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Tarlton Completes Renovation to OMNIMAX Theater at Saint Louis Science Center

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Tarlton Corp. general contractors and construction managers completed renovations to the Saint Louis Science Center’s OMNIMAX® Theater just in time for holiday guests. The theater reopened to the public Nov. 29.

The St. Louis-based firm’s scope of work in the five-story, 80-foot-diameter domed theater and adjacent spaces included the installation of a raised access floor that allows presenters to be better seen by the audience; installation of new carpeting, handrails and guardrails; lighting upgrades; the hoisting of the new projector system; electrical work associated with the new projector system; installation of a projector access platform; and technical upgrades that allow the Science Center to livestream and simulcast educational programming. The team also updated finishes in the theater lobby.

Tarlton Concrete Restoration, a division of Tarlton Corp., cleaned the theater’s rows of tiered concrete seating and applied a polyurethane-based coating to the floor. Similar to protective coatings Tarlton applies in parking structures, the concrete sealant will improve surface wear and provide long-term protection in the high-traffic theater.

Working directly for the Science Center, Spitz Inc. installed 433 new video screen panels in the dome’s existing framework to create a new, seamless screen. Sparrow Audio Visual updated the projection system to IMAX® with Laser, a next-generation laser technology designed for 180-degree domed theater environments. The system creates a 40 percent greater color range to produce a more immersive experience for theater-goers. This scope of work makes the theater one of just four IMAX Dome with Laser theaters in the world.

Tarlton worked closely with the Saint Louis Science Center to create a wider array of accessibility options for visitors using wheelchairs and companion seating. Upgraded technology for individuals with visual and hearing impairments includes assistive listening technology comprising an audio induction loop that transmits a magnetic wireless signal for use by people with hearing aids. The technology, relatively new to the St. Louis region, was provided and programmed by Senseart Solutions.

Renovations to the theater began in late July. Because the team was working in a fully operational facility open to the public, construction activities were phased to minimize disruptions to Science Center guests and staff. Materials were moved between the first-floor loading dock and second-floor theater before and after regular business hours. Because storage space was limited, deliveries of large orders (theater seats, for example) were scheduled just before installation. The Tarlton team included Sondra Rotty, project director; Nick Eshelman, project manager; Peter Boldt, project superintendent; and Michael Dahl, general foreman.

The project is the largest renovation to the theater since it opened in 1991. From that time until this year’s renovation, the OMNIMAX® Theater had screened 117 films to more than 8.7 million visitors.

The mission of the Saint Louis Science Center is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning. Named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate in 2016, the Saint Louis Science Center features more than 700 interactive exhibits, as well as a five-story OMNIMAX® Theater, Boeing Hall and the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. For more information about the Saint Louis Science Center, please visit slsc.org. 

Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that provides outstanding preconstruction and construction solutions to clients in the life science, higher education, health care, commercial, power and industrial markets. In business since 1946, the Midwest general contractor/construction manager also has special expertise in concrete construction, restoration and maintenance. Tarlton has completed many landmark St. Louis projects and is committed to improving lives through inclusive construction, civic engagement and service to others.

Washington University in St. Louis Unveils Transformative Project Constructed by McCarthy Building Companies

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Sustainability, flexibility and sophisticated technology guided construction of the 18-acre, multi-building assignment.

A sweeping campus planning, design and construction project has transformed the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis following a two-year construction process managed by McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

The $360 million, 18-acre East End Transformation project adds five new buildings, expands the university’s world-class Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, relocates hundreds of surface parking spaces into a state-of-the-art underground parking garage, and creates an expansive new park.

As construction manager, McCarthy used sophisticated technology and 4D planning tools to manage the project’s eight separate project components. This involved synthesizing the work of multiple architects and coordinating an onsite team of construction specialists and trade professionals.

“We were honored to help Washington University reshape the East End of its Danforth Campus into a vibrant green space and a hub for research, teaching and student life,” said McCarthy Project Director Ryan Moss.

During the project’s site excavation phase, a drone captured high-resolution aerial images on daily 12-minute flights over the 18-acre site. These photographs—and accompanying data—guided the construction team in assessing progress and adapting the schedule accordingly. Drones continued to equip the team with valuable data throughout construction to ensure the fast-track project remained on schedule.

Nearly six acres of surface parking lots have been converted to green space, furthering the university’s commitment to sustainability. All of the new buildings have been designed to achieve LEED Gold certification; several are currently on track to exceed those standards. Resource conservation measures include solar arrays to generate electricity, and heat recovery chillers to harvest waste heat to minimize heat island effect. Other sustainable features include a bioretention rain garden and native plantings; an expansive indoor green wall in Weil Hall; and the Active Commuter Hub, which includes shower facilities for those opting to bike or walk to work.

Flexibility informed the design and construction of the underground parking garage, which can be converted into classrooms and labs to accommodate the university’s future needs and plan for a potential future less dependent on automobiles. To support this flexibility, the construction team laser scanned all post-tensioning cable, rebar and embedded MEP systems to capture precise data before concrete was poured on the garage deck. The facility, which has 790 spaces and a projected lifespan of 100-plus years, is on track to receive certification from Parksmart, the world’s only rating system designed to advance sustainable mobility through smarter parking design.

Connectedness with the city and community is achieved with a reimagined entrance to campus across the street from Forest Park, long considered one of the best urban public parks in the nation. The Tisch Park creates new outdoor programming opportunities for Washington University, and welcomes the St. Louis community from the northwestern edge of Forest Park. The Kemper Art Museum expansion also creates new opportunities for community engagement, with space for events and a more visible, welcoming presence.

“The project was truly a unique opportunity to honor our physical heritage and lay the foundation for our future,” said Henry S. Webber, the university’s executive vice chancellor and chief administrative officer. “These world-class facilities will support world-class teaching and research and the everyday activities of our faculty, students, staff and guests for many years.”

Major components of the east end transformation include:

  • The Ann and Andrew Tisch Parkserves as a welcoming entrance to campus and is a gathering place for the university community and visitors alike. 
  • The Gary M. Sumers Welcome Center(25,500 GSF) provides a clearly designated starting point for campus visitors and houses the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Services. 
  • The Craig and Nancy Schnuck Pavilion(18,000 SF) houses the Parkside Café, the Environmental Studies program and the Office of Sustainability. It also supports pedestrian and bicycle commuters with shower facilities, lockers and bicycle parking. 
  • The underground garage serves the Danforth Campus and opens to the outdoors, offering views of both the sky and landscaped gardens. 
  • Henry A. and Elvira H. Jubel Hall (84,000 GSF) houses the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science in the McKelvey School of Engineering. 
  • James M. McKelvey, Sr. Hall (86,500 GSF),which will be completed in 2020 and open in 2021, will house the McKelvey School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering. 
  • Anabeth and John Weil Hall (80,700 GSF)is the new main entry to the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. It houses graduate art and architecture studios, classrooms and a digital fabrication studio. 
  • TheMildred Lane Kemper Art Museum expansion (5,600 SF) includes a new 34-foot-tall polished stainless-steel facade, a new entrance foyer and additional exhibition space. The relocated Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden integrates the museum’s prominent collection of outdoor sculpture, including works by Auguste Rodin and Alexander Calder, into the expanded green space of the east end.

Watch a construction time lapse video.

View and download photos.

Project partners include:

Landscape Architect and Planner:
– Michael Vergason Landscape Architects

Planning and Design Firms:

– KieranTimberlake (Weil Hall, Sumers Welcome Center, Schnuck Pavilion, Kemper Art Museum
expansion)

– Mackey Mitchell (Jubel Hall)

– Moore Ruble Yudell (Jubel Hall)

– Perkins Eastman (McKelvey Hall)

– BNIM (East End parking garage)

 

Washington University in St. Louis East End Transformation Facts and Stats

  • On-site construction workers, including over 3,100 trades professionals, have completed more than 1.1 million manhours of work so far.
  • Excavation of the East End construction site took less than 100 days. At the peak of excavation, more than 1,000 truckloads of dirt left campus each day.
  • 250 tons of steel are included in the Sumers Welcome Center and Schnuck Pavilion’s structures, while 510 tons of steel are included in Weil Hall’s structure.
  • The project added 48,718 square feet of new and future research space and 6,000 square feet of new makerspace.
  • 10 species of plants make up the 30-foot living green wall in Weil Hall’s Kuehner Court.
  • The new underground parking garage ceiling reaches up to 20 feet high, which will enable the facility to be converted to academic space in the future.
  • All new buildings are designed to achieve a minimum of LEED Gold 
  • The landscape replaces nearly six acres of parking lots with green spaces. When completed in 2020, the East End landscape will feature 390 trees of 38 different species. Ninety-four percent of the trees were grown regionally.
  • The Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden at the Kemper Art Museum includes seven outdoor sculptures. 

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram

KAI Designs Unique Shade Solar Canopy for Saint Louis Zoo

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KAI Design has created a unique solar canopy for the Saint Louis Zoo that provides much-needed shade for visitors, absorbs light and generates power.

The solar panel shade canopy, officially called Williams Family Solar Pavilion, provides shelter for a 2,200-square-foot dining area at a prominent location in the zoo. During the planning process for a retail renewal program in the heart of the zoological park, the project team recognized an opportunity to greatly expand the amount of sheltered outdoor dining area.

“The prominence of the location presented a unique opportunity and demanded ambitious aesthetic goals,” said Carl Karlen, Design Principal at KAI and Senior Designer on the project. “The canopy overlooking the central lagoon is highly visible to the millions of annual visitors, many of whom will sit in its shade enjoying their meals. It will also host important after-hours events as a source of additional revenue. The generosity of a sponsor elevated the possibilities for a distinctive architectural solution adding to the fabric of the historic and varied campus.”

Discussions on sustainability and LEED certification goals yielded the decision to include electrical power generated on-site from a solar power array. Design challenges included integration of technical requirements and aesthetics of the solar array itself (a steep 20-degree panel slope, exposed wiring and connections and an industrial appearance).

“The strategic location of the structure was selected to avoid disruption to seating and other uses,” said Karlen. “LEED requirements for power generation and lighting spillover, and harmonization of the new structure with the existing naturalistic context were also considered.”

The final architectural design allowed for inclusion of extensive custom artwork engraved into the Corten steel structure, which features aquatic life located throughout the park.

Power UP installed the panels and KAI Build was the general contractor on the project.

KAI Enterprises is a national design and build firm providing delivery-oriented building solutions with a diverse portfolio of experience, in-house multi-discipline professionals, and expertise in both design and construction delivery. Founded in 1980, KAI has grown into one of the largest minority-owned firms in the AEC industry. To learn more about KAI, visit www.kai-db.com

As Illinois General Assembly Session’s End Looms, Fate of Capital Bill Unknown

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Less than two hours before the official end of the Illinois General Assembly’s regular legislative session in Springfield, the answer as to whether both sides of the aisle would unite to fund a statewide capital improvements bill remained unclear.

“For years we’ve been close to getting horizontal or vertical construction (funding) passed, but it just didn’t happen,” said Dave Bender, president and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois, an affiliate whose members include more than 240 engineering firms across Illinois members and nearly 14,000 engineering professionals. “Two years ago, it was down to the very last day (of session) and they had a deal on the table, but there was a blow-up on the floor, they gaveled, and the session was over. It has been 10 years since Illinois’ last mini-capital bill. The shelves at our (Illinois) DOT (Dept. of Transportation) are empty. We’ve got to pass a capital bill of some sort or risk losing our federal (funding) match,” he added.

As it stands, IDOT’s funding streams are comprised of 90 percent from the federal government and just 10 percent from the state. Bender says to bring Illinois’ highway infrastructure up to acceptable standards, it will take an additional $3 billion annually – $3 billion in addition to the $2 billion annually that is already being generated through a combination of gasoline tax revenues and increased vehicle registration fees. “Every penny generates about $65 million,” Bender said, “but Illinois is slipping because it didn’t index the gas tax (fee of 19 cents) over time (for inflation). If we had indexed it since 1990 – the last time it was increased – it would be 38 cents (per gallon of gasoline) by now. We need a minimum of 38 cents, double what it is and what it has remained for 29 years.”

Two potential outcomes were in the mix at press time, according to Bender: 1) A failsafe version of a capital improvement plan that would be limited to horizontal construction capital projects, meaning roads, bridges and mass transit infrastructure, but no vertical construction capital efforts such as improving and expanding state-owned facilities; and 2) A much more comprehensive capital plan that would include both horizontal and vertical construction projects.

“Vertical is the real problem in terms of creating a funding mechanism in contrast with horizontal-specific funding such as user fees that go directly toward transportation infrastructure needs,” Bender said Thursday. “When you walk inside a state of Illinois building and use the elevator, there’s no fee. For vertical, legislators are looking at options like sports gaming, the possibility of recreational marijuana, a parking garage fee, a minimal increase in the cigarette sales tax or a small increase in the liquor (sales) tax, a video streaming tax and more. Alternative ways to fund vertical construction will be challenging,” he added. “But to do nothing year after year is like watching your 100-year-old Victorian home’s mounting issues that you’ve learned are due to a crumbling foundation and opting to ignore the expensive underlying structural issues and choosing only to put new shingles on the roof.”

AGC Urges Industry to Garner Support From Users for Federal Highway Funding

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

The Associated General Contractors of America says Tuesday’s agreement between President Donald Trump and House and Senate Democrats to work together on a $2 trillion highways, roads, bridges and rail investment program builds the beginning of momentum that will need to accelerate to make a big, bold federal transportation initiative a reality.

“We’ve got a long road – pun intended – ahead of us before we reach agreement on an infrastructure spending bill,” said AGC Spokesman Brian Turmail, “but the fact that this bipartisan agreement has been forged amidst other pressing (non-transportation-related) issues on Capitol Hill is encouraging. Now we need to keep the momentum going toward creation and passage of a broad-based infrastructure package long before the current program expires in September 2020, because by then we’ll be in the middle of an election year.”

The AGC of America and its affiliates across the U.S. – including the AGC of Missouri – are advocating for a bill that does more than fund road, rail and bridge projects. The organization wants to see a solid workforce development component as well, according to Turmail.

“Yes, we’ve got to fix the Highway Trust Fund, which is based upon a user-pay system that is fundamentally American,” Turmail said, noting that the revenue that funds the fund – 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline purchased – hasn’t been updated since 1993. “But we think the infrastructure package also needs to include workforce development since creating jobs through these construction projects is paramount. What better opportunity to marry these investments in infrastructure than with the ability to create well-paying jobs?”

Construction industry members can help further development and passage of a new, multi-year federal transportation infrastructure funding bill, he said, by engaging support from individuals and organizations beyond the construction sphere.

“One of the things our AGC members and lobbyists hear all the time (from Congress) is, “’We hear from construction industry people all the time, but we also need to hear from others outside your industry such as those who use our highway system,’” Turmail said. “We’re asking AGC members to ask shippers, manufacturers, drivers and consumers – neighbors, church friends and others – to contact their federal elected officials and communicate the importance of maintaining our transportation system for all.”

The nation’s current multi-year transportation funding program, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) was signed into law by former President Barack Obama in December 2015, authorizing $305 billion over fiscal years 2016-2020.

Roeslein Celebrates National Welding Month

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With 17% of its workforce made up of professional welders, Roeslein & Associates acknowledges the high level of skill, education, and training that modern-day welders need to keep up with industry advancements in materials, processes, and equipment.

Roeslein has three levels of welders with a Level III welder carrying the highest welding and fabrication skillsets and experience. Basic welding skills are required at entry level but advancement comes through in-house training and experience to produce basic to advanced components. Welding positions require prepping and cutting knowledge, as well as, the GMAW, GTAW, FCAW, SMAW application techniques to produce Roeslein’s products. When it comes to pipe welding, Roeslein does everything from manual pipe welding to automatic pipe welding. They provide multiple weld procedures ranging from many processes and material types with carbon steel and stainless steel being the majority.

Between its structural and piping departments, Roeslein has 94 fabrication welders that work in its three fabrication facilities in Red Bud, IL (60); Hollister, CA (14); and Shanghai, China (20). Roeslein has over 27 welding processes and procedures and frequently tests its welders on these practices, including x-ray and ultrasonic tests, to make sure each welder can complete the task with less than a one percent failure.

Dan Hemmer, Roeslein’s Senior Quality Manager, said “Our welders take a lot of pride in the work they do, and the quality of the finished welds are a testament to their dedication to the craft. Our team is the best in the business.”

Roeslein is a firm believer in continued education and training for all employees. Catered to its welders, Roeslein offers a tuition reimbursement program that is inclusive of welding schools, has a Welder-in-Training position that offers entry-level training, and currently, has one employee attending welding school on a Roeslein scholarship to Ranken in Perryville, MO.

Roeslein & Associates was founded in 1990, specializing in engineering, modular fabrication and construction services. The company has product offerings in both the container manufacturing industry and the process and energy sectors with annual revenues over $250 million. Its 680+ employees are spread throughout offices in St. Louis, MO (HQ); Red Bud, IL; Denver, CO; Hollister, California; Northampton, UK; Dębno, Poland; and Shanghai, China. To find out more, please visit www.roeslein.com.

St. Louis Joins Worldwide Spotlight on Autism Awareness

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Lighting consultants and engineers were busy changing color filters to create a blue hue for St. Louis for World Autism Awareness Day on Tuesday April 2, 2019.  The effort lighting businesses and landmarks kicks off a number of initiatives by St. Louis Chapter of Autism Speaks for World Autism Awareness Month in April.

“We continue to advance understanding and acceptance,” noted Greg Yawitz, chairman of St. Louis Chapter of Autism Speaks’ board.  “With autism now diagnosed in one out of 59 children, the breadth of the spectrum means just about everyone knows someone living with autism. Those on the spectrum can be significantly impaired while others are found in the workplace, in college and raising families of their own.  Understanding the puzzle of autism and the breadth of the spectrum is at the heart of Autism Speaks fundraising and awareness efforts.” Autism Speaks is asking people worldwide to take the pledge to increase understanding and acceptance at AutismSpeaks.org/WAM.

Autism impacts more than 70 million people worldwide.  Among the awareness Autism Speaks will advance throughout the year are:

  • Research indicates that stigma and denial can delay a diagnosis of autism, particularly in lower socioeconomic populations where the average age of diagnosis is significantly higher than in the general population.
  • People with autism learn, think and problem-solve in different ways – from highly skilled to severely challenged, and may require supports that can range from minimal to intensive.
  • Many people with autism have sensory sensitivities that impact their daily lives. Medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues, often accompany autism.

HOK will be among several businesses participating in the April 2, 2019 Light it up Blue for Autism Speaks.  Others include West County Shopping Center, Scott Air Force Base, the Lumiere Place Casino and Four Seasons Hotel, James S. McDonnell Planetarium, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and more.  The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and its Electrical Connection partnership with the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) will participate through its long-time sponsorship of the Planetarium lighting.

Autism Speaks also has a number of events in the coming months to advance awareness and fundraising including:

  • The April 17, 2019 Autism Speaks’ 8th Annual Chefs Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, Mo.
  • The May 5, 2019 Autism Speaks Go Blue Run in Clayton, Mo.
  • The August 31, 2019 Louis Cardinal game that will feature autism awareness.
  • The October 12, 2019 Autism Walk in Forest Park.

For more information, visit Autism Speaks St. Louis’ Facebook page. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. For more information, visit www.autismspeaks.org.

 

Trades Ready to Work as St. Louis NGA HQ Project Goes to McCarthy-HITT

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

The joint venture team of Rockhill, MO-based McCarthy Building Companies and Falls Church, VA-based HITT Contracting has been tabbed as the builder of the largest federal investment project – $711.7 million – in St. Louis history.

Trades union leaders attest that their people are ready to report to work and begin building it.

That massive project, ready to dominate north St. Louis City over the next four to five years, is the nearly $1 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s future western headquarters.

Additional Next NGA West joint venture partners include Overland Park, KS-based Black & Veatch, San Francisco-based Gensler and Akima LLC.

St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Al Bond reacted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City District project award announcement, made on March 19, saying St. Louis is ready get to work on the mega-project.

“What’s good for St. Louis is good for Missouri,” said Bond, whose organization includes more than 20,000 members with 34 local unions in Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois. “All three joint venture teams invested millions of dollars and years of work competing for the opportunity to build this project. All three general contractor teams that have been immersed in the bidding process are friends with the Carpenters. All three are deeply invested in building in Missouri. From a St. Louis point of view, we’re excited that a St. Louis-based contractor was selected. But from a regional perspective, the other teams (the joint venture team of St. Louis-based Alberici Constructors and Mortenson Construction and the joint venture of Kansas City, MO-based JE Dunn Construction, St. Louis-based HOK and Clark Construction) would have been welcome as well.”

Part of the enormous construction project includes a permanent building that will be erected early on at the site to accommodate the joint venture team members and other project delivery professionals, Bond said. The project site spans 97.2 acres in North St. Louis at the north corner of Jefferson and Cass Avenues.

In addition to the main construction scope, the Corps is preparing to announce five small business set-aside construction contracts including the on-site program office, a remote inspection facility, the surface parking lot, access control points and landscaping.  Five additional set-aside projects related to NGA

According to projections from the Corps, at its peak in 2022 the effort could require up to 1,300 workers per day at the site and create an anticipated 5,000 construction jobs to complete. According to the Corps, Next NGA West Dept. of Labor affirmative action goals for the project are 6.9 percent female participation by trade and 14.7 percent minority participation by trade.

Bond said the Carpenters is confident it can meet the workforce needs that this gigantic construction project demands.

“This project is bigger than the magnitude of the job itself,” Bond said. “It’s going to create some great construction industry opportunities and man-hours for all the trades, the local subcontractors and for the St. Louis economy overall. Speaking for the Carpenters, we’re ready. We’ve got a ready workforce with the capacity to build this job. That’s not a concern of ours. But our doors are wide open to welcome additional minorities and women looking to get into the trades to join us. It’s entirely possible for individuals seeking a career in the construction trades to apply for our (four-year) apprenticeship program now and gain the experience of working on the NGA project in St. Louis. Although we’re confident we can fulfill the workforce requirements for this job, we’re keenly interested in continuing to bring young people, minorities and women into (all of) the union trades.”

Associated General Contractors of Missouri President Len Toenjes said McCarthy Building Companies’ St. Louis roots and its innovative safety programming translates into a win for the NGA, for St. Louis and for the region.

“We just awarded McCarthy our top honor, a Safety Excellence Award, for its new safety mentoring initiative that pairs experienced professionals with those who are new to the construction field,” Toenjes said. “This is but one example of how McCarthy works to build safely. The beauty of the Next NGA West project stretches beyond the project itself,” Toenjes added. “It signifies a measurable, positive impact on the economy of the entire St. Louis region.”

Individuals interested in learning more about applying for the Carpenters’ apprenticeship program can gain more information at http://www.carpdc.org/careers.

Ameren Missouri Reaches Milestone in Plans to Build Second Wind Facility in the State

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New renewable energy planned for Atchison County

Ameren Missouri’s second planned wind facility in the state is one step closer to producing renewable energy. This morning, the Missouri Public Service Commission voted unanimously to grant Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), a certificate of convenience and necessity to acquire, after construction, an up to 157-megawatt (MW) wind facility to be located in Atchison County.

“Expanding renewable energy in Missouri is an important part of our strategy which, alongside our Smart Energy Plan, will modernize the energy grid and enhance how our customers receive and consume energy,” said Michael Moehn, president of Ameren Missouri. “Today’s announcement brings us even closer to adding at least 700 MW of wind energy by 2020.”

Several milestones remain for the northwest Missouri facility, including obtaining a timely and acceptable Midcontinent Independent System Operator transmission interconnection agreement. The Atchison County facility, along with the previously-announced 400 MW facility under development in northeast Missouri represent an approximately $1 billion investment and are expected to be in service by the end of 2020. These planned additions in renewable energy will help Ameren Missouri achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

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 127,000 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.

Tech Capabilities of Future SSM Health SLU Hospital Apparent in Scope of Enormous Construction Project

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Of the $550 million total budget for building and equipping the future SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, $101 million is allocated to medical technology that will equip all facets of the operation and provide the latest means of patient care.

Donald Wojtkowski, executive director of design and construction for the SLUH Medical Campus Renewal Project that’s rising from the earth along Grand Boulevard in Midtown, says medical technology investments in the brand-new hospital include not only clinical IT but also IT that will connect and power all business functions throughout the hospital and adjacent ambulatory care center.

“Relative to overall clinical technology, we’re equipping 16 operating rooms, five cardiac interventional rooms, seven special procedure rooms, seven CTs, three MRIs, three nuclear medicine suites and eight endoscopy suites,” Wojkowski said. “Approximately $12 million in IT equipment is going in that’s specific to computerized medical records. The IT elements of this – every piece of clinical equipment in the new facility and most of the hospital’s medical devices – will link with its IT networks so we can capture data and assist nurses with all of that information right at their fingertips.”

IMEG is providing mechanical-electrical-plumbing, fire protection and technology design for the new medical center, which will replace the existing, adjacent SLU Hospital. Alberici Constructors Inc. is the project’s construction manager. The Lawrence Group is architect of record, in partnership with planning firms HGA and FZA.

The mammoth construction project is a joint effort between SSM Health, SLUCare Physician Group and Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

The project has been designed solely with 3D modeling since the beginning, years ago, when plans were first being etched for the future hospital.

“That’s the most amazing thing in my mind with regard to this whole project,” said Wojtkowski. “We began our commitment to building information management 12 years ago when we designed (SSM Health) St. Clare Hospital in Fenton,” he said. “Even then, we were committed to BIM and to lean construction delivery. It was a bit awkward because we were really pioneering things back then. We had a great team, we got it done and we learned a lot. Today, when you’re walking through this construction project, you don’t see anyone looking at blueprints anymore…they’re holding up their iPads…for a project of this magnitude not to have any trailers filled with blueprints, it’s truly a testament to how far technology has come.”

Substantial completion of the new hospital is on track for May 2020, according to Wojtkowski, at which time the facility will be turned over to its owners to begin the operational and staffing transition from old hospital to new. Sept. 1, 2010 is the date when the first patients will move into the new space.

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