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Geotechnology Announces Leadership Team Changes

in Companies/News

Geotechnology, Inc., has promoted Pat Donovan, P.E. to Professional Services President and Jim Howe to Exploration President.

Geotechnology CEO, Ed Alizadeh, P.E., J.D., announced the changes, which became effective January 1, 2020.

Mr. Donovan has been serving as Geotechnology’s Vice President-Regional Manager of the South Region in Memphis. In his new role, he will provide strategic leadership, project oversight and management of the company’s professional services, which include geotechnical, geophysics, environmental, and construction materials testing departments, along with business development. Mr. Donovan joined Geotechnology in 2010 when the company acquired Hall, Blake and Associates, Inc. (HBA), a geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and drilling firm based in Memphis, where he was Vice President of Operations.

Mr. Howe has been serving as Geotechnology’s Vice President of Exploration. In his new role, he will oversee all exploration services throughout the company to ensure personnel and resources are being utilized in ways that promote safety, and benefit clients and their projects. He has been a vital Geotechnology team member for more than 30 years, and integral in building the company’s drilling division into a renowned industry leader.

“These promotions are recognition of the great contributions that Pat and Jim have made to our company,” said Alizadeh. “The changes also present opportunities for new ideas and practices that will benefit our clients and lead Geotechnology to even greater heights in our safety, growth and operations successes.”

Established in 1984, Geotechnology, Inc. is a professional corporation offering a comprehensive range of consulting services in applied earth and environmental sciences, including geophysics, underground consulting services, geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing and drilling. Geotechnology has provided expertise on thousands of major construction projects in the Midwest and Mid-South regions, and is ranked in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms. The company is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and has ten offices in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. For more information, visit


Kwame Building Group Completes Work on Six Schools for Dallas Independent School District

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Construction is complete on major new construction and renovation projects at six schools in the Dallas Independent School District. As a member of the Dikita\\Vanir Joint Venture team, Kwame Building Group’s role is to augment the construction staff and provide project management services. This is the first time that this district has awarded program management services to a minority-led team.

In total, the Dikita\\Vanir Joint Venture team is responsible for more than $500 million in construction projects spanning 40 million square feet. They are one of three construction teams selected to manage major construction projects at more than 200 Dallas ISD schools, including renovation of more than 300 classrooms, construction of nine new schools and various facility improvements. The projects are funded by a $1.6 billion bond program approved by voters in 2015. Serving more than 157,000 students, Dallas ISD is the 14th-largest school district in the United States.

Kwame Building Group has completed their work at Solar Preparatory School for Girls, Ignacio Zaragoza Elementary School, San Jacinto Elementary School, A. Maceo Smith High School, Grady Spruce High School and Edna Row Elementary School. Work is ongoing by the Dikita\\Vanir Joint Venture team at nine additional Dallas ISD schools. The team completed construction at Nancy Moseley Elementary School in 2018.


Solar Preparatory School for Girls
A vacant building was repurposed as a new transformation school for pre-kindergarten through fifth-graders. A new wing was added to include 15 classrooms, administrative spaces, a storm shelter cafetorium and four music and art learning spaces. An outdoor learning area also was added. The $15.4 million school opened this fall. The architect was Boynton Williams & Associates.

Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy
Maceo Smith High School was renovated to become Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, an academy school with an emphasis on technology and project-based learning for up to 400 students. The renovation included improvements to the auditorium, 31 classrooms, two computer labs, 10 conference rooms, gymnasiums, locker rooms and a student dining area.

Ignacio Zaragoza Elementary School
The renovation of Ignacio Zaragoza Elementary School included improvements to the roof, HVAC systems, plumbing and exterior facade.

San Jacinto Elementary School
Renovation of San Jacinto Elementary School included improvements to the library, roof, HVAC system, windows, exterior doors, plumbing and exterior facade.

Grady Spruce High School
A 13-classroom addition was constructed at Grady Spruce High School. Other renovations included an expanded career and technology education program, bus loop with fire lane as well as new HVAC units and roof.

Edna Row Elementary School
As part of the renovation project, 12 classrooms were added.

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 is headquartered in St. Louis with division offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and Washington D.C. For more information, visit or call (314) 862-5344.

Brinkmann Constructors Chosen to Build New Leonardo DRS Warehouse in Bridgeton

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Brinkmann Constructors was chosen by Leonardo DRS to build a new 170,000 square foot engineering development and light manufacturing facility in Bridgeton, MO. Leonardo DRS is a U.S.-based defense contractor. Brinkmann is the general contactor and the architect on the project is TR,I Architects.

This Leonardo DRS facility will be home to the business unit headquarters, housing leadership, management and a centralized back office functionality. The space will give the organization the flexibility to expand with minimal impacts to the current workforce. Brinkmann was able to drive down costs and deliver value on this project with a front-end design schedule for both shell and tenant finish disciplines, an MEP process inventorying and coordinating all existing and new equipment as well as a thorough on-site subcontractor pre and post bid evaluation of existing equipment.

Brinkmann will also provide interior build-out for the warehouse, including a best-in-class engineering, research and development laboratory and office space. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2020.

Brinkmann Constructors is a national employee-owned construction company with a passion for finding innovative opportunities to save clients time and money. The firm was founded in St. Louis in 1984 and has offices in Denver, Colorado and Kansas City, Kansas. Connect at

Brinkmann Constructors Completes Work for Promise Christian Academy

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Brinkmann Constructors completed construction in December on a new school for Promise Christian Academy in Town and Country.

The academy, located at 13260 South Outer Forty Road, educates special needs students in grades K-12 by providing occupational therapy, speech and language services as well as training in the activities of daily living.

Brinkmann, whose offices are in St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver, served as general contractor for the project. Chesterfield-based ACI Boland Architects was the project designer.

Wes French, project manager with Brinkmann, said the16,000-square-foot facility is comprised of eight classrooms, an occupational therapy room, speech therapy room, gym, teacher workspace and offices and a commercial kitchen. The space can accommodate up to 64 students.

“The Brinkmann team used creative thinking to bring this project under budget so the build could move forward,” French said. “One of the biggest tactics we implemented was the use of tilt-up construction. This eliminated exterior steel, metal stud framing and sheathing and a high-dollar exterior façade, saving time and money.”

ACI Boland’s design enabled the buildout of a low-maintenance final product while retaining the desired curb appeal and exterior finishes, according to French.

“During redesign, the newly adopted International Building Code required the addition of a storm shelter,” said French. “Tilt-up construction allowed us to incorporate this into the design, mitigating the overall cost burden the shelter created. We’ve learned that this is the first storm shelter of its kind in Town and Country.”

Head of School Meredith Heintz said Brinkmann worked closely with Promise to help design and manage the project to stay within the fundraising budget. Through constant communication and collaboration, the design-build team delivered a quality building, on schedule and within budget.

“Brinkmann Constructors not only employs the best of the best, but they also employ personnel who took the time to understand the special needs community and embrace our mission,” said Heintz. “This created top-notch teamwork that made the project flow seamlessly. Brinkmann Constructors has left a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of the Promise community. We will forever embrace them as a part of our family and a part of our story.”

Pinnacle Contracting, Inc. Chosen Manager for $5.5M Renovation of Historic Lyon School

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Pinnacle Contracting, Inc. has been selected for an encore engagement by St. Louis-based Screaming Eagle Development as the latter transitions historic Lyon School, 7417 Vermont Ave. in St. Louis, into apartments.  In 2019, Pinnacle teamed with Screaming Eagle to complete the $7.3 million renovation of Nathaniel Hawthorne School Apartments in University City, Mo. Lyon School Named in honor of Civil War General Nathaniel Lyon, the school was designed by William B. Ittner and opened in 1910. It has been vacant since 2010.  The conversion will create 32 units and public amenity space in the 51,911-square-foot building which is located within The Patch neighborhood and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Pinnacle is targeting completion for summer 2020.

Hawthorne School Apartments

At Hawthorne, Pinnacle transformed a historic three-story, 54,849-square-foot building into 35 apartments with a clubroom and fitness center.  It also built 12 two-story townhomes totaling 13,824 square feet on a portion of the old playground and added a BBQ pavilion, four rain gardens and improved parking.  The project was completed in fall, 2019.

Project Manager Jake Saxton said: “Historic school renovations are both rewarding and challenging. Seeing how a new age of architects re-imagine space into living quarters is an adventure. Every corner at Hawthorne had its own uniqueness. No two units are the same.”

Both projects were designed by Ebersoldt + Associates Architecture of St. Louis. E+A is led by Vince Ebersoldt, who is also a partner in the project.

Screaming Eagle

Headed by Matthew Masiel, Screaming Eagle Development acquires and renovates historic buildings. It focuses on development opportunities that utilize public/private partnerships and creative financing.

Pinnacle Contracting

Founded in 1998 in St. Louis, Pinnacle is led by CEO Tom McLaughlin, President Nelson Grumney Jr., and Vice President Tim McLaughlin. Pinnacle generates over $20 million in annual revenue providing general contracting, construction management and design-build services.  In more than 20 years of business, Pinnacle has served diverse markets including historic renovation, office, educational, industrial, healthcare, hospitality, retail and multi-family.

Home Builders Association Donates More Than $6,000 to United Cerebral Palsy Heartland

in Associations/News

On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), HBA Immediate Past President John Suelthaus (Kingbridge Homes) (left) and HBA Executive Vice President Celeste Rueter (right) presented a $6,156 donation to Shawna Hodge, senior director of respite care at United Cerebral Palsy Heartland (UCP Heartland), and Kevin Litt, director of development and corporate relations at UCP Heartland, to replace the fire alarm system at their facility in Webster Groves. The mission of UCP Heartland is to provide the highest quality programs, services and supports while advancing the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people living with disabilities.

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

St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, St. Louis City NAACP to Pursue Airport Improvements

in Associations/News

St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, St. Louis City NAACP to Pursue Airport Improvements Organizations call for working group’s documents and will pursue bids for City St. Louis, Mo.— St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council and the St. Louis City NAACP today called on the City of St. Louis to release all documents produced and received by the Airport Working Group.

At a press conference, the two organizations also announced they plan to work with interested coalitions to submit plans to the City despite last month’s decision to halt the process. “We were disappointed by last month’s decision to pull the plug on exploring a public-private partnership at Lambert Airport,” said Al Bond, Carpenters Union Executive Secretary-Treasurer.

“This isn’t the end of the road. Citizens deserve to see what such a partnership could accomplish, and they ultimately deserve a vote on the project.” “The fact the County’s Port Authority and several other governmental leaders are exploring ways to improve Lambert without City of St. Louis citizens’ input reinforces the need for a process that considers all proposals prior to making any decisions.”

Bond and Pruitt announced they have jointly submitted an open records request to the City in an effort to make public all work done by the Airport Working Group. St. Louis citizens deserve to see what upgrades and improvements are possible, the two leaders said. Both Bond and Pruitt also urged interested coalitions to submit proposals to the City, and encouraged officials to welcome them.

Citizens, they said, should have the opportunity to have a voice in the process and, ultimately, a vote. A public-private partnership remains the only way to generate a revenue stream to address the needs of residents without raising taxes. Upgrading the airport and developing the surrounding vacant land has serious economic development potential that could put thousands of local residents to work.

American Subcontractors Association Midwest Council Meet the General Contractors Expo

in Associations/News

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) – Midwest Council will host its annual Meet the General Contractors Expo on January 29, 2020 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, MO. The yearly event gives area subcontractors and construction professionals the opportunity for valuable face-to-face time with some of St. Louis’ top general contractors.

The expo provides an ideal opportunity for construction industry professionals to network with general contractors, all in one place and in a relaxed setting. The expo is specifically designed for networking and building relationships with multiple representatives from the area general contractors.  There are 35 GC exhibitors participating in 2020.

  • 2020 General Contractor Exhibitors:
    Alberici Constructors
  • ARCO Construction
  • BEX Construction Services
  • Brinkmann Constructors
  • BSI Constructors
  • Clayco
  • Contegra Construction Company
  • Conway Contracting Inc.
  • Eagan Building Group
  • Echelon Constructors
  • HBD Construction, Inc.
  • Holland Construction Services, Inc.
  • IMPACT Strategies, Inc.
  • Interface Construction Corporation
  • Kadean Construction
  • KAI Enterprises
  • KCI Construction Company
  • The Korte Company
  • Kozeny-Wagner, Inc.
  • L. Keeley Construction
  • Landco Construction
  • Lawrence Group Projects
  • McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
  • McGrath & Associates
  • Paric Corporation
  • Pinnacle Contracting, Inc.
  • Poettker Construction Company
  • R.G. Ross Construction Company
  • Rhodey Construction
  • River City Construction
  • S. M. Wilson & Co.
  • Sitelines, Inc.
  • Tarlton Corporation
  • United Construction Ent. Co. of St. Louis
  • Wright Construction Services, Inc.

Advance Expo Registration is $65 for ASA Members and $95 for Non-Members. Registration includes hosted bar and appetizers. Register online at by January 22nd. After the 22nd there is a $30 surcharge on late registration, so register early.  Advance Registration is required, and space is filling up very quickly! 

Last year’s event drew more than 1200 attendees. This year the  Expo is moving to the lower level convention space to accommodate our ever-growing crowd! ASA will also have a booth at the expo with information about the St. Louis chapter, and details of upcoming industry events for 2020.  The event is open to ASA Members only from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., and then open to all registered attendees from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) Midwest Council is a construction trade association made up of quality specialty subcontractors and suppliers serving the construction industry and the community in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and southern Illinois. For more information about the ASA Midwest Council, visit or contact Executive Director, Susan Winkelmann at 314-845-0855. ASA Midwest Council – Building. Community. Est. 1967

Western Specialty Contractors Restores Historic Residential Garage in Minneapolis

in Companies/News

Modern commercial parking garages aren’t the only ones that require maintenance and repair; sometimes residential garages call for Western Specialty Contractor’s restoration expertise as well.

The Western Specialty Contractors – Minneapolis, MN Branch was recently contracted to repair the concrete slabs in a historic mansion’s two-car garage near Lowry Park in Minnesota. The garage, first constructed in 1931, consisted of two levels, one elevated at grade and one below grade. The original scope of work included a complete replacement of the 2”-3” topping slab (630 SF) and a localized full-depth repair of the 10”-12” structural slab (40 SF).

After further investigation into the integrity of the structural slab, the quantity of the structural slab replacement increased to 280 SF, with additional work recommended for a drain replacement, overhead concrete patching, urethane grout injection, and application of sealants and a traffic coating.

“During the construction phase of the project, shortly after being on site, we discovered that the integrity of the structural slab was more compromised than we had previously thought, regardless of the core samples that were collected,” said Western Project Manager David Grandbois. “The rebar in the slab had corroded away to nothing and the slab turned to dust as we hammered. The parking slab provided horizontal support to the foundation walls, so we could not continue to remove massive sections without supplemental support.”

Full-height shoring from floor to ceiling was installed to provide a working platform, and side bracing was installed to prevent the walls from collapsing inward. The slab replacement and pour back had to be sequenced in two phases so that the entire slab was not removed at one time. A new, heavier duty rebar design was also required.

Since the home’s boiler system sat below the main level parking slab, Western’s workers took extreme care to protect the boiler during all phases of the project from start to finish.

“Hammering into nearly 100-year-old concrete can vary from its strength, rebar size and placement, and aggregates present. It is important to take your time while performing the investigation, discovery and demolition on this type of project,” said Grandbois. “Working on a residential garage can be painstaking for all involved. Due to the noise and obstruction, keeping an open line of communication with the owner, contractor and design professional is paramount.”

Western started the concrete repairs in January 2019 and continued to work on the garage restoration throughout the rest of the year. Western crews returned in November 2019 to complete the sealant and traffic coating part of the project to protect the restored garage.

The engineer on the project was Meyer Borgman Johnson and the architect was James Dayton Design, LTD., both of Minneapolis.

For more information about Western’s concrete restoration services, contact the Western Specialty Contractors branch office nearest you –

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, roofing, waterproofing and sheet metal. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit      

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