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Electrical Connection Volunteers Repair Electrical Systems in 15 St. Louis Low Income Homes


After the pandemic forced a year-long suspension, Electrical Connection volunteers are back at work to improve electrical systems and safety in low income homes.  For the 18th year, the labor-management organization mobilized an army of electrical contractors and electricians to help Rebuilding Together St. Louis make much needed repairs to 15 homes. On Saturday, April 24, 2021 teams fanned out into area neighborhoods to provide free electrical improvements for the elderly and disabled courtesy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) which form the Electrical Connection partnership.

“We had a lot of catching up to do since the pandemic limited our access to volunteer resources as we continued serving our neighbors in need,” noted Elaine Powers, executive director, Rebuilding Together St. Louis. “We are grateful to the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership for its enduring service to make much needed safety improvements and improve the lives of low income residents.”

The day began with St. Louis County Executive Sam Page addressing 150 IBEW electricians and 22 NECA and IBEW signatory electrical contractors gathered at the IBEW Union Hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave.  They then fanned out into communities in the city and St. Louis County to make repairs and install improvements such as ceiling fans and better lighting.

“While everyone has struggled during the pandemic with unprecedented challenges, it has been especially hard for those who do not have the means or ability to make home repairs themselves,” said Frank Jacobsbusiness manager, IBEW Local 1. “Our workforce and contractors believe it’s important to help stabilize lives and communities, especially after such a challenging year.”

St. Louis Chapter NECA Executive Vice President Doug Martin also noted the potential danger of residents making repairs themselves or hiring the unskilled to make repairs. “Safe electrical work requires a unique skill set that comes with a thorough understanding of the National Electrical Code,” said Martin. “The pandemic may have forced some to make repairs themselves or hire the unskilled creating potential shock or fire hazards, particularly with aging electrical infrastructure in these older neighborhoods. Our Electrical Connection team was mindful to look for faulty electrical issues as they made repairs.” Studies have shown the frequency of electrical fires is higher in homes more than 40 years old.

Since 2003, the Electrical Connection has donated labor and more than $880,000 in materials to improve 555 homes for low-income, disabled and elderly St. Louisans.

The Electrical Connection represents the largest number of licensed commercial and residential electrical contractors and skilled electricians in the region with a searchable data base at www.electricalconnection.org.

Electrical Connection, NECA and IBEW signatory contractors who donated service trucks and tools in the Rebuilding Together effort this year included:

·         Bell Electrical·         Sachs Electric Co.
·         Guarantee Electrical Contractors·         BRK Electrical Contractors
·         Akron Electric·         Branson Electric
·         Grasser Electric·         House Electric
·         J Bathe Electric·         J West Electrical Contractors
·         JCS Electric·         Kaiser Electric
·         Kay Bee Electric·         Liberty Electric
·         Lynn’s Electric·         M. R. Bathe Electric
·         PayneCrest Electric·         RJP Electric
·         Vision Electric·         Ultra Electric
·         X-Cell Electric·         SAEC Electric

For more than 25 years Rebuilding Together St. Louis has provided free home repair to low income homeowners and veterans in need so they may remain safely and comfortably in their own homes. Since its founding, the organization has rehabbed more than 3600 homes; 68 community spaces and touched more than 57,000 lives. For more information visit www.RebuildingTogether-STL.org or call 314-918-9918.

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Find a contractor near you in the Electrical Connection contractor database.

Kirby-Smith Hires Matt Nelson as Sales & Operations Manager for St. Louis


Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. (KSM) has hired Matt Nelson as Sales & Operations Manager for its St. Louis location. Nelson will be responsible for St. Louis’ branch operations, including oversight of its parts, service, sales and rental departments. Nelson most recently served as Director of Product Improvement for Terramac, where he also previously served in roles including Director of Dealer Support and Regional Sales Manager. Nelson brings a strong understanding of the greater Missouri construction market to the position from his time in the region as a general contractor and commercial carpenter. His background in construction project management also includes various roles leading teams for maintenance and production activities at the Lafarge Holcim Ste. Genevieve cement plant.

Jeff Weller, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for KSM, believes Nelson is a true “renaissance man” with the abilities and character necessary to ignite new life into the St. Louis location.

“Matt has achieved amazing marks in engineering in his career despite not being papered in it. He is a devoted father with three children who have all pursued engineering because of his example. I also think of how Matt used his background as a carpenter to build a 23-acre home where his family could thrive and grow. In my opinion, Matt will build a new legacy for Kirby-Smith in St. Louis in much the same way – with ample amounts of patience, teaching and a strong vision for success. We are fortunate to have him join our team.”

Nelson takes great pride in joining KSM and embraces the opportunity to engage the St. Louis construction community.

“I am very excited to become part of the Kirby-Smith family and to work with the highly skilled team already in place in St. Louis,” said Nelson. “By striving to be an indispensable resource for our customers new and old, together we are going to reach new levels as a premier dealer for the area.”

KSM is a full-service equipment dealership in St. Louis offering sales, rentals, parts, and service and is the authorized dealer for Manitowoc lattice boom crawler cranes, Grove mobile telescoping cranes, National Crane boom trucks, and Broderson industrial cranes. In addition to cranes and boom trucks, the St. Louis rental fleet includes a wide selection of JLG and SkyTrak telehandlers.

About Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. was established in 1983 and is recognized as one of the premier new and used heavy construction equipment and crane dealers in the country. Kirby-Smith Machinery and its hundreds of dedicated professional employees are committed to providing reliable new and used equipment for sale and equipment rentals, as well as responsive service and equipment parts for multiple makes and models. Kirby-Smith Machinery has 12 branch locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri, as well as a dedicated Pipeline Services Division. For more information about Kirby-Smith Machinery, call 888-861-0219 or visit kirby-smith.com.

Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri 2021 Scholars


The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri awarded $36,000 in scholarships as part of the annual scholars’ program. Four outstanding high school students received $8,000—

$2,000 each per academic year—to begin their college experience this fall. Two scholars from the University of Missouri-Columbia MCAA Student Chapter each received one-time awards of $2,000.

Landon Vuagniaux

Landon Vuagniaux from Edwardsville, IL (62025) is the son of Tara and Brett Vuagniaux. Brett Vuagniaux is employed with Mechanical Solutions, Inc.

Landon is passionate about environmental issues and will pursue a degree in environmental engineering at Purdue University this fall, with an aim to work in renewable energy.

He is active in a variety of academic and sports clubs and has volunteered as a Spanish language tutor. Throughout his time at Edwardsville High School, Landon maintained a cumulative GPA of over 4.0 while taking honors courses across science, math, language, and history. In addition to school activities, Landon is self-employed, running a landscaping business.

Natalie Busch

Natalie Busch from Columbia, IL (62236) is the daughter of James and Susanna Busch. James Busch is employed by Integrated Facility Services (IFS). Natalie will pursue a degree in communication disorders at Murray State University with a plan to become a speech-language pathologist and a basketball coach. Natalie is passionate about helping others overcome communication barriers and helping young girls build confidence to pursue their passions.

Natalie ranks #1 in her class at Columbia High School. She is President of their National Honor Society chapter, the Class President, and also serves as Vice President of Student Council. She is captain of the varsity basketball team, plays volleyball, and has other leadership roles for arts-related clubs and activities. Outside of the classroom, Natalie has completed over 100 hours of community service over the past four years.

John Meert, Jr.

John (Jack) Meert, Jr. from Ballwin, MO (63011) is the son of John and Deborah Meert. John Meert is employed by C&R Mechanical. Jack is pursuing the dual degree program in applied mathematics and engineering offered through Fontbonne and Washington University. A scholar athlete and soccer MVP at Parkway West High School, Jack exceled in several AP/Honors courses, including Honors Introduction to Engineering and Honors Principles of Engineering. He leads by example, volunteering at his church, the STL Food Pantry, the Ronald McDonald House, and by helping on his family’s tree farm. Jack also founded a small business in 2016, Meert Brothers Lawn Care.

Taylor Klipfel

Taylor Klipfel from Cape Girardeau, MO (63701) is the daughter of Travis Klipfel, who is employed by GWS Contractors, Inc.

Though currently undecided on her college of choice and major, Taylor is passionate about game design, graphic design, and interactive digital media, and is seeking ways to plans to pursue her interests in the fall.

At Notre Dame Regional High School, Taylor’s academic drive is demonstrated by her success in the most challenging courses offered, including Calculus and Advanced Chemistry. She is in the National Honors Society, National Arts Honor Society, and acts as Treasurer of her National French Honor Society. She participated in the Girls Cross Country Team, All School Band and Pep Band, to name only few. Outside of school, Taylor has been a dedicated Girl Scout, receiving numerous awards, including the Girl Scouts of Missouri Gold Award in 2019 – the highest offered by the organization. She trains in aerial arts training and is an understudy for the Southeast Missouri State University Spring into Dance Program. Still Taylor finds time to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Special Olympics, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Evan Taylor

Evan Taylor (65201) is currently the President of the MCAA Student Chapter at University of Missouri – Columbia.

Evan is graduating this spring with a degree in mechanical engineering and excited to begin his career in the industry. At Mizzou, he is a recipient of the Excellence Award and has made the Dean’s list every semester. He participated in the in two Student Chapter Competitions during his tenure and continues to support the chapter by working diligently to recruit new members. Evan continues to stay involved in events and seminars at the College of Engineering and volunteers with a community-based organization in Columbia and with a campus ministry group.

Elizabeth Henshaw

Elizabeth Henshaw (65201) is the current Treasurer of the MCAA Student Chapter at University of Missouri – Columbia.

Ellie will graduate this May with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Aerospace Engineering. Her goal is to begin a career in technical sales, dealing specifically with fluid systems. An active member of the student chapter for the past two years, Ellie helped write many key aspects of the competition projects in 2020 and 2021. She is involved in several organizations within the College of Engineering and serves as President of the Society of Women Engineers, the King/Queen Chair of Engineers Week (E-Week), and Engineers Without Borders. In her free time, she plays recreational soccer and is a mentor to at-risk children in her hometown.

Electrical Connection Contractors Dominate Annual Listing of Largest Electrical Contractors in St. Louis


The St. Louis Business Journal’s annual ranking of the region’s largest electrical contractors features 15 Electrical Connection member contractors among the 17 firms ranked.  The 15 contractors are all members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA) and signatories to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1.  IBEW/NECA partner to form the Electrical Connection.

The rankings are by gross billings in 2020 and can be found at this link.   Among the 15 St. Louis NECA electrical contractors on the April 9, 2021 Business Journal listing and their revenues are:

  • J.F. Electric Inc. —  $274.50 million
  • Sachs Electric — $264.41 million
  • Guarantee Electrical Co. — $206.20 million
  • PayneCrest Electric Inc. — $165.00 million
  • Aschinger Electric Co. — $49.31 million
  • Bell Electrical Contractors Inc. — $34.40 million
  • TSI Global Cos., LLC — $28.13 million
  • Kaemmerlen Electric — $27.00 million
  • Kaiser Electric — $27.00 million
  • Kay Bee Electric  — $23.10 million
  • RJP Electric LLC — $22.75 million
  • Schaeffer Electric Co. Inc. — $21.00 million
  • Schneider Electric of St. Louis LLC — $20.51 million
  • Pyramid Electrical Contractors — $19.20 million
  • J. Bathe Electric — $8.71 million

The industries served by the NECA contactors on the list span residential and commercial, including healthcare, power, industrial, retail, multifamily, renewable energy, institutional, R&D, data centers, schools and more. 

St. Louis NECA contractors employ IBEW electricians and communication technicians.  The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.

Hastings+Chivetta Wins 3 NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards


Each year, NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation recognizes 10 new, renovated, or expanded collegiate recreational facilities among its Member Institutions with Outstanding Facilities Awards.  Collegiate recreational facilities selected to receive this prestigious award must demonstrate excellence in a number of categories including architectural design, functionality, and ability of the facility to meet its intended purpose.  Distinguished facilities are considered exemplary standards that other collegiate recreational facilities should aspire to imitate.  Hastings+Chivetta-designed facilities are recipients of 2021 Outstanding Facilities Awards.  This honor demonstrates our commitment to student-focused recreational facility design in collaboration with our partner firms across the nation.  Each facility is designed within a regional and national context, enhancing the unique campus community that enjoys each new recreation center.

  • Reflecting the natural beauty of the nearby Pine Valley Mountains in St. George, Utah, the Dixie State University Human Performance Center represents the next major step in showcasing the community’s “Active Learning. Active Life” strategic plan.  The facility seamlessly blends academic, recreation, and athletic offerings.  It is the new home for academic programs in Health and Human Performance, supporting the University’s degree programs in exercise science, sports management, health administration, and physical and occupational therapy.  Students can enjoy a wide variety of recreational opportunities with a fitness center, track, two-court gymnasium, multi-activity courts, a climbing wall, and a unique rooftop recreation area.  The Center’s 50-meter swimming pool makes athletes feel at home and is open to the public for local and regional events.  The Human Performance Center was designed in association with Utah-based design firm MHTN Architects.
  • As enrollment at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) increased over the years, they quickly outgrew their original 9,000 square foot recreation center.  At over 47,000 SF, the new Recreation and Wellness Center meets the fitness needs of the entire FGCU campus with room to grow.  The two-story building features a double gymnasium, group fitness room, multipurpose room, strength and fitness room, and cardio deck.  An observation concourse, administrative suite, and exterior event plaza and fitness area are also included.  The new space allows the Campus Recreation department adequate space to enhance their programming in pursuit of supporting health lifestyles in campus and developing the whole person.  The Recreation and Wellness Center was designed in association with Florida-based Harvard Jolly Architecture.
  • Considered the new social hub on campus, the Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation & Fitness Center at Tennessee Technological University meets the need for holistic recreation and wellness space on a college campus.  While the facility delivers traditional recreational components like a fitness center, gym, indoor track, and indoor pool, social interaction, personal training, and wellness spaces ensure Tennessee Tech is attentive to all students needs.  The Facility has something for everyone and serves as an inviting “front door” to campus and a reminder to all of the institution’s commitment to health, wellness, and recreation.  One of the most distinctive recreational components is a jogging track that weaves through the entire complex and vertically slopes one story, creating a dynamic walking and jogging experience that is fully accessible and challenging.  Flexible design principles employed throughout the Facility ensure it will be a hub for student activity for years to come.  The Student Recreation and Fitness Facility was designed in association with Wold | HFR Design.

To learn more about our expertise and how we can help with your next collegiate recreation project, contact Erik Kocher at ekocher@hcarchitects.com or (314) 529-4004.

Carpenters Union’s Career Connections Program Ramps Up to Meet Local Demand


The St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council (CRC) is working to fill a skills gap in St. Louis, and a unique program is helping.

The Regional Council’s Career Connections program brings cutting-edge technical education to schools across St. Louis, helping local employers fill a skills gap in the vocational trades and offering a pathway to a middle-class career for young people in the region.

“Students and their families sometimes become so focused on earning a four-year degree that they overlook or are unaware of vocational options,” said Dr. Art McCoy, Jennings School District Superintendent of Schools. “Career Connections provides students an opportunity to learn about skilled trades in a way that prepares them for a successful career. It has been a wonderful addition to our schools.”

The Career Connections Program works in partnership with educators to provide students with a practical CTE education taught by skilled instructors. With more than 1,700 students in 35 programs across our region, our graduates have gone on to earn six-figure salaries as union carpenters.

“Career Connections helps ensure St. Louis has the next generation of skilled workers it needs to continue growing,” said Al Bond, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the CRC. “The program provides a leg up to students, who start their career with knowledge and skills that other apprentices don’t have, and it helps ensure a pipeline of talented workers to the local employers who hire them.”

Along with vocational training, the program also includes preparation in the skills that research shows employers value most, including: goal setting, positive attitude, punctuality, teamwork, and taking initiative.

The various skills Career Connections graduates learn help make them employable, while local companies remain competitive and ensure St. Louis can build high-quality, safer, lowercost construction projects.

“It is very difficult to find enough skilled workers to perform all the work we have available,” said Bill Lowery, Project Executive with PARIC. “There are projects I would love for us to bid on, but we don’t have the workers available to do new projects in addition to projects we are already committed to. We are glad to see a program like Career Connection stepping in to fill that need for skilled workers.”

To learn more about the Career Connections Program, visit carpdc,org or call (314) 269-5663.

The St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council (CRC) represents more than 22,000 members in 33 local unions across Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois. Founded in 1915, we have evolved to meet the needs of our members and the contractors who hire them. We work for our members by negotiating fair wages and comprehensive benefit packages. We have invested millions of dollars in development and redevelopment projects to create jobs. We believe in providing contractors with the safest, most productive, and skilled workforce available while offering the kind of advanced training and technology that gives our members the competitive edge.. For more information about the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, please visit www.carpdc.org.

Habitat for Humanity Breaks Ground on Home Build in St. Louis’ Gate District


Partners with Concrete Strategies, Clayco and the Construction Career Development Initiative with the support of Geotechnology, Inc. and the St. Louis Job Corps Center.

Habitat for Humanity’s breaks ground on a new home build today, bringing together a collaborative team led by Concrete Strategies, part of the Clayco enterprise, and workforce diversity nonprofit Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI). The four-day build will take place at 3429 and 3427 Park Avenue, and each day the site will be staffed with twelve skilled Clayco and CCDI volunteers. The volunteers will be pouring foundations for two homes in St. Louis’s Gate District neighborhood and helping to support minority representation in construction.

While Concrete Strategies and CCDI are providing volunteers and donations, the project is also fueled by a partnership with the St. Louis Job Corps Center’s construction program, Geotechnology, Inc., and other local subcontractors who partner with CCDI to hire program graduates into full-time employment. Three CCDI graduates who are now employed full-time with Concrete Strategies are participating in the build: Chris Conners (class of 2016), Keshawn Outlaw (class of 2018) and Shutaun Williams (class of 2020 and a St. Louis Job Corps graduate).

“Habitat for Humanity appreciates the tremendous planning, skills and time that each of the partners in this build have dedicated,” said Kimberly McKinney, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis CEO. “It’s especially meaningful knowing we are bringing together a changemaking group of individuals to participate. Our team of community partners are driving equitable opportunities for the underserved in our community.”

Volunteer Shutaun Williams, a 2020 CCDI graduate and Concrete Strategies carpenter, joins fellow graduates and four of his former St. Louis Job Corps instructors on the project. “The build is bringing together a group of people who want to do good for our community,” said Shutaun. “I am happy to be part of this project, and even more so, I am proud to be a part of the CCDI family. To have a support system of impactful leaders who want to see you succeed and want to create solutions that give more people an opportunity to overcome systematic barriers—this support is unmatchable.”

CCDI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Clayco in 2015 in response to the unrest in Ferguson to provide career development opportunities to young minority adults who are underrepresented within the construction industry. The organization works to bridge the workforce diversity gap by partnering with various school districts in North St. Louis County and St. Louis City, community leaders and organizations such as St. Louis Job Corps and North Technical High School to cultivate a renewed interest in apprenticeships and career technical education programs. For example, once students graduate from St. Louis Job Corps Center, CCDI helps to place program graduates into full-time employment and assists with any barriers students may face from transportation to tools to help ensure retention in the construction industry. Since CCDI’s establishment in 2015, 80 of the program’s students have been placed in full-time careers.

“All of us involved are thrilled by the opportunity to serve our St. Louis neighbors,” said Tom Sieckhaus, President of CCDI and Executive Vice President of Clayco’s Corporate Business Unit. “This build signifies our shared commitment to placing underserved young people into full-time employment and expanding our joint reach to ensure as many people as possible have access to career development in the construction field is critically important.”

Longtime CCDI partner Dr. Dave Baker was in attendance at the groundbreaking. Dr. Baker retired last year from his role as Assistant Superintendent of College and Career Readiness of Special School District and is now the Business and Community Liaison for St. Louis Job Corps. About CCDI and its impact, Dr. Baker said, “CCDI has become integral in the northern portion of the St. Louis region in regard to ensuring a diverse and competent workforce for the construction industry. CCDI has taken on the task of connecting young men and women interested in the field of construction to the companies who will mentor and eventually hire them. Young people need validation of their hard work and good decisions; CCDI and its partners are providing that validation.”

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About Clayco
Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, and construction firm that safely delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With $3.8 billion in revenue for 2020, Clayco specializes in the “art and science of building,” providing fast track, efficient solutions for industrial, commercial, institutional and residential related building projects. For more information visit www.claycorp.com.

About Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis

Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL) is a not-for-profit, ecumenical housing ministry working in partnership with individuals and communities to improve housing conditions and provide safe, decent and affordable housing in St. Louis City and County. With more than 400 homes already built or rehabbed, HFHSL is one of the leading housing developers in St. Louis. HFHSL regularly ranks among the top Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the country. HFHSL donors, volunteers, and partner families work side-by-side to build or rehab homes ensuring that every deserving family in St. Louis has a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis:  Building Homes, Building Hope, Building St. Louis.  For more information, visit: www.habitatstl.org.

About the Construction Career Development Initiative

The Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI) was founded by Clayco in 2015 in response to the aftermath in Ferguson, Missouri to provide a program for selected young adults in North County to help them overcome barriers to success, pair them in long-term one-on-one mentorship, offer financial support, and create opportunities for job placement. Clayco’s vision and ultimate goal with CCDI is to support workforce diversity and bridge the gap in workforce development. Clayco realized this task could not be completed alone and that is what this initiative has grown over the past three years to include many partnerships in the St. Louis community with school districts, local leaders and contractors and subcontractors. Together, we can build the foundation to change. For more information, please visit https://ccdi.org/.

About St. Louis Job Corps

St. Louis Job Corps Center supports the Job Corps program’s mission to teach eligible young people the skills they need to become employable and independent and place them in meaningful jobs or further education. St. Louis Job Corps has 15 Career Technical Training Programs and six (6) are in the Construction Trades. The program also draws students from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County; the majority of Job Corps participants hail from St. Louis City and north St. Louis County, the areas of CCDI’s focus. Job Corps is a U.S. Department of Labor Equal Opportunity Employer Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

Home Builders Association Donates $13,000 to UCP Heartland


On behalf of the Home Builders Charitable Foundation (HBCF), 2021 HBA President Bill Wannstedt of Consort Homes (left) and HBA Executive Vice President Celeste Rueter (right) presented a $13,000 donation to UCP Heartland director of development Kevin Litt. 

The donation will be used to replace the HVAC system at the organization’s Oak Tree Respite Home in Webster Groves, Mo. The unique respite program offers a fully staffed home-away-from-home for adults with developmental disabilities. Primary caregivers may schedule a planned or emergency visit for their loved ones while they travel or tend to their personal needs. UCP Heartland’s mission is to provide children and adults living with differing abilities the extraordinary care and support they need to thrive in school, at home, at work and in their community.

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.

Co-Founders McKelvey and Auer Continue to Make Delmar Maker District



A virtual roomful of CREW St. Louis attendees gathered April 13 to learn from Douglas Auer, glass artist and owner of Third Degree Glass Factory, as he walked through his partnership with Square Co-founder Jim McKelvey in redeveloping properties along Delmar between Union and Kingshighway Boulevards in what is known as The Delmar Maker District.

The district – situated 1.5 miles east of the Delmar Loop, is a growing mecca of makers, artists, designers and entrepreneurs. Nearly three years ago, fellow artisans Auer and McKelvey quietly began acquiring, rehabbing and redeveloping derelict buildings and homes with the mission of creating spaces where solopreneurs can accomplish the district’s goal to “live, make and sell.”

Third Degree Glass is located at 5200 Delmar Boulevard in the heart of the district.

“Reinvigorating this area is our goal,” Auer told the CREW St. Louis audience. “What I found when I unintentionally stuck my nose into the development world three years ago was the disparity in property values. Everything is so segmented. There is a lot of overlap that isn’t happening here in St. Louis,” he added.

With Washington University in St. Louis as the facilitator, Auer, McKelvey and other Delmar area proponents including Maxine Clark began meeting to talk through strategies for increased safety, beautification, placemaking, public art and infrastructure improvements.

“We’re concentrating intently on the stretch of Delmar between Union and Kingshighway,” said Auer. “Where this goes next, I’m not sure.”

Where it has already gone is the revitalization of all existing buildings in this section of Delmar, with vacant land the next target for redevelopment. Auer told CREW St. Louis listeners that his home is in the district and that he’s committed to a long-term vision.

“Jim McKelvey continues to put his money where his mouth is and is making real investments in an area of the city where there’s no guarantee of return,” said Auer. “Even now, we’re sustaining 36 local artists who got their start here. Our goal is to be thought of as the center (of town) and not the edge. There’s no reason that everything to the north of Delmar shouldn’t be as important as what’s to the south of Delmar. Our goal is to do good things rather than talk about what divides us.”

IMPACT Strategies Begins Construction on Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility


IMPACT Strategies has been selected by Encompass Health to manage construction of a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Shiloh, IL. With the structure conveniently located adjacent to BJC HealthCare’s Memorial Hospital Shiloh campus on Frank Scott Parkway East, IMPACT broke ground on the $15.5 Million project in January 2021.

Under the design guidance of Gresham Smith, the 1 story building will contain 48,000 square feet of acute rehabilitation care. Supplementing acute care services, like those of Memorial Hospital Shiloh, the facility will include 40 private inpatient rooms, a kitchen, dining room, exercise room, pharmacy, therapy gym, dialysis room, and therapy courtyard. Upon completion in December 2021, the rehabilitation hospital will offer physical, occupational, and speech therapies to the Metro East area and surrounding region.

Looking to expand and utilize their healthcare construction expertise, this is the first time IMPACT Strategies has worked with Encompass Health. The facility is expected to operate as a joint venture between Encompass Health and BJC HealthCare.

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 BuildwithIMPACT.com or call 618-394-8400 or 314-646-8400.