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Children’s Mercy Research Institute Designed for Optimal Energy Efficiency

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Beyond being a tech-savvy, visually stunning addition to the landscape of Hospital Hill, Children’s Mercy Research Institute’s new headquarters exemplifies optimal energy efficient design.

Thoughtful, deliberate design and engineering of the array of systems that will power the new research institute is the result of years of planning, coordination and collaboration between BSA LifeStructures, owner Children’s Mercy Research Institute, MEP engineer Brack & Associates, structural engineer Bob D. Campbell and Company and Architectural Wall Systems LLC.

BSA LifeStructures has an office in Clayton.

BSA LifeStructures Director of Architecture Jacqueline Foy, LEED, AP, said planning to design the building’s systems began five years ago. The project was challenging to design a non-traditional laboratory and research building with a glass façade, open spaces and a monumental stair.

“We knew early on that glass would be the main exterior material, and we knew we would need the inside to be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of changing research,” said Foy. “This meant minimizing additional interior wall construction. It started us down the path to push the limits of traditional curtain wall systems.”

Children’s Mercy Research Institute’s various building systems, inside and out, have been designed and engineered to achieve maximum energy efficiency for the client throughout the life cycle of the building.

The structure’s glass curtain wall system – the outer, non-structural covering of the building – has been designed to spur energy efficiency via a strikingly beautiful and research-centric design.

“The form of both the building and the monumental stair on the west side are inspired by science and by the research that will take place inside,” Foy said. “It was especially important to consider energy impacts at the monumental stair. Without the ability to have clear-vision glass, the structure of the stair would be lost and the connection to the institute’s purpose would not be on display. However, ignoring the energy requirements would mean no one would ever use this space,” she added. “Working alongside partners that understood the importance of balancing energy efficiency with aesthetics allowed for the true vision of the building, and specifically the monumental stair to be realized.”

Architectural Wall Systems (AWS) was the design-assist partner for the all-glass curtain wall system that is already a focal point for motorists traveling south along Interstate 35 or Highway 71 and westward on Interstate70 as they approach Kansas City. “Children’s Mercy Research Institute is an emerging, identifiable landmark for Kansas City just south of downtown,” said Brad Davison-Rippey, AIA, system design manager at AWS. “It definitely has a presence on Hospital Hill.”

The curtain wall system, according to Davison-Rippey, is 12 inches in depth, notably thicker than standard commercial curtain wall systems that measure seven to ten inches deep. “The primary reason we ended up with such depth is due to the amount of insulation we needed in the spandrel area, the area of the curtain wall that wraps all the spaces that need obscuring between the ceiling and the bottom of the structure. To optimize energy efficiency, we got really creative so we could make sure the insulation in these areas was as continuous as possible. There are approximately six inches of insulation in these cavities, easily half of which is continuous,” he added, noting that the curtain wall’s frames ranged from a U-value of .22 to .24, compared to typical curtain wall frames that have a U-value ranging from .35 to .40. “Our project team is proud of the level of efficiency this building possesses, particularly in light of all the glass it has. It’s a real win for the owner,” he said.

The diagrid curtain wall – an aerodynamic system comprised of interlinked triangles that eliminates the need for vertical columns – fills the space between the main tower and the monumental stair from ground level to just above the sixth floor. Diamond-patterned glass designed with the project’s four primary glass colors but also pulls in various blues and greens from the existing hospital. The main tower and the iconic stair each have an independent unitized curtain wall system.

Sequencing of the building’s construction enabled AWS to prefabricate all of the unitized curtain wall system components off site as the structure was being erected. “Prefabricating allowed us to install the curtain wall system one five-foot-tall by 16-foot-wide frame (weighing 900-1,000 pounds) at a time,” Davidson-Rippey said. “It took us two to three weeks to wrap each floor, with a total of more than 1,400 prefabricated frames for the entire structure.” The glass was sourced from Viracon in Owatonna, MN, and installed into frames fabricated by AWS’ partner Sotawall in Toronto, Ontario. 

Foy said the project team spent much time and research to create the variations of the glass that are positioned within the unique curtain wall framing that wraps Children’s Mercy Research Institute.

“There is a very distinct and precise pattern on the glass,” she said. “It was important that the colors and reflectivity of the glass allowed the pattern to reveal itself. This time it was the balance between the performance of the glass and its reflective films that helped complete the design intent of the pattern.”

Another example of energy efficiency design is the triangular glass wall dividing the building’s main entrance from the interior with an eight-foot by eight-foot “glass box” vestibule. The glass box feature, according to Foy, adds another layer of separation from one area to the next, reducing the strain on mechanical systems specific to heating and cooling needs spurred by occupants entering and existing the main entrance. BSA LifeStructures’ designs were embodied in a 3-D physical model of each building system.

Balancing and regulating the amount of daylight streaming into the new research institute structure also proved an instrumental facet of designing and engineering for maximized energy efficiency. Children’s Mercy Research Institute, BSA LifeStructures, partner Brack & Associates and McCownGordon Construction. The companies’ representatives met weekly throughout the life of the project to ensure every detail of the sizes and requirements of the building’s mechanical, electrical and structural systems designs (engineered by Bob D. Campbell and Company) interacted with one another to operate at the highest level of energy efficiency possible.

“Our first concern was how this large addition to the hospital’s existing physical plant was going to impact their ability to power the systems in the new research institute building,” said Dave Krug, vice president of Brack & Associates and project manager. “We built the new building’s systems onto an ongoing, existing chilled water system project at Children’s Mercy Kansas City that was already underway when this new project began. We projected that Children’s Mercy Research Facility was going to require another 1,200 cooling tons. When they began planning for this research institute facility 20 years ago, they laid plans to build a second (energy) plant adjacent to the new structure that is nearly completed.”

The advantages of tying both plants – the original energy plant built to power the hospital three decades ago and the newer energy plant to supply the research building – are clear in terms of equipping Children’s Mercy Research Institute for maximum energy efficiency, according to Krug. The new chillers are state of the art, he said.

“We added two 1,000-ton, magnetic-drive centrifugal chillers to the owner’s cooling system that are newer technology,” said Krug. “Each operates at about 15 percent higher efficiency than a conventional centrifugal chiller. Instead of needing bearings, the new chillers are designed with a magnetic shaft.”

Energy efficiency also abounds within the laboratories housed in the new research institute. Krug said a Kansas City-based global manufacturer of lab fume hoods, Labconco, fabricated tech-forward hoods that detect if the user has walked away with sensors that automatically close the sash, decreasing the air flow required for safe operation of the hood to save exhaust-related energy draws. “We project that these lab fume hood sensors will save the owner about 40 percent in energy operating costs annually,” he said.

The lab exhaust system is also designed and engineered to require a lower amount of outside exhaust, saving additional energy. One example of this energy efficient design is the use of Type C biosafety cabinets. The specialized cabinets are designed to reduce the amount of exhaust required yet maintain a safe environment within the research labs.

Variable air volume controls providing the proper amount of exhaust and supply to keep positive and negative air pressure relationships in balance are further evidence of facility systems design that supports energy efficiency, said Krug. “Emergency push buttons that send the exhaust system into purge mode in the case of a sudden, high quantity of air needs pushing – should there be a chemical fume release – are another sophisticated mechanical system in this new facility,” he said. “While providing a safe, comfortable environment in which researchers will work, the system will also utilize only the required amount of energy needed.”

A heat recovery system with a run-around loop that’s able to recover some 40 percent of the heating or cooling that would typically be lost in a traditional, single-pass laboratory mechanical system is another energy efficient facet of Children’s Mercy Research Institute’s design.

Trivers & S. M. Wilson’s Washington University January Hall Project Receives LEED Platinum Certification

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Trivers and S. M. Wilson & Co.’s Washington University January Hall project received LEED Platinum certification for its green building practices, commitment to environmental responsibility and overall sustainability. Located on the University’s historic Danforth Campus, January Hall was originally built in 1922 as Washington University’s School of Law. As part of the University’s long-term effort to revive legacy buildings, January Hall received an extensive renovation which included the addition of a new 22-seat seminar room on the lower level and new restrooms as well as renovations and reconfigurations of administrative offices, classrooms and the East Asian Library. The original Moot Court and lecture hall is now an Active Learning classroom with highly flexible seating arrangements and integrated technology.

To enhance the energy performance of the building, the renovations included adding a second layer of interior glazing to the existing leaded glass windows, insulation of certain exterior walls, and a new mechanical system with energy recovery and demand-control. Interior finishes were selected to support sustainability and human health goals by prioritizing recycled content, environmental reporting, low-VOC, and Red List (banned chemicals) free materials. The building now houses offices and teaching space for Washington University’s professional and continuing education division, University College.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Trivers served as the Architect of Record and S. M. Wilson the Construction Manager. During the design and construction, the team worked together along with Hellmuth+Bicknese Architects, Sustainability Consultant, to ensure that sustainable elements of the project were prioritized and retained to achieve LEED Platinum, the highest LEED certification. January Hall received the following notable sustainable accomplishments:

  • Washington University’s first project certified under LEED v4
  • Achieving all possible points in Optimize Energy Performance with 35% energy savings
  • Verified construction and demolition waste management achieving 96.3% diversion
  • Storage and collection of recyclables
  • Long-term commitment with enhanced commissioning and advanced energy metering
  • Indoor water use reduction of 46.5%

In 1975, Trivers was founded on values that still characterize the firm today: creating architecture of lasting positive consequence. In a city renowned for its historic architecture, but in severe need of restoration and fresh ideas, we established a reputation for thoughtful design that responded to context. Our early focus on historic renovation and adaptive reuse rapidly grew to include ground up construction. Today, while continuing our commitment to St. Louis, we work for a range of clients across the country from government to hospitality to education to business to cultural and civic. For more information, visit www.trivers.com.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis and offices in Cape Girardeau, MO and Edwardsville, IL. 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 www.smwilson.com.

KWK Architects Transforms Bernard Becker Medical Library at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

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Second through seventh floors, lower level and lobby entrance renovated

Transforming Bernard Becker Medical Library into an education service and technology hub was one of the initial steps in a five-year plan by Washington University School of Medicine to better integrate its St. Louis campus. The program, called Building Campus Connections, focuses on incorporating educational services, expanding clinical space, and improving research and service facilities while building a cohesive, collaborative environment.

KWK Architects took the lead role in designing renovations to Becker Library’s basement, ground floor lobby entrance, and second through seventh levels.

“KWK was a partner in developing our program plan and worked with our team to create ways to engage campus stakeholders in new and innovative ways,” said Melissa Rockwell-Hopkins, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Operations and Facilities with the School of Medicine.

The first phase of the library’s renovation included moving the Biostatistics Division to the fifth floor, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences to the fourth floor, and the Office of Medical School Education to the third floor. In the second phase, Informatics would be relocated to the sixth floor and Student Support Spaces to the second floor. The third phase included a complete renovation of the ground floor entry lobby and library study space. The final step included a refresh of the seventh-floor meeting rooms and build-out for a state-of-the-art recording studio on the lower level.

Each of the new suites on the second through sixth floors was designed to accommodate HIPPA compliant private offices and meeting rooms, along with open workspaces. The workspaces provide semi-private workstations for staff and more flexible hoteling options that include stand-up desks and comfortable, movable furniture. Access to daylighting and views was achieved with interior offices fit with glass windows to connect to the open office adjacent to the exterior windows.

Each floor was updated with new shared student lounge/kitchen areas, shared meeting and classrooms, and ADA accessible restrooms. New lighting, mechanical systems, and finishes were selected to provide updated, lower maintenance for present and future space uses.

Three floors of book stacks were relocated during the renovation, while the library’s ground and first floors continue to provide book borrowing, computers, and copying and printing services. The new library study space included upgrading the finish and MEP/FP systems to the perimeter offices, a new information desk, and updated finishes and flexible furniture options in the open study area.

A Feuerstein Health and Wellness Information Center was designed near the entry to allow easy access for staff, students, and faculty. A built-in kiosk provides access to both printed and electronic health information to benefit the campus community.

A new entrance was a significant part of the library’s renovation. KWK designers preserved the existing brick walls and granite flooring. They added new full-height glass windows and doors to give visitors a visual connection to the exterior while allowing the spaces to be more functional. New limestone surround was designed to highlight the entry point to the library’s seven-story atrium.

“A new wood and acoustical ceiling shape were designed that relates to the traffic circulation through the lobby and is reinforced with new carpeting and a built-in bench to establish a touchdown space within the lobby with views to the exterior,” said Bob Buckman, AIA, KWK Project Manager.

For the project’s final phase, KWK updated the seventh-floor meeting rooms and designed a state-of-the-art recording studio in the basement. A 700-square-foot instruction design studio was created to create high-quality video course material for faculty and students. Space includes an acoustically isolated video recording studio with greenscreen and lightboard technologies, along with a smaller DIY studio and editing room.

In 2015, Washington University School of Medicine hired KWK Architects to develop a phase one-campus plan https://outlook.wustl.edu/building-connections/. The Building Connections plan included vital mission areas, such as Medical Education, led by KWK Principal Eric Neuner. KWK facilitated a detailed review of the Medical Education Program with key leaders of the Medical School. The team analyzed which departments needed to be adjacent to each other, where the different departments made sense on campus, and which departments could share what spaces, if any. Gaining a thorough understanding of just how the School of Medicine utilized its existing space was a crucial step in the process.

Since the master plan’s completion in 2015, KWK has worked on over 50 design and study projects on the School of Medicine Campus. These include projects outlined in the master plan and additional enabling projects that have helped support campus growth and recruitment activities. Recently completed projects were the final phase of the 2015 Phase One Education Renovation Plan.

For more information about KWK Architects’ Master Planning expertise, visit www.kwkarchitects.com/markets/details/master-planning.

Founded in 2013 by five architects with a combined 120 years of higher education knowledge and experience, KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. Areas of expertise include student housing and dining and academic and science/technology spaces. KWK Architects has completed more than $1 billion in construction-valued projects since its founding and currently employs a growing staff of 15 at its headquarters in St. Louis, MO. For more information about KWK Architects, visit www.kwkarchitects.com or contact the Director of Marketing Cindy Hausler at cindyh@kwkarchitects.com.

Carmody MacDonald Celebrates 40 Years of Legal services to St. Louis Area

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Carmody MacDonald P.C., the mid-size St. Louis-based law firm providing a broad range of business, individual and litigation services, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  The firm was founded in 1981 by Donald Carmody, Leo MacDonald, Sr., John (Jack) Hilton and Timothy Wolf with the values of responsibility, strategic thinking, confidence and diligence.  Joyce Capshaw was the first attorney hired by the ownership group and has remained with the firm to this day.

With more than 55 attorneys today, the firm has grown to become one of the few locally owned law firms to reach the 40-year milestone.

“The firm was founded with the vision of establishing close relationships with clients, serving as valued counselors and providing exceptional services,” said Gerard (Jerry) Carmody, Litigation Practice Leader at Carmody MacDonald.  “This vision has served us well over the years, as today we remain committed to providing the highest quality of legal services to all clients, whether they are small businesses, large corporations, individuals or families. At the same time, we are proud of our generous commitments of time and resources to a wide range of community service and nonprofit organizations that our staff members support.”

Since its founding, Carmody MacDonald’s commitment to the St. Louis community has been as strong as its passion and desire to champion its clients’ goals and aspirations.  The firm’s attorneys and staff members are encouraged to provide pro bono and volunteer services and hold leadership positions with a wide range of civic and business boards, schools, nonprofit foundations, community service groups and charitable organizations. In just the past three years, more than 1000 hours of pro bono service hours have been provided by Carmody MacDonald attorneys. The firm and their attorneys volunteer for more than 50 organizations, including the Gateway Chapter – National Multipole Sclerosis Society, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, Central Institute for the Deaf, Art St. Louis, Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Junior Achievement, the Little Bit Foundation and more.

“Our values are exemplified through our commitment to provide services to nonprofit organizations and our dedication to pro bono work,” said Leo MacDonald, Jr., Business Services Practice Leader at Carmody MacDonald.  “We also pride ourselves on representing clients that also share these values.”

“Clients choose us because they are looking for practical, cost-effective solutions for complicated legal situations,” said Ron Rucker, Principal at Carmody MacDonald and member of the firm’s management team.  “We offer clients the cost-effective advantages of a mid-size firm coupled with the range and depth of offerings of a larger firm.  We want to thank all our clients past and present for the opportunity to serve them and help them meet their goals.”

“Carmody MacDonald’s culture is defined by its sincere commitment to forging long-term relationships with clients like us,” said Bryce Rutter, CEO of Metaphase Design Group.  “They have built their reputation on word of mouth and remain 100 percent client focused.”

Carmody MacDonald and its attorneys are regularly recognized by leading legal industry media and organizations for their professionalism. In 2020 alone, 22 of the firm’s attorneys were recognized by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and 33 attorneys were recognized by Best Lawyers. In addition, the firm is actively involved in supporting the goals of women and minorities in the workplace.

“We choose to serve organizations that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and assistance to the underserved,” said Tina Babel, Principal at Carmody MacDonald.  “This includes, but is not limited to, the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Commercial Real Estate Women and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  We are helping these organizations bring about the cultural changes necessary to improve the St. Louis community.”

“A hallmark of our firm is the ease with which our attorneys can draw upon the multiple specialty practice areas we offer to provide legal services addressing virtually every aspect of clients’ business, individual, and litigation needs,” said Jerry Carmody. “This in turn is what attracts attorneys to work here, whether they are fresh out of law school, tired of working for larger firms or who want to bring their own practices into our collaborative environment.”

For more information, visit www.carmodymacdonald.com.

Holland Construction Services Completes Keystone Place Senior Living Development in O’Fallon, Illinois

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Holland Construction Services has completed work on the new Keystone Place at Richland Creek Senior Living Development in O’Fallon, Illinois.

The $39 million development, located at the northwest corner of Frank Scott Parkway and Fountain Lakes Drive, offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care services in one location. The four-story building has 149 apartments including 64 independent living, 66 assisted living, and 19 memory care, plus one guest suite. The five-acre development also features a memory garden, a courtyard, and a formal entrance lobby facing Fountain Lakes Drive.

Timothy Eldredge, President of NASCON Senior, LLC and Co-Founder of Keystone Senior Management Services, Inc. said because Holland was able to complete the project one month ahead of schedule, residents are already moving in and starting to utilize this facility.

“This development offers a much-needed, new rental housing option for older adults seeking a safe, secure, maintenance-free, service-rich lifestyle and we’re very excited that it was completed ahead of schedule,” said Eldredge. “We selected Holland for this project because of their proven track-record for reliability and expertise and were very satisfied with the work they did on this project.”

The 170,000 square-foot development was constructed adjacent to Parkway Lakeside Apartments, which Holland completed several years ago. Holland Project Manager, Rob Ruehl, said this is a unique build for their team because of the comprehensive nature of the development.

“Our team has an incredible amount of experience handling multi-family and senior living projects that require different care levels and because of that background, we were able to ensure this development met the intended use for the building and the project ran smoothly,” said Ruehl. “We know Keystone Place will be well-utilized in our area and we were happy to be a part of it, and build a long-term relationship with this developer.”

Jan Brenner, Keystone Place at Richland Creek’s Senior Living Counselor, said interest in the Keystone community has been quite enthusiastic, with in-demand apartment floor plan options going fast.

“Keystone Place at Richland Creek’s ultra-inclusive service package provides meals, housekeeping, transportation, and life enrichment opportunities that allow residents to engage, explore and maximize their personal wellness, even in a time of social distancing,” said Brenner. “With residents and staff vaccinated at this point, people are really seeking opportunities to socialize and connect with others again, and that’s the idea behind the Keystone Place lifestyle.”

The community is hosting open house events on April 17and 18by appointment.  For more information about Keystone Place at Richland Creek or to schedule an open house visit, call (618) 576-6178.

Holland Construction Services is a full-service construction management, general contracting, and design/build firm guided by the principle of providing clients the best possible build experience on every project. For more information, visit Holland’s website at www.hollandcs.com.

Promotion & Leadership Change Within Bazan Painting Co.

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Val Perales

Bazan Painting Company is undergoing some exciting changes. Val Perales, current­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­Vice President of Commercial projects, is being promoted to the role of President.

In this role, Val will continue with his day-to-day responsibilities, while moving into more of a leadership role that is well-deserved.  

Kevin White

Kevin White is being promoted to Senior Vice President and will be working closely with Val in leadership of the company during this exciting transition.  

Former president, Walter Bazan Jr. will be assuming the title of Chairman.  These changes are to acknowledge the performance of Val and Kevin and move the company into future leadership.  

Walter Bazan Jr.

Bazan is anticipating a smooth and seamless transition as they continue to serve their loyal customers and work hard to provide the best in service and craftsmanship.

$324 Million for Rental and Utility Assistance Available for Missourians Impacted by Pandemic

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New assistance funds cover rent and energy costs for Missouri renters

Ameren Missouri is encouraging families across the state to look into a new program to help pay outstanding rent and utility bills.

The State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) program is for Missouri renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers up to 12 total months of rent and utility bills, including up to three months of future rent. The SAFHR (pronounced: say-FUHR) program is administered through the Missouri Housing Development Commission.

“We’ve been working closely with the Missouri Housing Development Commission to make sure Ameren Missouri customers have easy access to these funds,” said Tara Oglesby, vice president of customer experience for Ameren Missouri. “Help is on the way as the SAFHR program will provide critical relief for families who continue to feel the financial impact of the pandemic.”

Eligible customers can apply at mohousingresources.com. If approved, payment typically takes place in two to four weeks, directly to your landlord and/or utility companies. If you need help applying, call 1-888-471-1029.

To qualify for SAFHR, you must be renting a residential property in Missouri and meet the following criteria:

  • You or someone in your household must also have experienced a financial hardship due to the pandemic, including increased expenses, reduced income, lost wages, etc. You must be at risk of housing instability or losing your housing as a result of the hardship.
  • Your household income must be at or below 80% of the median income in your area, defined by your county and household size. You can look up this information at mohousingresources.com/safhr.

The program is funded by COVID-19 stimulus packages passed by the federal government. Applications for assistance are available now through Sept. 30, 2021. Customers can learn more about available energy assistance programs at AmerenMissouri.com/EnergyAssistance.

About Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

S. M. Wilson Chosen By Cor Jesu Academy To Manage Construction Of New Performance Gymnasium And Student Commons

Cor Jesu Academy has chosen S. M. Wilson & Co. to manage construction of the school’s new $8.9 million, 39,400 square foot, three-level performance gymnasium and student commons complex as part of the school’s long range campus enhancement plan.  Slated for completion in the fall of 2017, this innovative new space gives Cor Jesu the opportunity to add new course offerings and state-of-the-art learning, while also growing the school’s sports programs. The project is being funded by a $9.5 million capital campaign launched in 2014 to provide a range of new facilities including a new chapel, plus site improvements and more financial aid for qualifying students at this private Catholic girls’ high school in South St. Louis County.

Cor Jesu GymThe new gymnasium will feature two full courts on the first floor with state-of-the-art features conducive to basketball and volleyball competition, along with permanent bleachers and expanded weight and workout rooms.  The second floor will feature a multipurpose room, student commons and athletic offices.  Four new specialized classrooms will be added to the third floor.

The new student commons will be built in the open space between the new addition and the existing school building, and will overlook into the new gymnasium.  This will be a designated community area for students to gather, meet with faculty and provide collaborative study areas.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for April 22, 2016, and the project is scheduled for completion in time for the 2017-18 school year.  Hastings + Chivetta is the project architect.

Cor Jesu Academy is a leading Catholic college preparatory high school for young women founded in 1956 and operated by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Students from 61 zip codes across the St. Louis metropolitan area currently attend the school and come from 106 different Catholic, public, private and home schooling learning environments.  For more information, visit www.corjesu.org.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. 

HOK Designs Big Airport Infrastructure Project

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The world’s most traveled airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is embarking on a $6 billion, 20-year expansion and modernization program. As part of the capital improvement program, HOK is leading the joint venture team designing a $200 million improvement to the airport’s domestic passenger terminal. Construction will begin later in 2016 and include the addition of two large canopies over curbside pick-up and drop-off areas and a redesigned central atrium space.

In 2015, the 207-gate Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport became the world’s first airport to handle more than 100 million passengers in a year, reaching a high of 101.5 million. The design of the terminal modernization will improve the passenger experience as the airport prepares to serve even more travelers in the coming decades.

“The airport’s vision is to demystify traveling through the airport and create an exceptional experience for all its guests,” said Ripley Rasmus, AIA, an HOK senior design principal and lead designer for the project. “The flexibility of our team’s design accommodates both the focused, curb-to-gate weekly business travelers and the more leisurely, casual visitors who may stop to patronize retailers and other airport amenities.”

The passenger terminal improvements begin with the creation of a curbside drop-off protected by arched canopies composed of translucent ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) panels supported by a contemporary steel frame. The 864-foot-long canopies are designed to redefine the character of the building as a 21st-century air terminal. Additionally, the canopies provide shading to reduce heat gain and shelter travelers from the elements. New building facades will feature fritted glass panels that depict the forested character of Atlanta’s regional landscape with images of its city parks.

Inside, expansive windows flood check-in areas with natural light. The design of the 15,000-square-foot atrium presents a lush, park-like setting brightened by a circular skylight where passengers will enjoy increased seating options with easy access to power and data connections. A pavilion backdrop will serve as a bandstand for performances and airport events and will incorporate elements of the steel frame from the exterior canopies. The atrium will host several retailers and large pieces of artwork that strengthen the connection of the green space to the sky.

“The design converts the atrium from a processing space to an engaging civic area that connects visitors and travelers to Atlanta, reinforcing the airport as an ambassador for the region,” said Rasmus.

The high-performance design features energy-efficient cladding and building systems. Ceilings will be altered to improve the harvesting of natural light and to optimize interior lighting systems, which include LED lighting.

Improved circulation and signage systems will make wayfinding intuitive. A clearly marked airport security screening zone leads passengers from the atrium to concourses and gates. Improvements to the baggage claim area include highly visible digital monitors and new speaker systems.

The HOK-led joint venture for the terminal modernization includes Stanley, Love-Stanley, P.C., and Chasm Architecture, L.L.C., both headquartered in Atlanta.

The airport’s $6 billion modernization will also include improvements to concourses, hospitality and retail services, runways, cargo, parking and support facilities.

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm

EPA Announces West Lake Landfill Isolation Barrier Decision

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EPA_1EPA Region 7 has announced its decision to proceed with the installation of a physical isolation barrier for the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo.  The decision also calls for the installation of additional engineering controls, such as cooling loops, to prevent potential impacts that could result if a subsurface smoldering event were to come into contact with the radioactive materials contained in the West Lake Landfill.

“Finding a solution to mitigate the potential impacts of a subsurface smoldering event is a top priority for the community, and a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Region 7 Regional Administrator Mark Hague. “Today’s announcement is the first step in moving forward with the installation of a physical barrier and other engineering controls to address this issue.”

“We are now working through the highly complex details of implementing our decision and the associated legal steps. Once the plan is finalized, we are committed to providing this information to the public,” Hague said. “EPA will use all available enforcement authorities to ensure implementation of this work.”

The agency will continue to work closely with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other stakeholders as final plans are developed. Construction activities will be carried out under the direction and oversight of EPA, and with expert support from the Army Corps of Engineers.

EPA will release additional information, such as location of the barrier, once plans are finalized. The installation of a physical isolation barrier, and other engineering controls, will proceed as EPA continues to evaluate the remedy decision for the West Lake Landfill Site.