Departments - Page 5

S. M. Wilson & Co. to Manage Jefferson City School District’s Voter-Approved Kids FIRST Bond Projects


After recently passing the Kids FIRST zero-tax-rate-increase bond issue,  Jefferson City School District has contracted with S. M. Wilson to serve as the district’s Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) to complete work throughout the district. S. M. Wilson is partnering with contractor, Reinhardt Construction and The Architects Alliance is serving as the architect. 

Last April, 68 percent of the voters approved the Kids FIRST Bond Issue, a two-phase approach to completing the necessary new construction, renovations, additions and remodels, as well as technology improvements and maintenance upgrades throughout the district.

The largest project within the bond issues is the construction of a new early childhood center. Pre-construction meetings have already begun between the district, S. M. Wilson and the architect regarding the project. The new facility will increase the district’s capacity to approximately 350 preschoolers from the existing 150. The district’s existing early childhood center will be extensively renovated and receive maintenance improvements to become the relocated Jefferson City Academic Center.

Other Kids FIRST bond issue projects include upgrading technology for all Pre-K through eighth-grade classrooms by replacing outdated smart boards with interactive touchscreens; extensively renovating Lewis & Clark and Thomas Jefferson middle schools; expanding the Nichols Career Center campus and course offerings; and replacing the aging sound and light equipment at the Miller Performing Arts Center; and other projects across the district.

Since Missouri adopted the CMAR delivery method in 2016, S. M. Wilson has created a strong portfolio of CMAR K-12 building programs for Districts including Ladue School District, Hallsville R-IV School District and Columbia Public Schools. The Firm’s $2 billion in education experience and core values to build relationships while providing amazing client experiences have solidified S. M. Wilson as the premier CMAR K-12 builder.

Build A Champion – Be A Champion. This school district educates 8,500 students (Pre-K through 12th grade), and graduates 550-600 students into the workforce every year. With 1,500 staff members including 900 certified educators, the district is one of the top three largest employers in the city and in the county. JC Schools has 18 school buildings, technology center and a performing arts center, while the district itself encompasses 223 square miles. Learn more at

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, and celebrating its 100th year of serving the community, 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. For more information, visit 

Biophilic Elements Alive and Well in Higher Education Design

Incorporating vegetation in a design can be one of the easiest ways to bring the natural environment indoors. Image provided by Lawrence Group

American architect, writer and educator Frank Lloyd Wright famously said, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature, it will never fail you.” Incorporating natural elements and designing around natural landscapes became the inspiration behind many of Wright’s iconic home designs of the early to mid-1900s. Today, biophilic design – the practice of reconnecting people and nature within the built environment – is alive and well in higher education spaces, and for good reason.

“Wright was right. Nature never fails to inspire us. People have a natural instinct to want to connect with nature. In a modern world where students spend much of their time indoors in manufactured environments, incorporating elements of nature within the spaces they frequent can have a positive impact on their overall physical and mental well-being,” said Paul Wuennenberg, KWK Architects Principal and higher education design expert. 

Biophilic elements can be incorporated in higher education designs in a number of ways; many of which involve the use of greenery, fire, natural light and textures to appease the occupants’ senses and promote such mental and physical benefits as decreased anxiety, lower blood pressure, fewer illness symptoms, increased social interaction, improved coping skills and enhanced attention span, among others.

Incorporating vegetation in a design can be one of the easiest ways to bring the natural environment indoors. Some of the more popular forms of “plantscaping” include living plant walls and the use of hanging baskets and decorative planters filled with greenery. Plants have been proven to improve overall physical health and impart a sense of relaxation.  

An alternative to using live plants, preserved moss walls are a less costly option to integrate biophilic elements that require little to no maintenance compared to living walls. These moss walls can integrate signage and patterns and are usually created from sheet moss, pole moss or reindeer moss. Reindeer moss can even have atypical color options like blues and purples that tie into the aesthetic of the environment. Living plant and moss walls are more visible and accessible than ever becoming staples in higher education design.

While fire does have limited uses indoors, incorporating fireplaces in dining and lounging areas where students often gather can add an appeasing element of warmth, color and movement to the space and make students feel cozy and secure. When the historic Pioneer residence hall at the University of Minnesota was renovated in 2019, KWK Architects’ designs featured multiple fireplaces, including a cylindrical, glass-surround fireplace with seating in the dining hall.

Indirectly, students may also experience the benefits of nature within their environments through the use of nature images and colors such as earth tones, blues and greens; materials such as cork, wood and bamboo; and shapes that evoke the feeling of being outdoors. At the University of Colorado-Boulder, KWK designed the Williams Village East residence hall with wayfinding graphics that feature photography of local Boulder nature destinations which are also mapped out on a full-scale wall map in the hall’s first-floor game room.

“The incorporation of biophilic elements as simple as images or artwork of natural elements can contribute to a healthier environment for occupants and is a precondition for WELL Certification of a space. The patterns of nature incorporated into a space through textures like stone cladding, wood veneer or even a subtle space plan layout with a biophilic nod can incorporate the living world,” said Lawrence Group Associate Principal/Interior Designer Lisa Morrison.

Incorporating natural light in a design can also have a huge impact on a student’s overall mood and well-being. Large windows with sweeping views of outdoor foliage and the use of skylights, glass and atriums create natural shadows and light movement throughout the day to stimulate students’ senses while allowing them to observe changing weather patterns directly.

In spaces where artificial lighting is necessary, incorporating circadian lighting that supports a person’s circadian rhythm and psychological health is a good option. Circadian lighting supports biophilic design as it mimics light cycles that occur in nature and helps to reset students’ internal clocks. Incorporating biophilic elements in higher education design can lead to happier, healthier students, and ultimately better outcomes for their time spent on campus.

Thomas Hejlek IV joins Wiegmann Associates as Control Technician


Thomas Hejlek IV of Cedar Hill, MO has joined Wiegmann Associates as Control Technician.

As Control Technician, Hejlek will be responsible for installing, programming, testing, calibrating, operating and repairing control systems for Wiegmann Associates clients along with managing related software, hardware and equipment.

Hejlek brings over 14 years of experience in HVAC and electrical installation and maintenance for industrial projects. He holds an associate’s degree in Carpentry and Building Construction Technology and a certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology from Ranken Technical College.

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, including senior living, food and beverage distribution, warehouse, healthcare, commercial and industrial. For more information, visit or call (636) 940-1056.

Western Stresses Importance of Budgeting for Building Façade Maintenance


As the end of the year approaches, many facility managers begin preparing for the upcoming budget season. The item that most often gets missed in budgeting, say the experts at Western Specialty Contractors, is façade maintenance and repair.

The facade of the building has a useful life and when it comes to the end of that time period, it can be a big expense to take on projects like re-caulking or refreshing all four elevations of a building and sealing windows. An anticipatory capital budget can keep ownership aware of the big picture for upcoming repairs and replacements.

“Educating the property owner about the importance of your priority projects is probably what gets missed the most during budget season,” says Tanya Shepherd, Senior Business Development Manager at Western Specialty Contractors. “Most buildings will already have an HVAC, elevator or roof budget and a capital plan in place, but they rarely have a capital budget for a building’s façade.”

Shepherd suggests making sure explanations are clear and to ask for a sit-down meeting with ownership so they understand the pros and cons of not placing a particular exterior project in the coming year’s plans.

Western Specialty Contractors offers the following tips for successfully dealing with budgeting and communicating with property owners about the importance of ongoing façade maintenance and capital expense planning for their buildings:

Collect data all year long. Keep a running list or folder of façade maintenance information throughout the year. Anything that comes up during the year that wasn’t in the budget for 2022 goes into a folder for consideration for 2023.

Get contractor assessments. Reach out to contractors when starting the budgeting process and ask them to do an assessment of your building components such as the HVAC systems, building facade, parking garage and other areas.

Set priorities. Contractor reports can help a building manager decide what needs immediate attention in the next budget and what projects are forecast for the next five years and can be included in future capital budgets.

Start with income. Begin the budget process with the income that will come in from the property’s tenants. Add fixed expenses such as taxes, janitorial, regular maintenance contracts and then add the fixes needed for the year. This will provide a clear picture of cash flow for the building so managers and owners can decide how much will go back into the building’s maintenance projects and capital improvements.

Create a separate capital budget. If projects exceed cash flow expectations, put them into a capital budget and talk with building ownership about their priorities. Capital projects are usually larger activities that will extend the life of a particular component of a building.

Provide owners with a project wish list. Building managers should give their owners a reasonably sized list of projects for the building. Prioritize the list by importance so owners can understand the needs for the most critical items first.

Rely on a contractor. A good contractor can walk the property manager through the details of a project so they can communicate more effectively with ownership about the importance of including necessary repairs and replacements in the budget.

Prepare a contingency budget. Property managers don’t always know what’s going to happen to their building in the budget year. Put funds away for those items that come up unexpectedly. The amount set aside can be determined based on the history of repairs in previous years.

Know the condition of building components. Understanding the current state of the building envelope means knowing the useful life of each area and when it was originally installed. This will help a manager explain the cost of proactive maintenance versus reactive maintenance to owners.

For assistance in creating a budget for exterior maintenance, contact the Western Specialty Contractors branch location nearest you:     

ULI St. Louis Names Beth Letscher New Executive Director


Beth Letscher, AICP has been named executive director of the Urban Land Institute St. Louis (ULI St. Louis). Letscher previously held roles at the Cortex Innovation Community and St. Louis Economic Development Partnership focusing on real estate and community development. With more than 250 members, ULI St. Louis unites thought leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.  Its members include real estate, design, construction, institutional, legal, and accounting professionals along with civic leadership.   For more information, visit

“ULI St. Louis has the unique role of bringing best practice real estate knowledge to all local market practitioners while also working to diversify the real estate industry by providing in-depth training to women and people of color,” noted Letscher. “I am excited to work with the dedicated local leadership team and national ULI office to bring engaging opportunities to the St. Louis region.” 

Letscher succeeds Kelly Annis as executive director.  Annis is shifting to serve ULI nationally as a consultant focused on its industry-leading Advisory Services Panels and Technical Assistance Panels. Annis will remain in St. Louis and support ULI St. Louis with her work, as needed.

“The ideal ULI director is an industry expert who is a humble leader willing to serve our community of professionals,” noted ULI St. Louis Board Chair Aaron Williams. “We are lucky to find all these strengths and more in Beth. The future of ULI St. Louis is bright. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Letscher previously served as vice president of strategic communications with the Cortex Innovation Community, working on master planning, real estate, public-private partnerships, and strategic planning.  She has been an active ULI-St. Louis member, volunteering as a mentor for the organization’s Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI), serving as an UrbanPlan volunteer, and serving on a Technical Assistant Panel (TAP).

Letscher will work with ULI St. Louis leadership to increase ULI St. Louis’ impact and provide greater engagement opportunities for its members while advancing its many benchmark programs, including REDI, UrbanPlan, TAP, informative real estate programming and its annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate.” Letscher seeks to increase organizational membership and sponsorship, plus continue the development of a continuum of real estate development programs aimed to catalyze development careers for the next generation of diverse leaders.

Letscher is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  She earned her history and political science degree from Loyola University Chicago and has a master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois Chicago.  In addition to serving the Cortex district in various capacities for more than five years, Letscher has also been honored as a planning champion by the American Planning Association, St. Louis Metro Section in 2020.  She was also part of the Leadership St. Louis Class of 2015-16, FOCUS St. Louis.

September Construction Employment, Hourly Wages Climb; August Job Openings Hold


Submitted by the AGC.

Construction employment, seasonally adjusted, totaled 8,014,000 in September, a gain of 11,000 from August and 217,000 (2.8%) year-over-year (y/y), according to AGC’s analysis of data the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) posted today. The y/y growth rate outpaced the 2.1% increase in total nonfarm payroll employment. Residential construction employment (at residential building and specialty contractors) rose by 12,600 in September and 55,300 (1.7%) y/y. Nonresidential construction employment (at building, specialty trade, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms) dipped by 1,300 for the month but increased by 161,600 (3.5%) y/y. Seasonally adjusted average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in construction (craft and office) rose 5.5% y/y to $34.54 per hour. The “premium” for nonsupervisory construction workers rose to 18.9% over the private sector average of $29.06, still considerably below the average premium in 2000-2019 of 21.5%. The number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience rose from 346,000, not seasonally adjusted, in September 2022 to 392,000 and the unemployment rate for such workers rose from 3.4% to a still-low 3.8%.

There were 360,000 job openings in construction, not seasonally adjusted, at the end of August, nearly matching the August 2022 total of 362,000, BLS reported on Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release. Hires for the full month totaled 361,000, a decrease of 27,000 (-7.0%) y/y. The relative stability of these numbers, as well as the increase in construction spending (see below), suggests that the slight drop in nonresidential employment in September is more likely a reflection of the difficulty in filling positions than a weakening of demand.

Construction spending (not adjusted for inflation) totaled $1.98 trillion in August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 0.5% from July and up 5.5% y/y, the Census Bureau reported on Monday. However, without a deflator, it is impossible to say how much of the y/y gain is in units vs. price. Private residential construction increased 0.6% for the month, with single-family homebuilding up 1.7% (the fourth monthly gain in a row), multifamily construction spending up 0.2%, and owner-occupied improvements up 0.3%. Private nonresidential construction spending rose 0.3% for the month. The largest private nonresidential segment (based on the seasonally adjusted August rate)—manufacturing construction—rose 1.2% (including computer/electronic/electrical, up 1.9%, and chemical and pharmaceutical, up 1.0%). Commercial construction fell 0.9% (consisting of warehouse, down 1.2%; retail, down 1.6%; and farm, up 3.2%). Power rose 0.4% (with electric power up 0.8% and oil and gas field structures and pipelines down 3.0%). Private office and data center construction increased 0.2%. Public construction spending rose 0.6%. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, climbed 0.4%. Public education edged up 0.2%. Public transportation construction rose 1.3%. 

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, rose from August 2022 in 223 (62%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which BLS posts construction employment data, fell in 79 (22%), and was unchanged in 56, according to an analysis AGC released on Wednesday. (AGC treats as construction-only the totals for metros in which BLS reports only combined totals for mining, logging, and construction.) The top three metros for jobs added were again the Dallas-Plano-Irving division (15,100 combined jobs or 10%), New York City (11,000 combined jobs, 8%), and Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (9,200 construction jobs, 11%). The largest percentage gain was in Baton Rouge, La. (16%, 7,100 construction jobs), followed by 11% gains in Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro; Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (2,000 combined jobs); Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, N.J. (4,800 combined jobs); and Cheyenne, Wyo. (400 combined jobs). The largest loss occurred in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land (6,800 construction jobs, -3%), followed by Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y. (-5,200 combined jobs, -6%) and the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall division (-4,400 construction jobs, -8%). Kankakee, Ill. again experienced the largest percentage job loss (-13%, -200 combined jobs), followed by Binghamton, N.Y. (-9%, -400 combined jobs); Pittsfield, Mass. (-9%, -200 combined jobs); and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall

Crossroads Construction Celebrates 10th Anniversary



Wentzville-based Crossroads Construction Services Inc. is celebrating a decade in commercial and residential abatement services.

President Jeremy Rodriguez says in early November the firm he founded in 2013 will mark 10 years in the business of abating asbestos, lead, mold and hazardous household waste for industrial, commercial and residential customers. In addition to being a USEPA-certified Lead-Safe firm, Crossroads Construction is also a Missouri-certified Minority Business Enterprise and a City of St. Louis-certified MBE with more than 80 years of combined team industry experience. Crossroads is licensed in asbestos and lead abatement in Missouri and Illinois.

“Our very first large project we landed was the former Armour Plant in National City, Ill. and it was fascinating work,” says Rodriguez. “The plant was the lone remnant of the once-sprawling, 650-acre National City Stockyards. Crossroads handled asbestos abatement for the site in preparation for demolition.”

In 2017 and 2018, Crossroads performed extensive asbestos and lead abatement as well as collection and disposal of hazardous household waste for the 200,000-square-foot, 14-plus floor building, now known as Hotel Saint Louis, that was originally designed by renowned architect Louis Sullivan. The Marriott Autograph Collection boutique hotel at 7th and Olive Streets in downtown St. Louis is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Crossroads was proud to serve general contractor BSI Constructors on this job.

“Much of our work is as a specialty subcontractor,” Rodriguez says. “Our job is to make the general contractor look great in front of the owner.”

Asbestos abatement for buildings that needed to be demolished to build the new St. Louis City SC Major League Soccer stadium was another large-scale project performed by Crossroads. Later, as part of a related project that would construct the nearby practice field, Crossroads removed a large 12-inch gas main that ran through the site where the soccer practice field is now located.

“One of the things I love most about our work is the opportunity to make a safe space in these older structures – both commercial and residential ones – that breathe new life into them,” Rodriguez says, noting that Crossroads’ residential clients include homeowners of historic residences along Lindell Boulevard, homes that have existed since St. Louis hosted the World’s Fair in 1904.

People On The Move In The Local Construction Industry


KAI Enterprises Promotes Gyasi Haynes to Vice President of KAI Build

Gyasi Haynes

KAI Enterprises proudly announces the promotion of Gyasi Haynes to Vice President of its construction division, KAI Build. Haynes joined KAI in June 2021 as Director of Project Management.

Haynes’ career consists of more than 20 years of construction industry experience. In his new role as Vice President, Haynes will take on a wide range of responsibilities, including working closely with the project management teams to promote safety, quality and client satisfaction. Additionally, he will be involved in managing the business operations, including assisting with budgeting, staffing and profit and loss.

“Gyasi’s promotion not only recognizes his dedication and work ethic, but it also underscores our commitment to succession planning and fostering leadership from within,” said KAI Build President Bruce Wood, PE. “His contributions to KAI go far beyond the technical aspects of his work. Gyasi works to promote and live out our core values and create an environment of respect, empathy and collaboration.”

At KAI, Haynes has led the Build team on numerous construction projects including its work with Target and its dozens of store remodels across the Midwest.

“At KAI, our core values breathe life into community transformation. As a third-generation construction professional, I’ve readied myself for advocacy and trusted advisory roles. Our goal is to foster a community-valuing team that takes care of and protects our customers, reinforcing accountability and accessibility,” said Haynes. “With faith as our guide, we steward resources, meld diverse minds, and cherish giving back.”

Haynes has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Project Management from University of Phoenix and an Associate of Science in Engineering Technology from Gwinnett Technical College.

Outside of KAI, Haynes volunteers as an Executive Board Member for Annie Malone Children & Family Services, a long-standing local St. Louis social service agency dedicated to improving the quality of life for the community by providing social services, educational programs and advocacy. He serves on the board for the ACE Mentor Program of St. Louis, an organization supporting St. Louis area high school students in their exploration of potential careers in architecture, engineering, and construction, and is also the President of Building Futures St. Louis, a group focused on supplementing the education of underserved students in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Haynes and his wife have two children and he enjoys snowboarding, running, traveling and reading books.

Kwame Building Group Welcomes Three New Project Team Members

Diamond Spence

Kwame Building Group has added three new members to its team including Kodey Lane-Norful and Likitha Kaki as Project Engineers and Diamond Spence as Project Administrator.

As Project Engineers, Kodey Lane-Norful and Likitha Kaki are responsible for assisting project managers with quality control, project budgets and cost reports, reviewing and coordinating submittals and RFIs, subcontractor management and maintaining communication with the client and entire project team.

Likitha Kaki holds a Master of Construction Engineering and Management from Texas A&M University as well as a Bachelor of Engineering, Civil Enfgineering from Anna University in Chennai, India. Prior to joining Kwame, she served as a Project Engineer providing preconstruction services and assisting in value engineering.

Kodney Lane-Norful

Kodey Lane-Norful brings two years of industry experience having previously served as a Project Manager and Estimator. He also holds Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

As Project Administrator Diamond Spence is responsible for tracking contract changes, submittals and RFIs, creating presentations, managing and maintaining project document control systems and processing invoices for various projects.

September 22, 2023

KAI Enterprises Hires Tracy Barlow as Vice President of 360 Construction Services                    

Tracy Barlow

KAI Enterprises proudly announces the hiring of Tracy Barlow, PMP, NICET-L2, as Vice President of its construction management division, 360 Construction Services (360 CS) at its Atlanta office.

With more than 37 years of industry experience, Barlow is a results-orientated and highly accomplished program director and management professional with a specific focus on developing and managing large programs in multiple vertical markets, including transit/aviation/rail, healthcare, municipal capital, K-12, higher education and municipal water/wastewater/sewer.

In his new role, Barlow will oversee 360 CS operations in Atlanta as well as St. Louis and Dallas-Fort Worth. Working with internal and external stakeholders, Barlow will help to fulfill KAI’s vison, policies and overall goals.

“Tracy specializes in developing corporate protocols and implementing strategies to produce successful construction programs. He also possesses a rare quality that enables him to work as a hands-on manager, effective in both program and project management functions, as well as mentoring to individuals and teams to mitigate complex issues,” said KAI 360 CS President Bruce Wood, PE. “We are excited to add Tracy to our 360 CS team.”

Career projects have included two new wastewater treatment plants in Nassau, Bahamas; municipal water/wastewater programs for the City of Atlanta, District of Columbia and City of Pittsburg; and work with the Dallas Rapid Transit Authority (DART) and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). He also currently manages a master services agreement with Rice Capital Access for the Department of Education to provide construction oversight services for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Prior to 360 CS, Barlow was Vice President of Program and Construction Management Services at H. J. Russell & Company for seven years where he played an integral role in developing its New York market. He also had a long, successful career at URS (acquired by AECOM in 2014) where he held several positions and managed different programs throughout the country.

He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Systems Technologies from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Management, Marketing and Related Support Services from Park University. He is a member of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

In his spare time, he volunteers with Elks Aidmore, Inc., Boy Scouts of America, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He is also a member of 100 Black Men of DeKalb County. He and his wife Precious have a son and two daughters, and he enjoys golfing, cycling, fishing and watching movies and sports as hobbies.      

Helmkamp Promotes Mark McGuire to Superintendent

Mark McGuire

Helmkamp Construction is proud to announce the promotion of Mark McGuire to Superintendent.  McGuire began his construction career with Helmkamp in January of 2015 as a Carpenter’s Apprentice.  With nearly nine years of experience and growth at Helmkamp, he is looked at as a bright, up-and-coming leader among our team in the field.

Kyle Ogden, Helmkamp’s Vice President of Building & Life Science Construction, said “Mark has been a great example of how intelligence and hard work pay off. He has grown into a knowledgeable, capable, and respected individual who has been mentored under some of our best long-time superintendents.  We’re excited for him to continue a long and satisfying career with Helmkamp.”

McGuire’s transition to Superintendent comes at a time when labor shortages and a generational skills gap continue to be a rising challenge in the construction industry.  According to a recent study by the Associated General Contractors of America, 88% of construction firms are having a hard time finding workers to hire.  There are simply less skilled people entering the workforce as the older, more experienced construction workers prepare to retire.  Helmkamp is preparing for this shift as the average tenure of current Helmkamp superintendents is 17 years, a few of whom have been with the company for over 30 years.

McGuire resides in Edwardsville, IL with his wife Rebecca.

September 15, 2023

Terracon Announces Key Business Sector Promotion

Jeff Magner promoted to Director of Technology/Digital Infrastructure

Terracon, a leading national consulting engineering firm comprised of engineers, scientists, architects, facilities experts, and field professionals announces a strategic organizational change to support client service, innovation, and project delivery as the company continues to grow.

Jeff Magner

Jeff Magner, P.E., has been promoted to director of Terracon’s Technology (Digital Infrastructure) business sector. In this role, Jeff will lead the safe and profitable growth of this business unit and collaborate in developing Terracon’s strategy to execute services delivered with an outstanding client experience.

“Now more than ever, our clients expect high-quality services provided on shortened timeframes.  Speed to market is essential for our clients to meet their business goals, and Terracon invests in innovative tools that deliver information faster,” Magner said.

A licensed professional engineer, Jeff has over 25 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering, construction observation/materials testing and client account management. He joined Terracon in 1994 and previously held roles including project engineer, geotechnical services manager, office manager, regional manager, and firm principal. He is based in Terracon’s Des Moines, Iowa, office.

Two Oculus Inc. Employees Accepted in AIA St. Louis Leadership Program

Jack Bowe and Cory Harvey join CKLDP Class of 2023-2024

Jack Bowe

Oculus Inc., an award-winning, WBE-certified architecture and interior design firm, is pleased to announce that Jack Bowe and Cody Harvey, AIA, EIT, have been accepted into the AIA St. Louis Chapter’s 2023-2024 class of the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program. Bowe and Harvey are two of 16 applicants competitively selected to represent a diverse group of emerging professionals that demonstrate strong potential as future leaders in the region.

Cody Harvey

An emerging professional is defined as someone who has graduated from college with an architecture degree and is within 10 years of their first licensure. Prospective participants must go through an application process for selection where proven career success, community involvement and the individual’s contributions within their firm are considered.

“We are so excited about this learning opportunity for Jack and Cody,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, president of Oculus Inc. “Our firm’s strategic plan supports the ongoing development of our staff, and the participation through CKLDP will be a valuable experience in the advancement of both of their careers.”

The year-long program consists of nine individual half-day sessions held monthly beginning this September through May of 2024. The curriculum focuses on core professional skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management; teamwork and collaboration; negotiating skills; client development; community leadership; understanding trends within the industry; and developing your future within the practice.

Beginning in 2013, the AIA|DC chapter undertook an initiative to develop a program which would help train and nurture the next generation of leaders. With the success of the program in DC and other AIA Chapters, the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program expanded to St. Louis in 2021. The mission statement of CKLDP is to empower architects through a peer-led leadership development program that cultivates the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and skills, while promoting the growth and advancement of each individual as a leader in the region.

This is the second consecutive year that Oculus Inc. employees have participated in the program. Zachary Mette, an architectural designer at Oculus, was accepted into the AIA St. Louis Chapter’s 2022-2023 class of CKLDP.

“The program challenged me to grow professionally as a leader both in the industry and at Oculus,” said Zachary Mette. “Jack and Cody are wonderful additions to the CKLDP cohort, and I’m looking forward to hearing about their experiences with the program!”

For more information on the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program, visit:

September 8, 2023

Lawrence Group Announces Marketing Department Promotion, New Hires

Lawrence Group proudly announces the promotion of Rebecca DeZeeuw to Marketing Manager and the hiring of Ciara Bell as Marketing Coordinator and Drew Edelstein as Marketing Assistant.

Rebecca DeZeeuw

Rebecca DeZeeuw, Marketing Manager – DeZeeuw started at Lawrence Group in 2021 as a Marketing Assistant before being promoted to the Marketing Manager position. In her new role, she is responsible for department leadership, oversight of marketing initiatives, and digital asset management.

She has 10 years of marketing experience, having previously worked as a marketing coordinator for Tammy Mitchell Hines & Co. and as a web designer for St. Matthew United Methodist Church.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Media and Web Design from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.

Ciara Bell

Ciara Bell as Marketing Coordinator – In her new role, Bell helps to strategize and implement the firm’s marketing efforts and supports the Marketing Manager and other team members. Bell leads proposal production, social media campaigns, and conducts secondary market research to help compile a position and supporting strategies.

Prior to Lawrence Group, Bell was a Marketing Coordinator at St. Louis-based Intelica CRE where she coordinated marketing department projects, developed and executed email marketing campaigns, oversaw the department’s budget and purchasing, and planned events.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.

Drew Edelstein

Drew Edelstein as Marketing Assistant – As Marketing Assistant, Edelstein supports the larger marketing and communications team by offering administrative support and completing essential tasks for the department including writing, editing and organizing files, and printing and proofing reports, newsletters and other marketing materials. He also contributes his talents in photography and video production in support of the department’s initiatives.

Prior to Lawrence Group, Edelstein was a Communications Specialist for the City of Maryland Heights where he worked extensively on the city’s print publications, promoted DEI initiatives, collaborated on promotional materials, and produced multimedia content.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies with a Minor in Film Studies from Webster University in Webster Groves, MO. He also has an Associate of the Arts in General Education from St. Louis Community College.

PARIC Corporation Announces Mike Rallo as New President

Mike Rallo

PARIC Corporation, one of the region’s leading general contractor, construction manager and design-build firms, has announced that former Vice President of Operations Mike Rallo is the new president of the company, effective September 1 – just the fifth since the company was founded in 1979. He replaces Keith Wolkoff, who stepped down from the role in March.

Todd Goodrich

The company also has announced that Todd Goodrich, a 25-year PARIC veteran, will become the company’s new executive vice president – chief operating officer.

Rallo, who joined PARIC in 2003 as a project engineer, has held numerous leadership roles in the company’s operations, eventually rising to vice president of operations in 2016. His appointment as president follows an extensive internal and external search.

“Following our search process, it was crystal clear that Mike was the right person to help lead our company to a new era of sustained growth,” said Joe McKee, chairman and CEO of PARIC Corp. “He has a proven history of leadership among our clients and colleagues, and is focused on growing and developing our next generation of leaders.”

One of Rallo’s first major roles was leading the Express Scripts Campus project in north St. Louis County — the largest LEED project in Missouri at the time of completion. He also led the North Park Redevelopment and Park Pacific Historic Renovation, as well as the River City Casino, Washington University Loop Student Housing and two campus repositioning projects for Lutheran Senior Services in St. Louis, among other projects.

Rallo serves on the development board of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and is currently secretary/treasurer for the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri.

Goodrich joined PARIC in 1997. He has served as a vice president for more than 15 years, most recently as chief business development officer.

“Over his 25 years with PARIC, Todd has overseen our significant growth in the not-for-profit senior living market,” McKee said. “And he was instrumental in driving PARIC as an early adopter of virtual design construction technologies.”

In his 10 years as vice president of business development, Goodrich oversaw a nearly threefold growth of PARIC’s valuation.

“We are extremely confident that Mike and Todd are the right leadership team to advance PARIC during this time of significant, ongoing change in our industry,” McKee said.’

HDA Architects Elevates Growth with New Principals, Expanded Leadership Team

Patrick Holleran

HDA Architects, one of the nation’s leading architectural, interiors and master planning firms, enhanced its leadership team with the recent promotions of Patrick Holleran, Brice Zickuhr and Angela Feddersen to Senior Principal, and Josh Goodman and Kent Wagster to Principal. As new or elevated Principals of the firm, these individuals join Jack Holleran, President of HDA, in spearheading the continued growth and expansion of the firm throughout the U.S. and into new markets.

“I’m thrilled to announce our new leadership team that will help shape HDA Architects’ future. Patrick, Brice, Angela, Josh and Kent are all tremendous individuals with unique, complementary skill sets and talents, which make for a formidable group,” said Jack Holleran, HDA President. “This team has substantially grown our business through new markets, insights and innovations. Their promotions are well deserved and reflect their integral status at HDA.”

Patrick Holleran was promoted from Vice President to Senior Principal, Business Development. Over the past 23 years at HDA, Holleran’s skills in business development, marketing and public relations have been instrumental in the firm’s brand awareness, market expansion and growth. His role in day-to-day operations of the firm and strategic business solutions solidify the firm’s pipeline of work. Holleran is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Brice Zichuhr

Brice Zickuhr, AIA, NCARB, was promoted from Director of Operations to Senior Principal, Operations. His three decades of experience as a licensed architect allows for optimal oversight of all firm construction documents, operational resources, schedules and quality control. He has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from warehouse/distribution to multi-family to institutional and specializes in design-build/integrated delivery project methods. Zickuhr joined HDA in 2019 and has been key in implementing seamless operational procedures for the firm.

Angela Feddersen

Angela Feddersen, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, was promoted from Principal to Senior Principal – Denver. Feddersen joined HDA in 2022 to lead the firm’s newly formed Denver, Colorado office and has a strong track record for nearly three decades of expertly guiding clients through the design process. Feddersen is active in the Denver community, including the Denver Downtown Partnership, United States Green Building Council, NAIOP and Urban Land Institute.

Josh Goodman

Josh Goodman, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, was promoted from Project Director to Principal. With over two decades of experience, his extensive knowledge particularly in the industrial, beverage, high-rise/mixed-use and automotive markets allows for continued successful client relationships and facilities that serve end users well for decades. Goodman joined HDA in 2004 and has volunteered with Rockwood School District’s Partners in Education program, teaching an accelerated class and reviewing student architectural projects, since 2010.

Kent Wagster

Kent Wagster was promoted from Project Director to Principal. With nearly three decades of experience, Wagster offers clients a well-versed and practical approach to executing successful senior living, hospitality, multi-family and commercial projects. He joined HDA in 2021 and has been an essential element to the firm’s expansion into the senior living and multi-family markets. Wagster is actively involved in mentoring younger staff and participating in business development initiatives for the firm.

The new and elevated Principals are each responsible for growing specific market sectors for the firm in which they have extensive experience. All Principals will work closely with Jack Holleran on HDA’s strategic planning, business development and organizational growth.

“As part of our long-term leadership planning and the continued success of HDA, I am excited to see Patrick, Brice, Angela, Josh and Kent tackle their new roles. Each exhibits the core values that HDA is known for and has a track record of success throughout their career,” said Jack Holleran. “I’m confident they will take our best-in-class staff and the firm to new and extraordinary heights.”

Ryan Spinner joins Mia Rose Holdings as Business & Financial Analyst

Ryan Spinner

St. Louis-based real estate developer Mia Rose Holdings (MRH) has added Ryan Spinner of Oakville, Missouri as Business & Financial Analyst. He was promoted after completing two internships with the firm. In his role, Spinner is responsible for studying financial data to spot trends and make forecasts that will help the developer determine viable locations for new multi-family housing communities. He will focus on the firm’s current key markets of St. Louis, Northwest Arkansas, Indianapolis and Dallas as well as new potential markets. Spinner also will work with the firm’s partners to learn all aspects of the development process.

Spinner last attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and on the chancellor’s list (4.0 GPA). He graduated from St. Louis University High School (SLUH) where he was on the Dean’s List for eight semesters and was a member of the SLUH National Honor Society.

Mia Rose Holdings also develops hockey and other community sports facilities. Spinner’s involvement on those projects will draw from his experience as a member of SLUH’s hockey team when they won two state championships, and as captain of the Chesterfield Falcons U18 club hockey team when the team won the national championship.

Brinkmann Constructors Celebrates Project Milestone at New First Bank Headquarters


Brinkmann Constructors, a national, full-service general contractor, in partnership with Lamar Johnson Collaborative and Cobalt Construction Consulting, recently celebrated the topping out of First Bank’s 87,000-square-foot state-of-art headquarters and stand-alone parking garage in Creve Coeur, Missouri. 

First Bank, a staple in the St. Louis community and long-time Brinkmann partner, will leverage the new headquarters as one of many ways to drive business modernization and transformation. Incorporating a variety of contemporary amenities designed to promote employee wellness and flexibility, the four-story building will feature multiple outdoor workspaces and a multipurpose “innovation hub” for team collaboration and social events. In addition to the 87,000-square-foot facility, the project also includes a separate two-story,82,000-square-foot parking garage for both employee and visitor use.

Spanning four acres total, the revamped workplace will be located near the site of the original headquarters on Olive Boulevard near Interstate 270. Temporarily operating out of an office branch adjacent to the new headquarters, the facility is planned for completion in the second quarter of 2024.

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, Kansas City, Richmond and Phoenix. The firm is active in multiple market sectors, including senior living, multifamily / student housing, warehouse / built-to-suit, hospitality / entertainment, retail / mixed-use, healthcare, office, automotive and government / institutional. Connect at

Western Specialty Contractors Restores Brick Retaining Wall Surrounding Kellogg’s Headquarters in Battle Creek, MI


Western Specialty Contractors – Chicago Masonry Branch has completed the first phase of a multi-year, phased project to restore the landscape and plaza retaining walls surrounding The Kellogg Company’s (Kellogg’s) global headquarters in Battle Creek, MI.

Kellogg’s is an American multinational food manufacturing company that produces cereal and convenience foods such as crackers, toaster pastries and vegetarian foods. The company was founded in 1906 by W.K. Kellogg.

Located at 1 Kellogg Square, Kellogg’s 300,000-square-foot headquarters was constructed in 1986 and is surrounded by more than 1,500 LF of a brick masonry and limestone retaining wall which varies in height from 2 ft to 11 ft tall around the property. The wall had become weathered over time, with little maintenance performed over 36 years, and was in need of restoration to maintain its structural integrity and appearance.

Kellogg’s property management firm CBRE Group hired Western Specialty Contractors in September 2022 to complete the wall’s restoration work. In total, Western’s masonry craftsmen rebuilt approximately 80 LF of a 6-foot-tall wall and tuckpointed, replaced joint sealants and restoratively cleaned an additional 600 LF of wall.

Western’s masonry experts were able to complete the project in July 2023, on schedule and within budget. CBRE Group Project Manager Dale Coulter expressed his pleasure working with Western on the project and plans to provide additional opportunities for Western to continue working at Kellogg’s headquarters. Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects, and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures, and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit                    

1 3 4 5 6 7 190