Western Specialty Contractors – Dallas, TX Branch Earns ICRI Award of Excellence for Historic McKinney Silos Restoration Project

Western Specialty Contractors – Dallas, TX Branch proudly announces it has received a 2023 International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) Award of Excellence in the Special Projects Category for its repair/restoration of historic silos in McKinney, TX that would become the canvas for internationally-acclaimed Australian artist Guido van Helten’s U.S. silo series, “Monuments”. McKinney’s silo mural features painted images of local business owners, gatherings and neighbors that honor the city’s culture and past. Van Helten’s public art installations can also be seen in Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas and Arkansas.

Western’s branch representatives received the award on Oct. 17 during the ICRI 2023 Fall Convention in St. Pete Beach, FL. Additionally, Western’s Charlotte, NC Branch was also honored at the ceremony with an Award of Merit in the Special Projects Category for its tower modernization work at Bon Secours St. Francis Downtown Hospital in Greenville, SC.

ICRI conducts an awards program each year to honor and recognize outstanding projects in the concrete repair industry. Entries are received from around the world, and the winning projects are honored each year at the annual ICRI Awards Banquet at each ICRI Fall Convention.

“This was such as large scale and important restoration project, not only for the artist, but for the entire City of McKinney,” said Western Branch Manager Austin DeJohn. “We knew going into this project that these silos were not only a part of the town’s history, but they would also become the canvas for an unbelievable mural that would attract visitors from around the country. Our work would not only need to stand the test of time to preserve this historic structure, but it would also need to be restored in a way that the mural’s integrity would be protected as well. It was truly an amazing project and we were happy to have been a part of it and we thank the ICRI for recognizing our efforts.”

The McKinney project consisted of eight interconnected silos constructed circa 1927 as part of the Collin County Mill & Elevator Company. The mill closed in the 1970’s and the silos sat vacant for decades. The structures were contributing elements to the mill which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. As part of on-going redevelopment of McKinney’s historic downtown, city officials desired to restore the silos to serve as a landmark and backdrop to their adjacent, new municipal complex.

Each silo is approximately 20-feet in diameter, 80-feet high and made of cast-in-place, 7-inch thick conventionally reinforced concrete walls and concrete roof slabs covered with built-up asphalt material.

The silos also featured a two-story, rectangular concrete structure, called a “doghouse”, that extended above the top of the two easternmost silos and was connected to a steel-frame structure with sheet metal siding and a roof that was centered over the remaining six silos.

Numerous cracks, delaminations and spalls were observed in the silos’ exterior walls mainly caused by insufficient concrete cover over horizontal steel straps used for reinforcement. The cantilevered edges of the silo roofs were observed to be in poor condition, with numerous areas of spalled concrete and exposed, corroded reinforcing steel. The exterior concrete walls of the doghouse were observed to be in very poor condition with extensive areas of spalled concrete and exposed, corroded reinforcing steel. The existing steel windows in the exterior walls were severely corroded and there were many visible signs of freeze thaw damage to the 6-8-inch-thick concrete walls. A steel frame had previously been installed to brace the deteriorating concrete walls and frame.

Based on the observations, testing and intended future use of the silos by the City of McKinney, Western was contracted to perform the following scope of work which started in February 2022 and was completed within eight months:

  • Crack Repairs: To mitigate moisture intrusion into the concrete, cracks in the exterior concrete walls greater than 1/32-inch in width where the concrete was not delaminated were routed and sealed using a flexible polyurethane sealant. Approximately 100-feet of crack repairs were implemented.
  • Concrete Delamination: Spalled and delaminated areas of concrete on the exterior concrete walls were removed, exposed steel straps were cleaned and coated with a zinc-rich, epoxy-based corrosion inhibitor. Close attention was paid, ensuring conformance with ICRI Guidelines regarding surface preparation and repair geometry. The silo walls were repaired using pre-packaged polymer-modified cementitious repair mortar with integral corrosion inhibitor. Approximately 380-cubic feet of partial depth concrete repairs were implemented.
  • Roof Slab: The roof slab roofing membrane was found to contain asbestos and areas along the outer edges had to be abated to expose the concrete roof slabs for full assessment. Deteriorated areas of concrete slab forming the overhang were removed along with areas of deteriorated concrete on the silo walls immediately below the roof slab. Supplemental reinforcing steel was placed, anchored into the remaining roof slab with adhesive, and coated with a zinc-rich, epoxy-based corrosion inhibitor. The overhang and areas of wall repair were then formed and repaired with pump and placed concrete. The remaining sections of the asbestos-containing roof membrane were encapsulated with a liquid-applied, two-component epoxy primer/sealer.
  • Roofing: Upon completion of the reconstruction of the roof overhangs, a liquid-applied, polyurethane roof membrane was installed to protect the concrete roof slabs from moisture penetration. This product encapsulated the remainder of the asbestos containing roof membrane, thus minimizing the need for hazardous material abatement.
  • Roof Top Doghouse: Demolition of the doghouse had to be completed before the old machinery that was in the doghouse could be cut up and removed. Once the roof was cleared, the floor openings from the doghouse were covered with steel plates and a new roof access hatch was installed. Approximately 12-inches of the north and south concrete walls were left in place next to the steel beams which were located over the silo divider walls for the doghouse structure. These were retained and covered with roofing for future reconstruction of the doghouse. The opened east end of the roof top metal shed was infilled with metal wall panels completing the work on the silo roof.
  • Cleaning: When repairs were completed the walls were power washed to remove dirt and biological material and PVC downspouts were installed so the artist could start work on the mural at the north and west elevations.

Supply issues and the unforeseen difficulties encountered during the demolition of the doghouse structure compressed the construction schedule. The main objective was to complete the north and west elevations first so as not to delay the artist from starting. Once the north and west face of the silos were completed, work continued on the roof and the rest of the silos while the artist was installing the mural. The mural was started in June 2022 and completed in August.

Joseph D. Palumbo and Branden S. Stein Promoted to Partner at Carmody MacDonald P.C.

Joseph D. Palumbo

Palumbo is in the firm’s business/transactional practice group and focuses on banking and finance, real estate, and corporate law. Joe works closely with lenders of all sizes and assists them with a variety of financing matters. He also has experience counseling corporate clients on a variety of business matters as well as working with developers and managing real estate matters. He earned his law degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2013 and joined Carmody MacDonald in 2019.

Brandon Stein

Stein is in the firm’s litigation practice group and focuses on commercial litigation and complex civil litigation. He assists clients with commercial and contract disputes and has also expanded his practice into receivership matters. He earned his law degree from Northwestern University in Chicago in 2014 and joined Carmody MacDonald in 2021.

“Joe and Branden are valuable assets to their clients and to the firm as a whole,” said Dave Stoeberl, a managing partner at Carmody MacDonald.  “They are dedicated to client success and skilled in handling the most challenging of legal situations.”

Carmody MacDonald is a St. Louis-based law firm with 59 attorneys focused on establishing close relationships with clients, serving as valued counselors, and providing exceptional service. The firm is committed to providing all clients with the highest quality of legal services, whether they are small businesses, large corporations, individuals, or families.

Sustainability Campus Celebrates Grand Opening in Maryland Heights

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Waste Connections of Missouri has completed its new Sustainability Campus in the City of Maryland Heights. The community building’s aim is to educate students and the public about waste management. 

The 4,000-square-foot campus near Pattonville High School offers a campus with office and educational space and was a collaborative design-assist project with St. Louis-based architecture and engineering firm Vestal Corporation leading the design.  General Contractor Helmkamp Construction performed preconstruction and construction services.

Helmkamp Senior Project Manager Ryan Clay said the building is unique with exposed beams and a full-glass front. The site’s goal is to educate visitors about greenhouses and the landfill process. 

Waste Connections has a demonstrated track record of progress towards environmental sustainability goals such as Beyond Net Zero, increasing recycling resources recovered by at least 50 percent and biogas recovery by at least 40 percent reduction in emissions and overall carbon footprint.

The project has earned the City of Maryland Heights a 2023 Innovation Award from the Missouri Municipal League. The Innovation Award program showcases municipal projects that have been successfully implemented and demonstrate new approaches for solving municipal challenges. The acknowledgment serves as a model for other communities.

Connecting ESG Goals with LEED: Process, Benefits & Resources

Missouri Gateway Green Building Council October 10 Program

For more than 25 years, the green building community has shared a vision for market transformation: defining and recognizing places that benefit people and the environment. The result is thousands of certified green building projects that are more efficient, less polluting, and healthier for occupants. Over the last decade, our industry has seen the emergence of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting and sustainable finance as new tools for market transformation.

Green building programs like LEED have proven to be an important element in the world of ESG reporting and sustainable finance. Alongside LEED, we see companies using the Arc performance platform to collect data, manage and benchmark progress, measure impact and improve performance to work toward their ESG goals. This program will frame the building and operational LEED standards as pivotal to corporate sustainability strategies and achieving ESG goals. We will hear how companies from various sectors are approaching ESG strategy through a robust panel discussion of ESG reporting masters.

Missouri Gateway Green Building Council is presenting this program in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and the St. Louis Green Business Challenge.

When: Tuesday, October 10, 2023 @ 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Where: IBEW Local 1, 5850 Elizabeth Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110

Admission: Free for Missouri Gateway Green Building Council members, St. Louis Green Business Challenge participants, USGBC members and students. $25.00 for non-members

Continuing Education: To be submitted for 1 AIA Learning Unit. Eligible for self-reporting for 1 GBCI CE.

See learning objectives here.

Click here to register!

Metal Deck Now Available in Stock In Orlando Florida

Largest Metal Deck Distributor increases its network to 15 locations

A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply, the nation’s largest metal deck distributor, announces the Grand Opening of its newest location in Orlando FL.  This opening increases its network to 15 distribution centers to better serve the construction industry.

“This location will help us serve our customers in the entire state of Florida,” said Carm Termini, Marketing Director of A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply. “When a customer has a short lead time or a roofing contractor runs into rusted deck while replacing a leaking roof, they need metal deck right now and we have it in stock for immediate use.”

A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply has over 53 years of experience in the industry and a complete inventory of metal roof deck, form deck and composite floor decks in stock now at 15 locations including: Albany, NY; Atlanta, GA; Aurora, IL; Columbus, OH, Fort Worth, TX; Greensboro, NC; Hagerstown, MD; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Knoxville, TN; Orlando, FL; San Antonio, TX; and St. Louis, MO.

A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply is a full-service metal deck distributor with 15 locations in 11 states serving the U.S. and abroad. Metal roof deck, form deck and composite floor decks are available in all types, gauges and finishes for immediate use as well as any size order produced for any project requirements and schedule. They also provide specialty products including stainless steel, acoustic, cellular, and deep decks. A.C.T. was a metal deck subcontractor for 37 years and now uses that expertise to provide project management services including construction drawings, takeoffs, cut lists and delivery anywhere in the country.

Lawrence Group Announces 2023 Staff Promotions

St. Louis-based planning and design firm Lawrence Group proudly announces the following 2023 employee promotions:


Brent Fastbinder

Brent Fasbinder, RA – Fasbinder joined Lawrence Group in 1993. He is a project manager for Lawrence Group’s healthcare studio and is currently working on the firm’s Health First Merritt Island Wellness Village project in Florida.

Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn, RA, NCARB – Flynn is an architect in Lawrence Group’s education studio. With more than 15 years of experience with the firm, Flynn contributes a diverse skill set to the firm’s work on higher education campuses through his experience with multiple projects at Southeast Missouri State University.


Katie Alderson, NCIDQ – Alderson joined Lawrence Group in 2013 and has 13 years of experience as an interior designer. At Lawrence Group, Alderson specializes in multi-family and senior living projects.

Dan DeWeese, NCARB, LEED® Green Associate – DeWeese is a key member of Lawrence Group’s healthcare practice. His responsibilities include leading projects from concept planning to construction execution and integrating cohesive teams for design and construction. He is passionate about health and wellness design as well as living a healthy, active lifestyle outside of the workplace.

Cole Hoffarth, AIA, NCARB – Hoffarth brings more than 10 years of design and project management experience in adaptive reuse and renovation projects for Lawrence Group’s education, municipal and senior living clients.

Michael Lombardo – Lombardo joined Lawrence Group in 2015 as a design professional. In his eight years at Lawrence Group, his work has included managing projects for national brands such as H&R Block, Edward Jones and Bach to Rock.

Kelly Paige, NCIDQ, WELL AP, LEED GA, Fitwel Ambassador – Paige joined Lawrence Group in 2013 as an interior designer. Her experience includes a variety of markets such as workplace, retail, and healthcare. Focusing on workplace design, she has provided designs for corporate office projects including office renovations, additions, and national rollouts for several brands including H&R Block, Scottrade and Panera Bread.

Dana Peck, NCIDQ – Peck has more than ten years of interior design experience including corporate, hospitality, multifamily, senior living and education projects. Recently, Peck helped design restaurant concepts as a part of Union Station’s repositioning for the Soda Fountain, Train Shed and 1894 Cafe.


Morgan Bargetzi – Bargetzi joined Lawrence Group in 2018 as a designer. Her experience includes working with national commercial retail clients such as Edward Jones, H&R Block, Ace Cash Express and

Independent Pet Partners.

Kalia Choi – Choi joined Lawrence Group in 2018 as a design professional, expanding her knowledge of interior architecture as related to experiential design. A member of Lawrence Group’s New York office, Choi has been instrumental in national rollouts for brands including Tend, Blue Bottle and Adore Me.

Larissa Hudson, LEED Green Associate – Hudson joined Lawrence Group in 2021 and brings experience across several markets including retail, healthcare, multifamily housing, recreation and hospitality.

Harrison Naff – Naff joined Lawrence Group in 2021 with more than five years of design experience in markets such as retail, education, athletic facilities, entertainment, banking/finance and residential. At Lawrence Group, Naff is a member of the Panera Bread project team.

Nicole Schlote – Schlote is an interior design professional who joined Lawrence Group in 2018. Since joining the firm, Nicole has helped design multiple America’s Best Contacts locations across the country.


James Strupp – Strupp has been with Lawrence Group for ten years, joining in 2013 after working 25 years with Anheuser-Busch. Strupp brings experience in auditing, billing and financial/operational accounting. In his new role, he is responsible for project accounting setup and invoicing for Lawrence Group, working daily with the firm’s project managers.      

Founded in 1983, Lawrence Group is an integrated planning and design firm headquartered in St. Louis, MO with professional staff in Texas, Florida and New York. Using the power of people with great ideas to bring their clients’ dreams to life, Lawrence Group specializes in architecture, interior design, master planning, landscape architecture and furniture procurement. Lawrence Groups’ talented team of professionals work nationally and locally in healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, housing, senior living and workplace with the common goal of providing legendary customer service.

Kwame Building Group Adds Three Team Members

Kwame Building Group (KWAME) has added three new team members: Junior Theolus as Project Administrator and Diversity Monitor, Patrick Jeep as Project Controls Scheduler and Chris Draper as Project Engineer and Construction Manager.

In his role as Project Administrator and Diversity Monitor, Theolus’ responsibilities include tracking contract changes, submittals and RFIs, creating presentations, managing, and maintaining project document control systems and processing invoices for several projects such as the St. Louis Convention Center and St. Louis Community College. In addition, Theolus is responsible for monitoring, tracking, and reporting the active involvement of Minority, Women, and/or Emerging Small Business (MWESB) firms to ensure project compliance for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. Theolus holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Supply Chain Management & International Business from University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Draper brings more than seven years of experience in commercial construction. He is currently working on renovation projects for McDonald’s and Harris Stowe State University. Draper holds a Master of Science in Construction Management from NewSchool of Architecture & Design and Bachelor of Graphic Communications from the University of Missouri St. Louis. He has numerous industry certifications including OSHA 10, First Aid CPR AED and A D Lift Truck Forklift, Scaffold and Highway Construction.

As Project Controls Scheduler, Jeep is responsible for overseeing scheduling and coordination on various projects, ensuring efficient resource and manpower allocation and timely completion. He develops and maintains accurate project schedules, tracks progress and mitigates potential issues to ensure successful project delivery. Jeep brings valuable industry experience as a construction field technician. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a focus in Construction Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology and is a certified Engineer in Training (EIT). He has numerous industry certifications including OSHA 10, American Concrete Institute (ACI) Testing and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Aggregate Technician.

Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) is one of the nation’s top pure construction management firms, dedicating 100 percent of its resources to project management services. Celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2021, the employee-owned company provides estimating, scheduling, project planning, value engineering and other project management services as an independent advocate for owners and developers. KWAME’s public and private sector projects include educational facilities, major airports nationwide, light-rail systems, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities and government facilities. KWAME is headquartered in St. Louis with division offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle. For more information visit www.kwamebuildinggroup.com or call (314) 862-5344.

Photo Above: L to R – Junior Theolus, Chris Draper, Patrick Jeep

Photos courtesy of F. D. Finch Photography

Contractors Decry Amended Davis-Bacon Rule



The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s final rule, issued August 8th, revamps its Davis-Bacon Act procedures for determining prevailing wage levels – in favor of workers – on federally funded construction projects.

Expected to go into effect in approximately 60 days, the rule is being hailed by construction unions yet criticized by contractors and their associations. The revised rule reverts to pre-1983 methodology for determining whether a wage rate is prevailing, also referred to as the “30 percent rule.” Under the 30 percent rule, contractors must use the wage rate paid to a majority of the workers; if no such majority rate exists, they must use the wage paid to the largest number of workers on the job, as long as it was paid to at least 30 percent of that workforce.

The wage rule solidifies as $1.2 trillion in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding is propelling the start of a deluge of federal construction projects as well as projects that are stemming from the Chips and Science and Inflation Reduction Acts.

AGC of America CEO Stephen Sandherr says the more than 800-page ruling lowers the threshold of reporting required from the Dept. of Labor.

“This final rule appears to make it easier on the Dept. of Labor itself to set prevailing wages with less of the data it already collects, or lack thereof,” says Sandherr.

The Associated Builders and Contractors says this regulatory notice will annually affect an estimated $217 billion in federal and federally assisted construction spending for about 1.2 million construction workers.

“Unfortunately, the DOL’s final rule disregards the feedback of ABC contractors, construction industry stakeholders and thousands of small businesses urging the withdrawal of this unnecessary, costly and burdensome regulation,” says ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “Instead, the DOL is moving forward with dramatic changes to prevailing wage regulations, reversing much-needed reforms that were established nearly 40 years ago, and unlawfully increasing the regulatory burden on small businesses, new industries and public works projects.”

For more information about the ruling, see www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/government-contracts/construction/rulemaking-davis-bacon.

Oculus Inc. Adds Claire Strube to Marketing Team

Strube brings ten years of experience to Oculus Inc.

Oculus Inc., an award-winning, WBE-certified architecture and interior design firm, has added Claire Strube to the Marketing Team as a Proposal Coordinator. Strube is based at the St. Louis Headquarters and will assist in the firm’s marketing efforts across the country.

“Claire is an excellent addition to the team and her previous experience in the architecture industry will be a big support to Oculus moving forward,” said Lisa Bell-Reim, Oculus Inc. president.

In her new role, Strube is instrumental in crafting submittals and proposals in all Oculus’ major markets, including government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, and workplace. Strube is also involved in coordinating marketing efforts across various markets, including client pursuits, branding, social media, and collaborating with the public relations team to continue to promote Oculus.

Strube brings extensive marketing experience to the team at Oculus Inc. Prior to joining Oculus Inc., Strube was a Proposal Specialist for an Architecture Firm in St. Louis. Strube is a graduate of Webster University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Marketing Communications.

Oculus Inc. is headquartered in St. Louis with branch offices in Dallas, Portland, Ore., Orlando, Fla., Hampton, Va., and Mesa, Ariz.

Oculus Inc. delivers comprehensive architecture, interior design, planning and move management services with a driving aesthetic to Connect | Shape | Move people, experiences, sensibilities and spaces. Oculus creates high-performance design that supports change and promotes value for clients in the commercial, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, restaurant and workplace industries. Oculus has offices in St. Louis, Dallas, Portland, Ore., Orlando, Fla., Hampton, Va., and Mesa, Ariz., is WBE-certified and is regularly cited in top industry rankings for architecture and design. Oculusinc.com.

McCarthy Prepares to Complete Final Transition to Helmets for All Employees and Trade Partners

McCarthy Holdings, Inc., one of the nation’s largest 100 percent employee-owned construction companies and the nation’s safest commercial builders, is preparing to complete the transition from standard hard hats to helmets for all trade partners on the firm’s construction sites. This comes as an extension to McCarthy’s 2022 transition to helmets for its more than 6,000 salaried and craft employees. This proactive decision is expected to significantly reduce the impact and lessen the frequency of future injuries and accidents.

On July 1, 2023, McCarthy will begin requiring all trade partners to wear helmets.

Traumatic brain injuries are responsible for 25 percent of all construction fatalities, and account for many life-altering injuries. Safety helmets offer superior head protection for construction workers, providing protection from not only a direct impact to the head, but also a glancing blow to the front, back, and sides of the head. In addition, safety helmets feature an integral chinstrap to secure the head protection in the event of impact, a fall, or while leaning over or looking up. Because of this, helmets have been proven to help prevent or significantly reduce the severity of a potential injury.

“This change to helmets is one that many in the construction industry are only beginning to adopt,” said McCarthy vice president, national safety, Pat Devero. “We want to provide everyone working on our jobsites with the highest level of protection for the most important part of their body.”

In a recent survey of McCarthy craft professionals, the firm’s commitment and approach to safety was consistently identified as one of the top reasons why craft prefer to work on a McCarthy project. Throughout this transition, McCarthy gathered feedback from these craft professionals to help determine the models and types of helmets to be provided.

“It’s critical to our success that the end user of our personal protective equipment is engaged in the considerations and decisions regarding that equipment,” Devero said. “We fully understand that safety is the most important thing we do every day. That commitment never changes.”

About McCarthy

McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with nearly 160 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. McCarthy Holdings, Inc. is comprised of McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and Castle Contracting, LLC. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work, McCarthy is ranked the 19th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2022). Because of its commitment to safety, McCarthy received the 2022 Procore Excellence in Safety award. With approximately 6,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Austin, Channelview, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and San Diego, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned.  

1 2 3 14