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KWAME to Manage Science Laboratory Renovation Projects at Three St. Louis Community College Campuses

Construction is underway on a major renovation to modernize science laboratories at St. Louis Community College’s Forest Park, Meramec and Florissant Valley campuses, with Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) serving as the construction manager. The architect is Michael Roth & Associates and the general contractor is Kozeny-Wagner.

Over the next two summers, 15,000 square feet of science laboratories at the three campuses will be updated with new lighting, casework, flooring, paint, and laboratory equipment.

KWAME is managing the project in two phases on a tight summer timeline to meet academic schedules. Construction of the first phase, which includes 13 labs, will be completed in mid-August, in time for the 2016 – 2017 school year. The remaining six laboratories will be renovated in Summer 2017.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top 15 pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services.

S. M. Wilson to Begin $82 Million Addition & Renovation of Ladue Horton Watkins High School

S. M. Wilson & Co. has been selected by the Ladue School District to perform $82.2 million worth of additions and renovations to Ladue Horton Watkins High School beginning this summer.  Construction will focus on updating the academic core of the building where classrooms have not been significantly renovated since being built in the 1950s and 1960s. Funding for the project comes from an $85.1 million bond referendum passed by the District’s voters in April.

Preparations for construction have already begun with initial efforts focused on creating temporary classrooms within the existing building, installing outdoor classrooms that will primarily be dedicated to science programming, establishing construction staging areas, reconfiguring parking and traffic flow, and beginning abatement and the demolition process of the portion of the backside of the building that will be rebuilt.  The project is anticipated to be substantially completed by the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

When completed, the high school will feature classrooms designed to accommodate today’s educational best practices which require spaces conducive to collaboration across disciplines, small group work, the integrated use of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM), and the opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in real-world applications and group-based projects.  Other features will include:

  • A three-story Commons Area at the apex of corridors leading to various academic areas;
  • Seminar and breakout areas mixed in with classrooms, enabling small group work;
  • A lecture area large enough to enable speakers to address multiple classes simultaneously; and
  • Spaces to exhibit student work throughout the building.

S. M. Wilson provided pre-referendum informational services to the Ladue School District, and will provide pre-construction and construction management services for the project.  Hastings+Chivetta and Bond Architects are the architectural firms selected for the project and also began work on the project well before the initiative was approved by voters in April.

In 2011, S. M. Wilson completed construction of a $14 million Early Childhood Center for the Ladue School District.  The company has also completed a variety of renovations and additions at many of the District’s elementary, middle school, and high school facilities.

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

Hotel and Apartment Project Coming to Cortex

Tarlton will complete the core and shell of the new 4260 Forest Park building at Cortex this summer, but developer Wexford Science & Technology isn’t going to rest.


Jerry Crylen, senior director at Wexford Science & Technology, told AGC members last week that even as tenant finish work gets underway on the three-story, $24 million building, Wexford Science & Technology is moving ahead with a $165 million project on Duncan Avenue across from the iconic 4240 building.


The new project is a mixed-use development with three building types and a parking garage: a hotel, a 250-unit apartment building, and 40,000-square-feet of retail.


A representative of Wexford Science & Technology stated in an email that the company has not set a date for breaking ground.


That project is part of the $350 million in construction that Wexford Science & Technology as planned for the Cortex district in the next five years. Also in that plan is another office-lab building on Duncan Avenue, this one a five-story, $45 million building.


Also on the horizon is the groundbreaking for the new Cortex MetroLink Station, slated for the first quarter of 2018.


Wexford Science & Technology is looking ahead at the Danforth Plant Science Center’s BRDG Park in Creve Coeur, too. The company is working with the Danforth Center to develop a master plan to redevelop a 200-acre area north of the existing BRDG Park.  

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that ground would be broken this year.

Byrne & Jones Construction Acquires Peoria, Ill. Marine Construction Services Company


As St. Louis-based Byrne & Jones Construction celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding, it is expanding with the acquisition of Midwest Foundation, a Peoria, Ill. marine construction services company.  Founded in 1969, Midwest Foundation has been a fixture along the Illinois River and other rivers in the Midwest.  It installs piling foundations and serves the bridge construction industry including demolition, construction and repair.  It also provides dock repairs, lock and dam rehabilitations and equipment leasing.

“Midwest Foundation was a good match for us,” said Brian Goggins, president of Byrne & Jones “We’ve both long focused on understanding our customer needs and being problem solvers.  The acquisition gives Byrne & Jones a specialty niche in marine work that will help us grow our business.”

Rick Tockes, who has more than 30 years of experience in the marine construction industry, will manage the new marine division of Byrne & Jones.  The operation will remain in the Peoria, Ill. area, where it employs seven people in its office and up to 50 people in the field depending on work volume.

The Byrne & Jones marine division will continue Midwest Foundation’s long service to public and private entities along rivers and lakes in the Midwest including the Illinois River, Mississippi River, Missouri River, Ohio River and other waterways.  It inherits capabilities that have included:

  • Construction of the river piers including the foundations on the Page Avenue Bridge in St. Louis and the construction of the four main river pier bases including the foundations for the Clark Bridge in Alton, Ill.
  • Creating barge mooring cells for the Army Corps of Engineers along the Ohio River at the Smithland Lock and Dam in Smithland, Ky.
  • Bridge demolition including the Lexington Bridge in Lexington, Mo, the old Cape Girardeau Bridge in Cape Girardeau, Mo., the Franklin Street Bridge in Peoria, Ill., and the Hennepin Bridge in Hennepin, Ill.
  • Dredging work to improve navigation and environmental improvements for the Army Corp of Engineers, including the creation of an island on the Illinois River to improve bird and marine habitats.
  • Land-based pile driving for commercial and industrial businesses including Bass Pro Shops, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and Caterpillar, Inc.
  • Improvements to Ameren Illinois power plants along the Illinois River.

The marine division has a fleet of 16 barges and two tugboats, which it also leases along with crawler cranes with lifting capacities from 65 tons to 230 tons.   More about Midwest Foundation can be found at www.midwestfoundation.com.

Byrne & Jones Construction is the St. Louis area’s largest commercial paving contractor. Founded in 1976, it serves its clients through six divisions – concrete, sports, asphalt, soil stabilization, marine and micro surfacing.

Isamu Noguchi Sculptured Ceiling Repaired, Revealed at UHaul Store in St. Louis

Community Event set for May 19 1:31 pm from U‑Haul

U‑Haul Company of St. Louis is delighted to reintroduce a famed piece of modern art to the  world by uncovering renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s illuminated ceiling at 1641 S. Kingshighway Blvd.

The Noguchi masterpiece had been hidden from public view for decades by a drop ceiling at U‑Haul Moving & Storage at Kingshighway, historic site of the former American Stove Company‑Magic Chef building.

St. Louis architect Harris Armstrong designed the building in the mid‑1940s and commissioned Noguchi (1904‑1988), an American artist admired for his sculptures, landscape architecture and furniture designs, to create the truly unique ceiling for Magic Chef’s open first‑floor lobby.

Prior to U‑Haul acquiring the iconic building in 1977, it had been used by the Teamsters Union as a healthcare facility and then sat vacant for roughly 10 years. U‑Haul tailored the six‑story facility to meet its customers’ needs through the years, including the use of a drop ceiling in the former lobby. About two years ago, U‑Haul began internal discussions regarding the upgrade and enlargement of its showroom.

“In conjunction with improving the showroom, my intention was to reveal the ceiling,” UHaul Company of St. Louis president Steve Langford said. “There was a Noguchi exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum running around the time we began working on this project, so there were lots of photos to use as a frame of reference.”

Langford will host a media open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Kingshighway store. Interviews and photo/video opportunities will be available.

All of St. Louis is invited to attend a community open house from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on May 19.

The project began in November and was completed in late March. U‑Haul facility maintenance technicians did the ceiling work aside from painting, which was  contracted out. The showroom expanded from 1,500 to 2,250 square feet,  allowing more than 80 percent of Noguchi’s design to be visible in public areas once the drop ceiling was removed.

Ceiling work included: removing hanging florescent lights; removing grids and anchors attached to the sculpture; rerouting cables and HVAC duct work between the drop ceiling and sculpture; restoring the original recessed can lighting with new LED bulbs; and extensive patching, sanding and painting to match the original look and colors as closely as possible.

“Isamu Noguchi’s sculpted ceiling designed for the 1946 Magic Chef building in St. Louis is the last surviving of the seminal American artist’s monumental ‘lunar landscapes,'” said Genevieve Cortinovis, assistant curator of decorative arts and design at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

“Visually striking and fundamentally practical, the plaster ceiling’s undulating curves, characteristic of Noguchi’s biomorphic sculpture of the 1940s, provided discreet signage, lighting, and a welcome burst of color for visitors of the  international Style building by architect Harris Armstrong. Noguchi held that by lending punctuation and dimension to space, these large‑scale sculptures, an extension of the architecture itself, could make people ‘feel better, feel happier to be there.'”

A model of Noguchi’s ceiling is in the museum’s collection and it recently was on display in the exhibition St. Louis Modern.

Cortinovis added that along with Carl Milles’ fountain for Aloe Plaza and Harry Bertoia’s sculpture screen for Lambert International Airport, the Noguchi ceiling is arguably the most important site‑specific sculpture executed in St. Louis in the decades leading up to the completion of the Gateway Arch.

“We’re so pleased to be able to share this artwork with the community again,” Langford said.

The Noguchi ceiling repair and reveal is a credit to AMERCO Chairman and President Edward J. “Joe” Shoen, a proponent of preserving historical rchitecture in cities where UHaul executes its corporate adaptive reuse initiatives by repurposing existing buildings as U‑Haul stores. This sustainable practice enables U‑Haul to reduce unwanted blight in neighborhoods while creating jobs and offering additional moving and storage options for customers.

Learn more about how U‑Haul is getting involved in St. Louis and other communities by visiting myuhaulstory.com.

The Korte Company Begins Design-Build Project For Calumet New Tech High School


Construction is underway at the campus of New Tech High School in Gary, Indiana. The Korte Company was awarded the $6.8 million design-build project, which includes multiple improvements to the school’s outdoor athletic facilities.

Improvements include the construction of a new main entry plaza featuring pavers and ornamental fencing, concession building with restroom facilities, community building, equipment storage facility, as well as home and visitor ticket booths.

The football and track area upgrades include a new synthetic turf football field with play clocks, video display scoreboard, stadium lighting, renovated grandstand seating and the addition of a visitor seating and new press box. A new 9-lane track with a timing system will circle the playing field.

A turf drainage system will be added to the existing baseball field along with a new infield.  The baseball and softball fields fencing, scoreboards and bleachers will be replaced along with new press boxes, batting cages and bullpens.

The tennis court restoration includes new court surfacing, newly constructed restroom facilities, as well as new equipment, sports lighting and fencing.

The existing parking area will be resurfaced and will include additional lighting and a barrier arm gate. Perimeter ornamental fencing will enclose the complex.

The Korte Company, founded in 1958, is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Highland, Illinois; Norman, Oklahoma; and, Las Vegas, Nevada. The company manages, on average, an excess of $200 million in annual construction volume.

The Korte Company’s project expertise includes building for federal, state and local government agencies as well as the design and construction of schools, healthcare facilities, medical office buildings, warehouse/distribution centers, religious facilities, commercial buildings, recreation centers and office complexes.

Missouri Court of Appeals Finds Single Tenant Finish Mechanics Liens Encumber Entire Mall

By John Young and Vince Keady of Stinson Leonard Street

On April 12, 2016, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District handed down an opinion Crafton Contracting Company, et al. v. Swenson Construction, Inc., that is of interest to owner/landlords, their lenders, tenants and their contractors and subcontractors, involved in tenant finish improvements on space in multi-tenant commercial properties.

Under this opinion, unpaid mechanics lien subcontractor claimants who performed tenant finish improvements in a shoe store in a regional shopping mall were able to establish and enforce mechanics liens against the entire mall property. The appellate court, reversing the trial court, concluded that lease terms that required tenant finish and the landlord’s approval of same, along with certain other terms, established the tenant as an agent of the owner/landlord for purposes of the Mechanics Lien Statute, §429.010, R.S.Mo. The court rejected the trial court’s finding that the improvements were not “substantial and permanent” when compared to the entirety of the mall property and further concluded that it was immaterial whether the owner/landlord actually benefitted on a long-term basis by the transaction work performed by the mechanics lien claimants.

This decision may impact the relationships and risks existing between and among owner/landlords, lenders, tenants and contractors and subcontractors, relating to any unpaid tenant finish work and mechanics liens encumbering a multi-tenant property.

For more information regarding the decision or to ask questions, please contact the attorneys listed below or the Stinson Leonard Street attorney with whom you regularly work.

John C. YoungJohn G. Young, Jr.



J. Vince KeadyVince Keady




HOK Designs Big Airport Infrastructure Project


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


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.

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