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Helping to Create Virus-Resistant Spaces in Schools

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New Transira Window Solutions Cuts the Germs

The world changed overnight. Schools, businesses, restaurants, and other public settings closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Now these same places are preparing to re-open, with social distancing and safety measures in place.

Public and private K-12 schools are at the top of the list for concerns about re-opening. School administrators and facility managers are looking at new ways to keep students safe. A new breakthrough in window systems, Transira™ Prime Window Solutions, resolves several common problems faced by public buildings used for education, as well as government, commercial, retail, and healthcare.

Transira Prime Window Solutions encases a high-performance vertical shade within an insulated window, eliminating the possibility that allergens and airborne pathogens cling to the shade’s fabric. The window system can be locally controlled and simultaneously tied into the overall building management system. This offers teachers and school staff the ability to control visibility, light, and solar heat entering a room at the touch of the button.

WINCO Window Company, a St. Louis-based manufacturer of architectural aluminum windows, developed the Transira concept as a way to modernize and simplify daylighting. The Transira system was first used by the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada as a way to visually secure learning spaces in the event of an intruder on campus.

“The feedback that we’ve gotten from teachers and school district personnel has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Gantt Miller, LEED AP, part of the product development team at WINCO. “Since adding healthy daylight is as simple as pressing a button next to the light switch, they’ve found that rather than relying on artificial lighting, classrooms and student activities are more frequently illuminated by a warm glow of natural light.”

With more than 70,000 students in its school district, Washoe County has plans to build an additional 15 schools and has committed to including Transira Prime Window Solutions in the design. Now with Coronavirus causing concern for re-opening school districts, Transira Prime Window Solutions provides an additional benefit of cleanliness for the health and welfare of students and staff.

“Draperies and shades can hold onto disease-spreading microbes. Both are difficult and costly to sterilize. This is a risk we can eliminate entirely from the equation. Cleaning glass is far easier and safer than cleaning the soft surfaces of fabrics,” says Miller. Transira neutralizes this source of contamination while simultaneously reducing operating costs, harnessing daylighting, and dramatically streamlining and sanitizing the user interface for a school room’s lighting and privacy.

When not being operated locally by a teacher or school staff member, the Transira Prime Window Solutions can interface with a school’s existing Building Management System to help conserve energy and save money by reducing or allowing heat transfer depending on the current cooling or heating load of the building. “Basically, when the building needs heat, the window delivers. When the building needs to stay cool, the window blocks solar heat gain,” says Miller.

Building the shade into the window not only protects it from contamination but also from inadvertent damage from daily use. Shades, blinds, draperies and window coverings are one of the largest single maintenance expenditures. By putting the shade within the window, it is protected from handling while being controlled seamlessly with a wall keypad or BMS integration — convenient, efficient, and cost-effective.

Bundled Benefits Can Reduce Costs

Transira Prime Window Solutions can reduce energy bills because both the insulated window, glass coatings and interior shades all contribute to reducing costs. Security is improved because the shades can be quickly raised in case of a fire or lowered in case of an intruder. The windows are also engineered to prevent sound entering the building, creating a quieter school room for learning.

WINCO partnered with Somfy, the world leader in the automatic control of openings and closures in buildings to ensure the Transira Windows offer state-of-the-art functionality. “We needed a partner with a proven track record in automatic control, and Somfy was instrumental in navigating the fine details that went into this product,” says Miller.

A final benefit of having the shades built into the window is that the installation of Transira Prime Window Solutions cuts down on multiple trades, multiple vendors, project complexity, and extended timelines. Only one vendor is needed to spec, design and install Transira Prime Window Solutions.

WINCO also offers Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions when a full window replacement is not necessary. This is a smart way to add energy and security upgrades to existing window systems. Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions offers the convenience of built in shades that are controlled with BMS integration or local control.

To learn more about WINCO’s new Transira Prime Window Solutions and Transira Accessory Sash Window Solutions, visit

Founded in 1915, WINCO Window Company, based in St. Louis, provides full-service manufacturing of high-performance architectural and heavy commercial aluminum windows and doors nationally, for classic renovation and new construction. Visit for more information.

For more than 50 years, Somfy engineers have designed quality products that both commercial and residential markets rely upon to motorize interior window coverings, awnings, rolling shutters, exterior solar screens and projection screens. Somfy motorization systems are easily integrated with security, HVAC and lighting systems providing total home or building automation.

White House Opposes $1.5 Trillion House Infrastructure Measure

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said Monday it opposes a $1.5 trillion proposal from congressional Democrats to boost U.S. infrastructure over the next decade, criticizing how it would pay for new spending.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is set to begin on Tuesday debating the measure, which includes a massive boost in spending on roads, bridges, public transit, rail, ports and airports as well as water systems, schools and broadband internet. A final vote is expected later this week.

“America’s infrastructure is in crisis,” House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, a Democrat, said. The country’s “roads, bridges, public transit, rail, airports, ports and water systems are badly outdated, causing stress and safety hazards for our citizens, strain on our economy, and an enormous toll on public health and our planet.”

The White House said it was “not a serious proposal,” saying it “significantly favored” urban areas over rural America and that the measure appeared to be “entirely debt-financed.”

Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize surface transportation spending. White House officials confirmed earlier that President Donald Trump is expected in the coming weeks to unveil his surface transportation spending plan.

Trump and Democratic leaders in April 2019 agreed to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure, but never hashed out how to pay for it. It appears increasingly unlikely Congress will pass any significant funding boost ahead of the November presidential election.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday opposed the Democratic bill, calling on lawmakers to take up a bipartisan measure approved by a Senate committee as a starting point. The “stakes are too high for yet another failure,” it said.

Congress abandoned largely requiring road users to pay for road repairs and has not hiked the federal gas tax since 1993. Since 2008, Congress has transferred about $141 billion in general revenues to the Highway Trust Fund.

To maintain existing spending, Congress will need to find $107 billion over five years; the House bill transfers $145.3 billion.

St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers Hosts City Foundry STL Virtual Tour, Project Update

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More than 100 design and construction industry professionals virtually toured City Foundry STL on Tuesday afternoon, learning more about the inspiration behind the development along with its projected Phase 1 opening time frame.

Lawrence Group CEO/Developer Steve Smith, Lawrence Group Design Architect/Senior Project Manager Bridget Bogan Keitel, Lawrence Group Director of Development Services Todd Rogan and Great Rivers Greenway CEO Susan Trautman offered perspectives on the $210 million, 330,000-square-foot, mixed-use, historic renovation of the 14-acre former Federal Mogul foundry site in Midtown at 3700 Forest Park Avenue.

Smith and Keitel said Phase 1 of the project – which includes the 20-vendor food hall with 500 seats in a public market layout, is projected to open in Q3 or Q4 of this year.

Smith shared with the SLCCC virtual audience his vision that propelled the development. The genesis of that vision hailed from a leisure trip he took to Atlanta with his family in 2015. “We visited Krog Street Market in historic Atlanta and immediately saw its vibrancy and dynamism,” said Smith, noting that the building that served for nearly 100 years as Atlanta Stove Works’ manufacturing hub for making the cast iron Barrett Range closed in 1987. It stood dormant for 15 years but was redeveloped into an historically redeveloped, mixed-use development. “Within two weeks of returning to St. Louis, I visited the Foundry site and saw the same potential,” he said.

Reusing a unique, historic building rather than tearing it down to build a generic new one appealed to Smith – and to investors – and City Foundry STL was born.

Future phases of the development, he said, include completion of the Brickline Greenway (formerly known as Chouteau Greenway) – which will run through the heart of site, additional office and research space, plazas, a grocery store and housing.

“Our aspirations include being authentic in how we memorialize the past while continuing to create the public face of innovation and the storefront to creativity for St. Louis,” Smith said.

NewGround Launches Rebalance Program

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Comprehensive presentation to help reset workplace strategies post-pandemic

NewGround, a St. Louis-based innovative architecture, design, and project management firm, is excited to announce the launch of Rebalance 2020, a program that will introduce the strategic framework to propel organizations forward to unprecedented success post-pandemic.

NewGround’s team of retail strategy and design experts have developed a comprehensive response to our world post-pandemic to help organizations optimize retail and corporate workplace strategies based on the shifted retail experience paradigm. By preparing leadership teams to address design and operational changes, this reset process begins by realigning with a new vision of the pathway forward.

Rebalance 2020 is a presentation that will provide answers to the questions leadership teams are asking. NewGround’s team will guide organizations through evolving design and digital needs to successfully transform and master the power of their space. This 90-minute presentation is delivered by industry thought leaders and is followed by a 30-minute brainstorming session.

Rebalance 2020 Program Highlights:

  • What just happened?
  • What are post-COVID19 consumer perceptions and concerns?
  • How do these perceptions impact business strategy going forward?
  • What are the short-term & long-term implications to the consumer experience?
  • What should we do about it?

Watch and learn more about Rebalance here:

“We are thrilled to launch our Rebalance program to help leadership teams reset their business strategies and realign their organizations for growth,” said Kevin Blair, President and CEO at NewGround.

NewGround is the industry thought-leader in strategy, innovative design, and project management, and has been for over 100 years. We help financial institutions master the power of their space to create the next generation workplace and retail solutions. At NewGround, we are driven by our core values of: Service, Excellence, Innovation, Collaboration, and Communication. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, NewGround maintains corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Waterloo, Ontario, with a regional presence throughout the U.S. For more information, visit NewGround at

S. M. Wilson Virtual Design & Construction Manager Matt Niemeyer Becomes Licensed Architect In Missouri

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S. M. Wilson & Co. Virtual Design and Construction (VD&C) Manager Matt Niemeyer has become a Licensed Architect in the State of Missouri.

Architectural licensing is granted only when candidates complete sufficient professional education, the Internship Development Program and pass the Architect Registration Exams. Niemeyer earned his B.S. in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has 24 years of construction experience and also became a Licensed Architect in the State of Illinois in 2009.

Niemeyer’s architectural background affords a unique perspective on the construction process, allowing insight and greater collaboration between S. M. Wilson and design teams. It also provides value to Owners with the ability to analyze constructability, sequencing and schedule as well as adjust material types and layout for real-time cost analysis.

As a VD&C Manager, Niemeyer is responsible for analyzing models provided by Architects and Design Engineers for internal use in Estimating and Pre-Construction, generating 3D/4D/5D site logistics and site safety plans and creating models, renderings and animations to illustrate project approach and demonstrate virtual design and construction capabilities during pursuits. Niemeyer is also responsible for BIM/VDC Quality Control which ensures the coordinated BIM models are used by the trades when placing components in the field.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. For nearly 100 years, S. M. Wilson has provided a complete range of services and has become one of the leading general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area. The employee-owned company is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. For more information, visit

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry

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KAI Announces Hiring of Aaron Keistler, AIA, NCARB as Director of Architecture

Aaron Keistler

KAI Enterprises is pleased to announce the hiring of Aaron Keistler, AIA, NCARB, as Director of Architecture in its St. Louis office.

As Director of Architecture, Keistler will manage staffing of the architectural and interior design team as well as lead the department’s vision, project guidance and standards. He will also pursue new projects with the team’s project managers and principals.

“KAI is delighted to have Aaron join our architecture and engineering business. I had the opportunity to previously work with Aaron and know what an asset he is to our design teams, our organization and our clients,” said KAI Managing Partner Brad Simmons, FAIA. “Aaron brings a high level of energy and enthusiasm that positively touches everyone. While still considered young in our industry, Aaron has the knowledge and maturity of someone with far more experience. His commitment to design excellence and knowledge of industry-leading technology are the differentiators. We are keen to see Aaron’s impact with our architecture studio.”

Keistler has eight years of industry experience, including four years as an Architect/Associate at FGM Architects in O’Fallon, Illinois; two years as an Architect at Jacobs Engineering in St. Louis and two years as an Architect at V Three Studios in Maplewood, Missouri.

He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Young Architect’s Forum St. Louis (YAFSTL). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is also a Registered Architect with the State of Illinois and is registered through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certification (NCARB).

Keistler resides in Affton, Missouri with his girlfriend and their dog Zoey Zobo, a German Shorthair Pointer. When not working, Keistler enjoys home improvement projects, dog training, hunting, fishing, camping and playing recreation league softball.

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

The UP Companies Hires David Schwetz as General Superintendent

David Schwetz

The UP Companies (UPCO) proudly announces the hiring of David Schwetz as General Superintendent in its new Kansas City office. Through UPCO’s Square UP Builders division, Schwetz will primarily focus on carpentry projects and will also support Regional Director David Murrell with expansion efforts in the Greater Kansas City area.

“In his new position, Dave will be responsible for recruiting, developing and retaining field personnel in the Kansas City area. He will also work to maximize productivity and efficiency on jobsites while creating and maintaining a workforce safety culture,” said UPCO Regional Director David Murrell. “We are pleased to have Dave join our expanding Kansas City crew, as this is an exciting time for UPCO and Square UP Builders in Kansas City.”

Schwetz has 25 years of industry experience. Prior to UPCO, Schwetz was a Foreman for BAM Contracting of St. Louis and Dahmer Contracting Group of Lenexa, Kansas. He also worked as a Superintendent for Fleshman Construction in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Dave is a tremendous asset to the UPCO team. He has built a successful career and has a reputation as a formidable leader, mentor and skilled problem-solver,” said Brian W. Arnold, Vice President of The UP Companies. “We are excited to have him on board helping to oversee our many projects as we grow in the Kansas City market.”

Schwetz lives in Blue Springs, Missouri with his wife Katie, who is a vice-president at State Street Corporation, and their two sons, George and Michael. George is in the Air Force and Michael is in the Army National Guard. During his spare time, Schwetz enjoys golfing and fishing.

The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For a decade, UPCO has focused on its mission of Building UP Communities Through Innovation, Diversity, and Integrity, providing superior design and contracting services through each of its distinct business units—Power UP, Square UP and Hustle UP. For more information, go to or call 913.787.4063.

Kwame Building Group Hires Katina Shannon-Crawford as Project Administrator

Katina Shannon-Crawford

Katina Shannon-Crawford of Spanish Lake, MO has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as a Project Administrator. Shannon-Crawford’s responsibilities include contract changes, tracking documents and maintaining staff schedules for the construction management firm’s projects, including the new St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium and America’s Center expansion.

Shannon-Crawford has more than 10 years of experience in planning and executing large events and meetings. She holds a master’s degree in Education from Lindenwood University and a bachelor’s degree in Education from Harris-Stowe State University.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. For more information, visit or call (314) 862-5344.

Murphy Company Adds Staff

Mary Young

Mary Young joins Murphy Company as accounts payable/payroll clerk. The announcement was made by Marty Coughlin, service accounting manager. With an extensive background in administrative responsibilities, Young most recently served as an accounts payable associate for a mechanical contractor. Prior to that, she held a position as an administrative assistant at an electrical consulting firm. “We are very excited to welcome Mary to the Murphy team,” said Coughlin.

Mackenzie King

Mackenzie King joins Murphy Company as data center services coordinator. The announcement was made by Eric Gottschlich, vice president – Data Center Services. A recent graduate of Missouri University of Science and Technology – Rolla, King received her bachelor’s degree in engineering management with a focus on industrial systems. Prior to that, she graduated from Mineral Area College in Park Hills, MO. with an associate’s degree. Mackenzie was recognized for her outstanding academic achievements where she made the dean’s list at each institution. Additionally, she founded an engineering honor society, as well as maintained membership in five other groups for engineering, leadership, and industrial honor societies. Mackenzie comes to Murphy with several years of experience as an engineering intern with a background in telecommunications, chemical engineering, and metallurgy. Aside from being OSHA 10 certified, she has also passed the Industrial FE exam and Systems FE exam. King is also Six Sigma Green Belt certified.

Madison Feldhaus

Madison Feldhaus has joined Murphy Company as service billing specialist. The announcement was made by Marty Coughlin, service accounting Manager. As a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia, Feldhaus was most recently employed as a patient service representative for a local asthma and allergy relief clinic where she was responsible for a variety of administrative duties. Since 2012, Madison has been a volunteer with ManAdvantage, a non-profit association that helps children who have been affected by the death or disability of a parent. “We are very happy to have Madison as a part of our team and to help us grow towards our departmental goals.”, said Coughlin.

Carolanne Dukeman

Carolanne Dukeman has joined Murphy Company as office clerk. The announcement was made by Tina Jones, executive administrative assistant/office manager. For the past two and a half years, Dukeman served as an administrative assistant for Sts. Joachim & Ann Catholic Church & School in St. Charles. From 2008 to 2017, she was a project manager, campus administrator and administrative assistant for EJ4, a video e-learning company. She attended University of Missouri-St. Louis. A dedicated volunteer, she serves as vice president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians-St. Patrick’s Division, arranging Adopt-A-Family participation and helping to organize its annual fundraiser. For the past five years, she has been chair of the silent auction for the Sts. Joachim & Ann annual parish picnic.

Murphy Company is the area’s largest mechanical contractor with offices in St. Louis and Denver. For more information, visit

Carolanne Dukeman has joined Murphy Company

Dennis Voss has been named president of G&S Architectural Products in St. Louis. The company is a subsidiary of Golterman & Sabo, a family-owned supplier of architectural products for the construction industry for more than 100 years.

Voss oversees the company’s specialized service and supply offering in the Midwest.

“We are one of the few suppliers that not only manufactures custom architectural products, we also do our own installation work in the bi-state area,” explains Voss. “Many of our projects are quite complex and our unique expertise in installing our products is highly valued by our construction partners.”

The company has won numerous construction industry awards for their work. “Since Dennis joined us in 1996, he has been a valued player who has continuously contributed to our growth and success, moving from various roles in project management to sales management,” says Herb Golterman, president of Golterman & Sabo. “Dennis is the first non-family member to become an officer of the company in our 75-year history, which underscores the significant contributions he’s made to our business.”

Voss holds a  Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Southeast Missouri State University and MBA from the Keller Graduate School.

Dennis Voss Named President of G&S Architectural Products

Dennis Voss

Dennis Voss has been named president of G&S Architectural Products in St. Louis. The company is a subsidiary of Golterman & Sabo, a family-owned supplier of architectural products for the construction industry for more than 100 years.

Voss oversees the company’s specialized service and supply offering in the Midwest.

“We are one of the few suppliers that not only manufactures custom architectural products, we also do our own installation work in the bi-state area,” explains Voss. “Many of our projects are quite complex and our unique expertise in installing our products is highly valued by our construction partners.”

The company has won numerous construction industry awards for their work. “Since Dennis joined us in 1996, he has been a valued player who has continuously contributed to our growth and success, moving from various roles in project management to sales management,” says Herb Golterman, president of Golterman & Sabo. “Dennis is the first non-family member to become an officer of the company in our 75-year history, which underscores the significant contributions he’s made to our business.”

Voss holds a  Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Southeast Missouri State University and MBA from the Keller Graduate School.   

June 19, 2020

Oculus Inc. Adds to Ownership Team

Brian Kern

Brian Kern named principal, continues to lead retail team

Oculus Inc., a full-service St. Louis-based architecture and interior design firm, has expanded its leadership team with the promotion of Brian Kern, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, to principal. Kern has been with the firm since its inception in 1994 and will continue to hold the position of retail director for the firm’s St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore. offices.

“On the heels of our 25th business anniversary this past year, we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the milestone with the promotion of Brian Kern,” said Ron Reim, executive vice president and co-founder of Oculus Inc. “Brian has truly helped to diversify our client base and expand our book of business outside of the St. Louis area, further positioning us a national firm.”

Last year, Oculus completed renovations on both its St. Louis corporate headquarters and its Dallas office location. The company is currently working on projects across the U.S. for returning clients including Focus Brands, Lion’s Choice, and Department of Veterans Affairs. The addition of new senior living projects in St. Louis and the design of an out-of-ground boutique hotel for Seaside Lodging in Seaside, Ore., have positioned Oculus for continued success in 2020.

“I’m so honored to continue supporting the company that helped me develop my skills and career path,” Kern said. “Now, 25 years later, Oculus is positioned as a premier national architecture and interior design firm, and is strategically growing in the hospitality, senior living and private healthcare markets.”

Kern is a graduate of Kansas State University’s Interior Architecture program and joined the firm in 1994 when Oculus was founded. Kern most notably designed an electronic inventory system for the firm to help track and manage data in drawings. The early adoption and deployment of these technological innovations became the foundation of the company, establishing them to compete for larger corporate work. This includes bringing on BJC HealthCare, The Federal Reserve Bank, Centene Corporation, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis Community College, and AT&T Wireless Retail as clients.

In 2008, Kern earned his MBA in Business Management from Washington University in St. Louis while working at Oculus and assumed the role as director of retail. Kern’s significant experience in prototype design, brand standards management, national roll out, new builds and retail remodels brought the additions of restaurant clients, such as Nestle, Dominos and BurgerFi.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, and Move Management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities, and spaces. Oculus creates high-performance design that supports change and promotes value for clients in the Commercial, Education, Government, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Restaurant and Workplace industries. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas and Portland, Ore., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design.

Spellman Brady & Company Hires Danielle Spellman

Danielle Spellman

Spellman Brady is pleased to announce that Danielle Spellman has joined the firm in the role of Art Associate.  In her role as art associate, Ms. Spellman is responsible for creating unique project-specific artwork concepts; making artwork selections to meet the project budget; completing documents for presentations; and assisting with record keeping of all art processes and project-related documents.

Ms. Spellman attended Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film, Video and Photography and became OSHA 10 Certified.  Prior to joining Spellman Brady, she served as a photo assistant with several photography studios, worked with the Maryland Film Festival, and produced a short film for the Baltimore Student Film Showcase.

Spellman Brady & Company is an award-winning St. Louis–based interior design firm specializing in senior living, healthcare, and higher education environments.  The firm maintains design excellence by delivering comprehensive interior design, furniture, artwork master planning, and procurement services.  As a Certified WBE Business, Spellman Brady & Company has completed more than 6,300 projects in 43 states and abroad since its founding in 1991.  For more information about Spellman Brady & Company, please visit

Kwame Building Group Hires Courtney Prentiss as a Construction Management Intern

Courtney Prentiss

Courtney Prentiss has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) as a Construction Management Intern. Prentiss’ responsibilities include assisting the construction project manager on project responsibilities, including scheduling, cost estimating and other aspects of project performance.

Prentiss holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. She will graduate from Washington University this December with master’s degrees in Architecture and Construction Management.

Prentiss is a student member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and the American Institute of Architectural Students. She was a first-place winner in the PCI Foundation’s 2020 Project Precast student competition and has been elected 2020-2021 Vice President of Finance for the Washington University Graduate Architecture Council.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. KWAME’s public and private sector projects include educational facilities, major airports nationwide, light-rail systems, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities and government facilities. KWAME is headquartered in St. Louis with division offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle. For more information, visit or call (314) 862-5344.

June 5, 2020

Cole & Associates Announces New Shareholder

Eric Morff

Cole & Associates, Inc. announced today that Eric Morff, PE is the newest shareholder of the firm. Morff graduated from University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1997. Eric is a registered Professional Engineer and LEED AP BD+C. He started with Cole in 2012 and works on a wide range of projects with clients nationwide.

When asked about how he came to Cole Morff said, “A friend I used to work with kept telling me ‘You should come to Cole, it’s great here!’, and it turns out that he was right, I love working here.”

Kevin E. Riggs, President/CEO of the firm said, “Eric has been instrumental to the growth of the firm. His professionalism, ability to successfully complete projects of any size, and dedication to develop excellent client relationships has made him invaluable to Cole. We are excited to add Eric to our group of shareholders and we know he will contribute greatly to the continued success of the firm.”

Current shareholders include Riggs, Lisa Baker, CFO; Vice Presidents of Regional Operations ‐ John Harshbarger in St. Louis and St. Charles; Jim Roth in Phoenix; and Sandy Stephens in Dallas; Jeremy Roach, Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture; and Survey Managers ‐ Terry Westerman and Tom Reynolds.

Cole & Associates, Inc. is a Missouri Corporation d.b.a. Cole Design Group, Inc. in Texas & Arizona. Cole was founded in 1990 and is a multidiscipline design firm providing civil engineering, surveying, planning, landscape architecture, GIS, and ADA transition planning services nationwide. Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., Cole has additional offices in St. Charles, Mo., Phoenix, Ariz., and Dallas, Texas.

Wiegmann Associates Promotes Kyle Boschert to Service Manager

Kyle Boschert

Kyle Boschert of St. Charles, has been promoted to service manager at Wiegmann Associates. Boschert will lead Wiegmann Associates’ HVAC service operations. His responsibilities include overseeing service contracts and equipment installations, developing and managing a high-performing team and creating repeat business opportunities. With more than 25 technicians, Wiegmann Associates is one of the largest commercial heating and cooling service providers in the St. Louis region.

Boschert joined Wiegmann Associates as an estimator in 2010 and became a service project manager in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Lindenwood University.

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.

May 29, 2020

Feeler S. Architects Promotes Cody Henderson

Cody Henerson

FSA, LLC is excited to announce the promotion of Cody Henderson to Director of Science and Education. Since joining our team more than 10 years ago, Cody has developed a detailed talent for laboratory and higher education design, taking the lead on over 150 laboratories and higher education projects. In his new position he will oversee all laboratory and education projects within the firm. Cody will continue to pursue new clients in these sectors, while enhancing existing relationships by always listening first and pushing for sustainable laboratory and education design that exceeds client expectations.

Outside of the office Cody remains highly involved in the community. He is the 2020 American Institute of Architects St. Louis Chapter President, a member of Ranken Technical College’s Architectural Advisory Board, a Habitat for Humanity Construction Leader, and a St. Louis Startup Ambassadors Board Member. In his “free time” he enjoys playing softball, attending Cardinals games and traveling.

Lindenwood University President Dr. John Porter Joins Midwest BankCentre St. Charles Advisory Board

Dr. John R. Porter

Lindenwood University President Dr. John Porter has been elected to the Midwest BankCentre St. Charles Advisory Board. Lindenwood is a four-year institution founded in 1827 with its main residential campus in St. Charles and a network of extension centers offering evening classes and more than 35 online degree programs.

Porter, who earned his doctorate in education at Johns Hopkins University, worked at IBM for 33 years, the last 15 in senior management. Immediately prior to joining Lindenwood University in 2019, he was vice president of services for Gulf Business Machines, a premier IBM business partner, in Dubai. He has served as a member of the board of trustees at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He graduated with an MBA degree from Washington University in 2011.

Porter serves on the Mercy East and Missouri Colleges Fund board of directors. He is a member of the NCAA-Great Lakes Valley Conference Council of Presidents.

Midwest BankCentre is St. Louis’ second-largest locally owned bank with assets exceeding $2 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion. A mainstay of St. Louis community banking since 1906, the bank employs a staff of about 280 working at 17 bank locations in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. It works to empower people, enable business and energize neighborhoods through the strength of its financial services, including personalized consumer and business banking, business cash management, mortgage lending, home equity loans, financial planning and investments, insurance and digital banking.

The bank is a local leader in the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition (formerly the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force) and its Bank-On Save-Up St. Louis initiative. Since 2001, Midwest BankCentre has consecutively achieved the Bauer Financial 5-Star Superior financial rating each quarter. It has been recognized for its success in bringing mainstream financial services to unbanked and underbanked citizens in the region and other diversity and inclusion contributions with the 2019 Community Commitment Award from the American Bankers Association Foundation and the 2018 National Community Bank Service Award from the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Partney joins BELOMAN Team

Dennis Partney

Bel-O Sales and Service of Belleville is pleased to announce the hire of Dennis Partney as the newest Sheet Metal Manager to team BELOMAN.  As of May 18th, 2020 Partney will be managing the sheet metal division, including estimating HVAC and architectural sheet metal.  After receiving his B.S. in mechanical engineering, he has spent nearly 35 years in the design, estimating, sales and management of sheet metal projects of all types and sizes. Partney will be a great addition to an establish Metro East business.

BELOMAN is a second-generation family owned HVAC, plumbing, indoor air quality and sheet metal business providing quality sales and service to the Metro East for 60 years.  Founded in 1959 by Paul and Leo Lugge with only four employees – today BELOMAN has grown to over 50 employees with a combined 1,249 years of experience.

Bill Smothers Joins Kwame Building Group as Chief Estimator

Bill Smothers

Bill Smothers has joined Kwame Building Group, Inc. as Chief Estimator. His responsibilities include compiling project estimates in support of KWAME’s role as an owner’s representative.

Smothers brings 30 years of industry experience, including with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and The United States Department of Veterans Affairs. He completed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Management Program and is a member of the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE), Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the American Society of Cost Engineers (ASPCE). Smothers earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tulane University.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. An employee-owned company, KWAME provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. For more information, visit or call (314) 862-5344.

IMPACT Strategies Provides Pre-Construction & Construction Management Services for Autohaus BMW of Maplewood Redesign

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IMPACT Strategies recently completed a full redesign of Autohaus BMW of Maplewood to be consistent with BMW’s latest showroom prototype. The sleek new design involved an expanded car delivery area, reconfigured offices, service advisory area, customer lounge, and a revamp of the showroom. Upgrades to the lighting and final finishes completed the new the look.

Modern finishes and upgrades were also made to the exterior of the building including an updated façade, automatic sliding doors, and an exterior canopy for the new car delivery area.

The dealership remained open during the makeover. IMPACT Strategies worked closely with Autohaus to ensure the safety of employees and customers on the premises during construction.

IMPACT Strategies has been proud to partner with Autohaus on numerous occasions, including renovations to the dealership’s parking lot last summer and the construction of the $4.5 Million MINI of St. Louis facility in Maplewood. IMPACT Strategies worked with TR,i Architects on this project and the MINI of St. Louis project.

IMPACT Strategies provides client-focused construction management, design/build, and general contracting services. The firm offers a full continuum of innovative design/build service capabilities including proven construction management processes and site development. IMPACT Strategies serves a regional and national client base in the Healthcare, Senior Living, Multifamily, Office, Retail, and Warehouse/Distribution markets. To learn more visit or call 618-394-8400 or 314-646-8400.

St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium Workforce Construction Update

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As part of the construction of the new St. Louis Major League Soccer Stadium and district, the ownership group is committed to engaging the community and creating opportunities for minority-owned businesses in St. Louis and the surrounding area. While still in the pre-construction phase of the project, Kwame Building Group, the project manager and representatives of the ownership group for St. Louis’ Major League Soccer team, has committed 21 of the 55 contracts to-date to Women and Minority Business Enterprises (Seven to Women Business Enterprises and 14 to African American Enterprises) which equals approximately $52.5 million (Approximately $10.6 million to Women’s Business Enterprises and $41.8 million to African American Business Enterprises).

The City of St. Louis has an overall goal of 24% of a project’s contract dollars go to minority-owned businesses, and this construction team has made it a top priority to achieve that goal. The project team is actively engaging with minority-owned businesses and creating opportunities for them to grow and succeed by conducting outreach events and establishing an inclusive, transparent bidding process.

The construction team held events about bid opportunities on February 26 and June 17 and plan future events. Bid events and opportunities are communicated widely to all St. Louis City Certified MBE/WBE firm via St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) email blasts and also through Alberici SmartBid, St. Louis Construction Contractors Assistance Center (MOKAN), St. Louis Minority Business Development Agency, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce, African Chamber of Commerce and Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to creating opportunities for minority-owned contractors, the joint venture and the ownership group are committed to maximizing additional workforce opportunities. Over the course of the stadium construction project, approximately 500 local construction jobs will be created.

Statement Attributed to Tony Thompson, CEO of KWAME Building Group:

“As a Minority Business Enterprise with extensive female and African American leadership on this project, KWAME knows that a diverse business community and workforce are essential to St. Louis’ success and competitiveness. Our project team has a strong track record in workforce inclusion and supplier diversity. The ownership group’s vision from the beginning has been to be an exceptional club and neighbor on and off the field.  We all share a commitment to community engagement for this monumental project, with strong opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses, as evidenced by their commitment to having us lead the effort as the owner’s representative.”

Statement Attributable to Don Johnson, President, Steel Rebar Manufacturing LLC, SRM Construction Material and Supply:

“As a minority-owned small business, SRM Construction Material and Supply appreciates the opportunities that large-scale projects like the MLS Stadium offers through creating jobs for local residents of the community. The St. Louis City Diversity Program in addition to agencies such as the Associated General Contractors (AGC), St. Louis Apartment Association (SLAA), St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) and St. Louis Construction Contractors Assistance Center (MOKAN) have all been instrumental in coordinating efforts to bring together contractors supporting the efforts of minority and women-owned businesses.”  

“SRM Construction Material and Supply looks forward to growing as a company while offering both skills training and job placement incorporating a diverse workforce in cooperation with the union trades. It is important that local leadership continue in their efforts of supporting minority-owned small businesses while elevating the bar to not only set but meet diversity goals through efforts similar to what the MLS Stadium Project has established.”

Statement Attributable to John Wilson, President & CEO, Penn Services:

“Penn Services is very excited and grateful to have been chosen to provide steel services on this amazing project. We are so delighted to see the ownership plan, develop and invest in the local St. Louis community! We look forward to working with a dynamic and first-class group of GC’s.”

Holland Construction Begins Renovations on Historic Lofts on the Square Project

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Holland Construction Services is beginning the $14.2 million renovation of the former Meredith Home/Hotel Belleville, now known as Lofts on the Square. The highly anticipated senior living project, located at 16 S. Illinois Street in Belleville, will include 47 apartments, common areas, activity spaces, a library/computer lab, an exercise room and storage facilities. The six-story building will also include 3,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the first floor.

Holland Construction Senior Project Manager, Tim Simon, said renovating the nearly 90 year-old building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, comes with a unique set of challenges, but his team is ready to get the project moving.

“We know this is a project that means so much to the entire community and the opportunity to help bring a building back to life that was built in 1931, is exciting,” said Simon. “Structurally, we expect to encounter unexpected surprises as we open up the walls, but our team excels at troubleshooting and thinking outside the box, so I think this project will challenge us in a lot of good ways.”

The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA) and St. Louis-based Bywater Development Group purchased the property from the City of Belleville for $600,000 and are the developers on the project. SWIDA executive director Mike Lundy said their goal is to retain the building’s original interior and exterior historic character-defining elements, while re-purposing the building as residential apartments, bringing new vitality to Downtown Belleville.

“This is a building that was once slated for demolition, and now has the chance to become a focal point of our city,” said Lundy. “It was very important to us that we selected a construction partner for this project that would help us find innovative ways to maintain as much of the original integrity of this building as possible and we know Holland’s team will collaborate with us to do that.”

Lundy said the Lofts on the Square apartments will be available to senior citizens, 55 and older, who meet income requirements. The senior apartments will be on the second through sixth floors and the first floor will feature a restored lobby area and street-level commercial space. The project is expected to be completed by July of 2021.

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 build experience on every project.  Holland has been providing quality construction services throughout Illinois and Missouri since 1986, when it was founded by company CEO Bruce Holland. For more information, visit Holland’s website at

Cohen Architectural Woodworking Building Sneeze Guards For Businesses Nationwide

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Texas Roadhouse Orders 12,000 Units for Restaurants Coast-to-Coast 

Cohen Architectural Woodworking has ramped up production to meet the growing nationwide demand for sneeze guards.

Restaurants, supermarkets, and other establishments need sneeze guards to protect patrons and employees against COVID-19.

One client, Texas Roadhouse, has ordered 12,000 units. The sneeze guards will be installed in their restaurants from coast-to-coast. The Texas Roadhouse sneeze guards feature plexiglass and wood finished to match their wood interiors. Cohen also customized designed sneeze guards for Vino Volo at the New Orleans International Airport.

Phil Cohen, Founder and CEO, says the firm custom design sneeze guards to meet each client’s specifications, in any size or quantity, and using most any materials.

“We have the equipment and personnel to churn out large quantities of sneeze guards and do so quickly to meet the demands of the client. Whether thousands of locations or just a few, we can meet their needs. Our design team will custom design sneeze guards in line with the branding specifications of their business,” Cohen said.

Founded in 1982, Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family-owned architectural design/build woodworking firm headquartered in St. James, Missouri. Recently named a Forbes Small Giant as one of the top 25 small businesses in America, two things are obvious to anyone walking through our doors–we care about relationships and we care about excellence. For more information visit

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