalities, corporations, and small business owners in their litigation matters. Kerri received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Saint Louis University School of Law after an undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

April 29, 2022

Kevin Nesselhauf Joins as Project Developer

Kevin Nesselhauf

Pfund Construction is excited to announce that Kevin Nesselhauf has joined the team in the newly created role of Project Developer. Kevin’s responsibilities will include working with clients to conceptualize and optimize their projects, building strong collaborative partnerships with design teams, and developing mutually beneficial subcontractor relationships.

With over 15 years of experience, Kevin is well respected in the St. Louis construction industry. He completed both his undergrad in Construction Management and Master’s degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  He and his wife Nicole have three children and live in Edwardsville.

About Pfund Construction: Pfund Construction, based in Edwardsville, was named the City of Edwardsville’s 2017 and 2022 Business of the Year. Pfund Construction continues a rapid expansion in the St. Louis metro area, delivering unique projects that require a hands-on building approach to provide exceptional value to their clients.   

S. M. Wilson & Co. promotes Travis Schmitt to Project Superintendent

S. M. Wilson & Co., a top St. Louis-based construction manager, has promoted Travis Schmitt to Project Superintendent. Schmitt has held previous positions with S. M. Wilson as Assistant Superintendent and Field Engineer. He currently is leading the field team for the new, $34 million Spoede Elementary, which is being built as part of the $112 million Prop L Ladue bond program. Schmitt is a graduate of Southwestern Illinois College with a degree in Construction Management.


S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis and offices in Edwardsville, IL and Cape Girardeau, MO. Founded in 1921, S. M. Wilson is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. The 100% employee-owned company is one of the leading construction management firms in the Midwest. Areas of expertise include K-12 education, commercial, healthcare and government projects. For more information, visit

Chris Mathews Launches BFW Engineering and Testing Services’ Belleville Office

Chris Mathews

BFW Engineering is proud to announce that Chris Mathews is now heading up their newest office located in Belleville, IL. With over 10 years of experience as a geotechnical engineer, Matthews specializes in site specific seismic analysis, non-destructive and in-situ testing, foundation design and mine subsidence mitigation.

He has managed a wide variety of large-scale geotechnical projects in both the private and public sectors and currently serves as a board member of the SAME Scott Field Post.

BFW Engineering and Testing Services is a multi-disciplined, full-service engineering firm that provides engineering excellence through planning, design, and construction observation phase services for Civil, Structural, Transportation, Mechanical and Electrical projects of diverse complexities. With a staff of over 130 employees in nine office locations, in addition to engineering services, BFW also offers Grant Strategies,

Historic Preservation, Landscape Architecture, Park Services, Port Authority Master Planning and Geospatial Technologies.

April 22, 2022

Mia Rose Holdings Adds Thomasina Hergert as Property Manager

Thomasina Hergert

St. Louis-based real estate developer Mia Rose Holdings (MRH) has added Thomasina Hergert of Hillsboro, Missouri as Property Manager. Hergert will oversee day-to-day operations of Timber Ridge Apartments in Hillsboro, which is owned and operated by MRH. Her responsibilities include lease management and vendor relations management, unit preparation, tenant service requests and inspections.

Hergert has over 15 years experience in account management, customer services, business development and human resources. She holds a Doctoral Candidate in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, a Master of Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College. 

Timber Ridge Apartments is a 104-unit apartment community located 40 miles southwest of St. Louis in Hillsboro, MO. The complex features one and two-bedroom units, a pool, clubhouse, storage units and high-speed Internet access. Mia Rose Holdings purchased the complex in 2020 and has been remodeling units and property features. 

Mia Rose Holdings LLC (MRH) is a Chesterfield, MO-based commercial real estate development company that actively acquires and develops real estate to support the needs and vision of local communities. MRH provides comprehensive, first-class development services through partnerships with the best and brightest in commercial brokerage, engineering, architectural and construction services. Mixed-use and luxury multi-family developments include The Junction in Wentzville, PURE Springdale in Northwest Arkansas, 44 West Luxury Living in St. Louis County, The Prairie in Dardenne Prairie and The Meadows in Lake Saint Louis. In addition to multi-family and mixed-use developments, MRH has a strong niche developing and consulting for ice rinks and other youth athletic facilities, including Maryville University Hockey Center, Pacific Ice Rink and Chesterfield Sports Complex. For more information about Mia Rose Holdings, visit

April 15, 2022

Gabrielle Fields Joins Building Futures as Interim Executive Director

Gabrielle Fields

Building Futures, a growing non-profit founded by Frank and Gay Lorberbaum, is proud to announce that Gabrielle Fields has joined the organization as Interim Executive Director. Gabrielle will work alongside Frank and Gay with the intention of assuming full responsibilities of Executive Director of Building Futures within the year.

Gabrielle, born and raised in St. Louis, is a proud graduate of the AGC sponsored Charter High School, Construction Careers Center, a high school known to many as Triple C. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Public Relations from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. She has spent the past two years working in higher education in Delaware, Ohio and is excited to return to the St. Louis area.

Founded in 2012, Building Futures: Design & Build Workshop began as a year-round Saturday workshop with the goal of supplementing education of under-served youth in the St. Louis area. Today, Building Futures serves over 1,500 students in weekday in-school classes, after school programs, and summer programming. The classes currently taught are for K-8 students, although expansion of their teaching in-school classes for high school students will take place soon.

The current mission of Building Futures is “to help disadvantaged young people obtain the skills needed to excel in the 21st century.”  They conduct this mission by teaching the kids concepts of design and construction. The organization works out of a spacious 5,000+ SF warehouse in the North City area at the corner of 13th Street and St. Louis Avenue. The non-profit is supported by grants, corporate and private donations and fees earned from teaching in the various city and public schools. The Kranzberg Arts Foundation and the Opus Group Foundation have been instrumental in the success of Building Futures.

“We are excited to have Gabrielle join us and help lead the way into the future,” says Frank Lorberbaum, founder, and current Executive Director, “her youthful excitement and passion for helping kids fits in perfectly with our mission.”

“It is especially satisfying for me that Gabrielle was a graduate of Construction Careers Center as I also served on the board of this former charter high school and greatly believed in the mission and purpose of the school,” commented Ron Unterreiner of PEOPLE of Construction, current board chair of Building Futures. “What a great story for our industry, the Associated General Contractors of Missouri, and for all the good people that participated in the founding and the managing of Construction Careers Center.”

McCarthy Holdings, Inc. Promotes Kristine Newman to Chief Financial Officer

Kristine Newman

McCarthy Holdings, Inc., one of the nation’s largest 100 percent employee-owned construction companies, recently promoted Kristine Newman to chief financial officer. Prior to assuming this role, Newman served as executive vice president for the company. She replaces retiring CFO Doug Audiffred, and reports directly to McCarthy Holdings, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ray Sedey.

Newman joined McCarthy in 2005 as controller for the builder’s Southwest Region and was promoted to vice president, finance in 2016 and senior vice president, finance in 2018. In 2019 she assumed the executive vice president, finance position and became a member of McCarthy’s enterprise leadership team. Now as chief financial officer, she will be responsible for all accounting, finance and insurance components of McCarthy including cash management, investments, internal audit financial reporting and risk management.

“Kris has been working closely with [outgoing CFO] Doug Audiffred for some time to ensure a thoughtful and smooth transition,” Ray Sedey said. “In addition to her outstanding financial acumen, strong work ethic and exceptional professionalism, Kris brings a deep understanding of McCarthy and our industry. She is an inspirational and trustworthy leader, and I speak for our entire leadership team and all our employee-owners when I express how pleased we are to welcome Kris into this role.”

Newman began her career with Arthur Andersen LLP, working on audit and consulting engagements in the firm’s Chicago and Phoenix offices, prior to joining McCarthy. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). An Indiana native, Newman earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Purdue University.

In addition to her responsibilities with McCarthy, Newman was recognized as a “Most Influential Woman in Commercial Real Estate” (AZ Business Magazine, 2019) and serves on the national committee for the McCarthy Partnership for Women, the firm’s employee resource group dedicated to recruiting, developing and retaining women. She currently serves on the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce board of directors, is past president and current member of the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association and is past chair of the board of directors for UMOM New Day Centers in Phoenix.

“It is an incredible honor to serve in this crucial role for our company,” Newman said. “I am grateful to be able to follow in the footsteps of Doug Audiffred, and his guidance through the transition period was extremely helpful and appreciated. I know without a doubt that this organization will continue to accomplish amazing things.”

McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with nearly 160 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is comprised of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and Castle Contracting, Inc. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Joyce Morgan Promoted to Director of Finance at Mia Rose Holdings

Joyce Morgan

St. Louis-based real estate developer Mia Rose Holdings (MRH) has promoted Joyce Morgan to Director of Finance. Morgan was made a partner at Mia Rose Holdings last year. In her Director of Finance role, she oversees the firm’s long-term financial health and growth and is responsible for establishing financial strategies, overseeing all accounting operations, managing accounts payable and receivable, producing financial reports and analyzing budgets.

Morgan brings 25 years of construction industry experience. She previously was property manager at Mia Rose Holdings’ Timber Ridge multifamily complex in Hillsboro, Missouri where she is a co-owner. 

Mia Rose Holdings LLC (MRH) is a Chesterfield, MO-based commercial real estate development company that actively acquires and develops real estate to support the needs and vision of local communities. For more information about Mia Rose Holdings, visit


Tarlton Completes Mass Concrete Work for Proton Therapy Vault


St. Louis general contractor/construction manager Tarlton Corp., in partnership with Otto Baum Company Inc., concrete and masonry contractors, completed the concrete construction of a new proton therapy vault for PointCore Construction adjacent to the OSF HealthCare Cancer Institute, a regional destination center in Peoria, Illinois.

The $5.5 million, below-grade vault is attached to the cancer treatment center on the campus of the OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center. It is the second proton therapy vault the Tarlton Concrete Division has constructed in the last five years. Proton therapy, a relatively new technology, allows oncologists to target radiation directly without significantly damaging the surrounding healthy tissue, providing the patient with fewer short- and long-term side effects and a smaller chance of recurrence.  

An interior view of mass concrete vault walls that illustrate the complexity of concrete construction. Photo courtesy of PointCore Construction.

The team constructed a 4,520-cubic-yard concrete vault, inside of which was placed state-of-the-art equipment manufactured by Varian Medical Systems Inc., for noninvasive cancer treatment. Unlike many radiation centers, the OSF proton vault has no lead lining. Extremely precise structural concrete work was required to prevent the escape of any proton radiation. The substantial concrete walls, which include some over 25 feet thick, are designed to stop and absorb traveling protons.

To ensure all mass concrete pours were placed and cured properly, consistent communication and coordination between all trade partners was essential. The Tarlton Concrete project team included Kevin Oakley, project director; Brian Julius, project manager; Kurt Aubuchon, senior project engineer; and Jeff Vogt, project superintendent. Otto Baum Company Inc. supplied all labor, equipment and construction materials for the project. Doka USA Ltd., a leader in concrete formwork and shoring systems, fully engineered the concrete formwork to minimize deflections and maintain concrete tolerances.

A thermal control plan, critical to the execution of the pours, was developed in conjunction with CTL Group, an internationally recognized engineering, architecture and materials science consulting firm. The plan included a specific temperature control plan for each individual pour. Temperature sensors were placed in each pour to carefully monitor and track temperature differentials. The team maintained the schedule by streamlining a blockout process for adjacent concrete pours that allowed them to reduce the cure time between pours without sacrificing the integrity and quality of the concrete.  

About PointCore Construction

Based in Peoria, Illinois, PointCore Construction, a health care program and construction management company, was launched in May, 2019 as a joint venture of OSF HealthCare and Core Construction, with a mission to design and build cutting-edge health care facilities. Core Construction, founded in 1937, provides best-in-class construction services and is one of the industry’s foremost providers of integrated project delivery methods, program management and advanced construction technology. With 20 offices located in eight U.S. states, Core Construction is recognized as a Top 100 ENR Contractor, having completed projects in 30 states.

About Tarlton

Having celebrated its 75th year in business in 2021,Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that provides outstanding preconstruction, construction and design-build solutions to clients in the commercial, institutional, government and nonprofit, industrial and power and energy markets. The Midwest general contractor/construction manager also has special expertise in concrete construction, restoration and maintenance. Tarlton has completed many landmark St. Louis projects and is committed to improving lives through inclusive construction, civic engagement and service to others.


St. Clair County Transit District Awards Construction Contract


After a competitive bidding process, St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) today announced Belleville-based Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping, Inc. was awarded a $767,952 construction contract for Phase I of the Old Collinsville Road Trail. This approximately ¾ mile-long trail project will connect Richland Creek Bikeway in Swansea to Lebanon Avenue in Belleville, as well as to the Old Collinsville Road Bike Trail Phase II project currently under construction from Lake Lorraine Drive to Munie Road in Swansea. This latest phase will further extend the reach of the MetroBikeLink System, which features 14 continuous miles of trails in Southwestern Illinois and links users to six Metro Transit Centers.

Phase I of the Old Collinsville Road Trail will feature a separate 10-foot-wide, shared-use, asphalt path within the Old Collinsville Road right of way; a pedestrian bridge over Richland Creek; and traffic signal modifications for safe crossing at Lebanon Avenue. It also will link Belleville’s existing sidewalk system along Old Collinsville Road and West Boulevard, providing pedestrian accommodations from Belleville East High School and approximately 2,000 homes nearby.  The project is underway and is expected to be complete later this fall.

“This project is one of several in the works designed to further connect our county’s growing trail system,” said Ken Sharkey, managing director for St. Clair County Transit District.

The first section of the MetroBikeLink System opened in 2002 and was comprised of a four-mile trail, extending from Southwestern Illinois College to the Swansea MetroLink Station. Since then, the system has expanded to include the Memorial, Fairview Heights and Shiloh Scott sections for a total of 14 miles of trail adjacent to the MetroLink light rail tracks. Additional trails have been built by SCCTD to connect to this main artery, including SCCTD Orchard Loop Trail Phases I and II, the Engelmann Park Connector and the Old Collinsville Road Trail (currently under construction) totaling another eight miles of SCCTD connected trails. These accessible pathways, along with the connecting trails from other municipalities, will combine to provide over 35 miles of connected trails in St. Clair County.


PayneCrest Electric, Inc. Strengthens Capabilities with New 30,000 SF Prefabrication Facility


Facility Mitigates Delays, Reduces Costs and Improves Precision & Safety

            At more than 3,000 pounds and 70-feet long, the underground conduit rack installed at a massive Omaha data center reflects the growing prefabrication proficiencies of PayneCrest Electric, Inc.  And now PayneCrest, one of St. Louis’ largest electrical contractors, has a new 30,000-square-foot prefabrication facility near its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.  The multi-million dollar facility unites PayneCrest’s 30-person engineering team with its prefabrication operation.  Founded in 1954, PayneCrest engineers and installs highly complex electrical and communications technology infrastructure and systems.  The firm serves commercial, industrial/process, automotive, data center, petrochemical and power industries, including renewable energy, for a local and national clientele.

“Our jobs are getting bigger and we’ve continuously invested in engineering solutions and ways to optimize the skills, productivity and safety of our workforce,” noted Ryan Freeman, president, PayneCrest.  “Co-locating engineering with prefabrication more effectively connects engineering to field installations.  Our engineers can see their 3D modeling designs unfold in the prefabrication process and get critical feedback from field personnel to refine for optimal performance.”  At a Washington University project in St. Louis, Paynecrest has cut, bent and assembled 50,000 pounds and 20 miles conduit in its prefabrication shop for installation in the field.

Located at 10630 Midwest Industrial Dr., the facility supports any precision electrical and communications infrastructure need.  That includes pre-wired modular units, large underground feeder conduit racks, branch feeder racks, temporary power carts, and specialized installations for labs, data centers and industrial projects. It features state-of-the-art precision cutting, welding and conduit bending aligned to engineering specifications.

“By prefabricating project components off site we can mitigate delays and pre-order materials for prefabrication and storage,” said Kenny Bassler, who leads PayneCrest’s engineering team.  “And under any condition, prefabrication can consistently deliver on exacting standards and improve overall safety.  The less time in a trench or high up on a project, the safer it is for our workforce.”

PayneCrest Prefabrication Manager Jim Glen noted that one such prefabrication solution for a pharmaceutical client was to create 165 pre-wired and fully integrated modular lab benches, some up to 40-feet long, that were lifted in place by crane and slid in floor by floor.

PayneCrest is leveraging its prefabrication services for a number of projects, including an array of complex electrical installations for Meta Platforms, Inc. (Facebook), Washington University, Pfizer, General Motors, Centene, Boeing and a host of large solar field projects throughout the country.

PayneCrest reported revenues of $200 million in 2021 and has 750 employees.  PayneCrest has earned more than 25 honors for construction excellence in the annual AGC of Missouri Construction Keystone Awards.  Find out more at