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Altman-Charter Completes Historic Renovation of former YMCA into Living Spaces

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

Artists, military veterans and other residents are moving into the newly renovated and restored historic building that was once known as the Tri-City YMCA in downtown Granite City, IL.

The 48,000-square-foot building, located at Edison Avenue and 20th Street, stood vacant for 14 years before nonprofit developer Rise Community Development and the City of Granite City solidified a plan and multiple sources of funding to redevelop the century-old structure into 37 affordable residential units.

Altman-Charter Co. was the general contractor, with Rosemann & Associates the architect. Total construction costs are approximately $8 million. Construction began in January 2020 and wrapped up in July 2021.

Travis Gocken, Altman-Charter project manager, said about 20 tenants have moved into the one- and two-bedroom units.

“We were able to refinish and restore many of the building’s original doors, its oak trim, much of the flooring and other significant elements of what had long been the Tri-City YMCA,” said Gocken. “A racquetball court – part of a later renovation done by the YMCA – is now a space that includes two-level loft units. The old boiler room off the back of the building will be reimagined as an artist’s space or gallery.”

An old fireplace and a reception desk are also original features of the 1924 building that project partners were able to retain and refurbish.

Four living units are located on the plaza level, some four feet below grade, with large windows that look out onto the Edison Avenue sidewalk. On the main level, former office space, meeting rooms and a dance studio are now home to residents with the original lobby still intact as a common area.

A total of 11 apartments exist on the structure’s main level, said Gocken, including five full-height loft units with 25-foot ceilings – each of which includes a mezzanine that occupies one-half of the living space.

“Each space has its own unique character,” Gocken said. “There is an artist-in-residence unit on the plaza level that the city hopes will attract visiting artists who stay for a time and commission pieces that may remain there at the property. The City of Granite City has been envisioning this transformational development for years. We’re proud to be part of the project team that brough it to fruition.”

Funding for the redevelopment included affordable housing tax credit equity and historic rehabilitation tax credit equity and community development block grant dollars from the federal government via Madison County Housing Authority and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

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IMPACT Strategies Announces Staff Promotions

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Frank Malone

Frank Malone – IMPACT Strategies has promoted Frank Malone from Superintendent to General Superintendent. In his new position, Malone will be responsible for safety, field personnel, project execution, quality control, and equipment. Malone has 20 plus years of experience in construction and field operations. In his five years at IMPACT Strategies, he has worked on a variety of local projects including Hofbräuhaus St. Louis – Belleville and Altair at the Heights in Richmond Heights, MO.

Jordan Grant

Jordan Grant – Jordan Grant was recently promoted from Project Engineer to Senior Project Engineer. Grant began his career with IMPACT Strategies in April 2017 as an intern while attending Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. After graduating with a degree in Construction Management, Grant was hired in May 2018 as a full-time Project Engineer with a focus on multi-family facility construction.

Travis Schwartz

Travis Schwartz – IMPACT Strategies promoted Travis Schwartz from Assistant Project Manager to Project Manager. In his new role, Schwartz will take on increased project management responsibilities for clients including St. Clair County Building Commission, US Capital Development, and Giant City Properties. Schwartz is a graduate of Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville with a degree in Construction Management and has been with IMPACT Strategies since 2017.

Scott Manning, Director of Construction Operations at IMPACT Strategies said, “Frank, Jordan, and Travis are exemplary members of the IMPACT Strategies team, and truly embody the firm’s core values. We look forward to great things from each of them as they serve our clients in their new roles.”

IMPACT Strategies provides client-focused construction management, design/build, and general contracting services. The firm offers a full continuum of innovative design/build service capabilities including proven construction management processes and site development. IMPACT Strategies serves a regional and national client base in the Healthcare, Senior Living, Multifamily, Office, Retail, and Warehouse/Distribution markets from its offices in Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio.

To learn more visit BuildwithIMPACT.com.

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Terracon Foundation Awards $5,000 Grant to Heart to Heart International for Haiti Earthquake Relief

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OLATHE, Kan. — The Terracon Foundation announced a $5,000 grant to Heart to Heart International (HHI) to provide emergency healthcare in the aftermath of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that occurred Aug. 14 in Haiti.

“Terracon is pleased to support Heart to Heart International in its efforts to provide urgently needed medical care to those impacted by the devastating earthquake,” said Gayle Packer, Terracon chair, president and CEO. “We value the opportunity to partner with this incredible organization serving the critical needs of the people of Haiti.”

“The support from the Terracon Foundation and other partners enables us to rapidly deploy experienced, dedicated medical teams to disaster-affected areas. Medical needs are vast following a disaster. We are so grateful to the supporters and partners who enable us to provide vital care so quickly,” said Kim Carroll,  CEO, Heart to Heart International.

Headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, Heart to Heart International is a global humanitarian organization focused on improving access to health. Since its inception in 1992, HHI has delivered medical aid and supplies worth $2.2 billion to more than 130 countries, including within the United States. HHI responds to natural disasters both domestically and internationally by supplying medical relief and mobilizing volunteers. The organization is a four-star Charity Navigator charity and is on the “Philanthropy 400.” To learn more, visit hearttoheart.org.

The Terracon Foundation strives to become a real part of the lives of Terracon employees and the communities we serve. To date, the Terracon Foundation has granted more than $3 million to community organizations, universities, dependents of employees, and for disaster relief efforts. For more information about the Terracon Foundation and other organizations it has supported, visit terracon.com/foundation.

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 5,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 150 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon ranks 24th on Engineering News-Record’s 2021 list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit terracon.com.

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AGC of Missouri, MoDOT Celebrate 65 Years of Interstates, Policy Org Releases Transport Report

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

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri, Missouri Dept. of Transportation and elected officials from St. Charles city and county celebrated the 65th anniversary of the genesis of America’s interstate highway system on Aug. 13.

Missouri was the first state to break ground on what would become a nationwide network of 46,876 paved miles of interstate routes, of which nearly 1,400 miles are in Missouri. During President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s term, the federal government let contracts to begin building. The stretch of Interstate 70 where last week’s celebration took place represents the first spot in the U.S. where shovels hit dirt to begin constructing the interstate system.

“Right here, the first shovel of dirt turned on the greatest economic engine in the U.S., our interstate system,” said Len Toenjes, president of the AGC of Missouri.

Tom Blair, MoDOT St. Louis District engineer, said the agency is ready to move forward on several Tier I projects awaiting funding through the proposed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal approved by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 10 and awaiting action in the House. The bill devotes $550 million in new spending for roads and bridges, broadband internet, public transit and electric utilities.

The prioritized (currently unfunded) projects are: I-70 at I-64, I-70 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, a segment of I-270 that is only two lanes in both directions and I-55 in Jefferson County.

“MoDOT stands ready to produce increased results as a result of this increased investment,” Blair said.

Also part of the Aug. 13 interstate anniversary celebration was Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, director of communications and research for TRIP, a DC-based nonprofit national transportation research group. The organization just released recommendations for the restoration and renewal of the interstate highway system. To see the full report, go to https://tripnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/TRIP_Missouri_Interstate_Report_August_2021.pdf

“As of May 2021, the level of interstate volume is 3 percent above 2019 levels,” said Kelly. “Missouri has the 9th highest volume in the nation in terms of interstate truck traffic. It’s critical that the U.S. provides long-term, sustainable and adequate transportation infrastructure funding. The long-term vision that helped establish our interstate highway system 65 years ago is needed again today.”

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Seismic Renovation of Robert A. Young Federal Building Wins National DBIA Project Award

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Design-build team led by McCarthy Building Companies completed all work while the 20-story historic structure was 100 percent occupied.

An innovative seismic renovation of the Robert A. Young Federal Building—one of downtown St. Louis’ largest office buildings—has earned national recognition from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). 

Honored as an Award of Merit winner in the Rehabilitation, Renovation and/or Restoration category of the 2021 DBIA Project Awards, the project is now eligible for the DBIA National Award of Excellence, to be presented November 2 at the 2021 DBIA Conference & Expo in Denver.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which owns and manages the 20-story, 1-million-sq.-ft. building, undertook the $75 million design-build project to provide additional shelter-in-place opportunities and safer exiting for the office’s 3,000 occupants in the event of an earthquake. Originally constructed in the early 1930s, the Art Deco brick and terracotta building faces potential seismic hazards because of its location within the New Madrid fault zone.

The project involved seismic bracing of non-structural components such as ceilings; partitions; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems. The design-build team’s innovative solution combined viscous dampers, steel braces and steel sheer walls, enabling all work to be completed while the building was 100 percent occupied by employees from 38 separate government agencies. It represented the first use of seismic dampers in a St. Louis building retrofit and the GSA’s first time using this alternative approach to more traditional seismic renovation methods. This novel approach eliminated the need for 90 percent of the concrete shear walls traditionally required, streamlining the project schedule.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. led the design-build team that also included Gensler (lead designer and architect of record), Etegra (associate architect), Thornton Tomasetti (structural engineer) and Mazzetti (MEP engineer). Other project team members included Geotechnology Inc., Castle Contracting, Integrated Facility Services, Aschinger Electric, Wilson’s Structural Steel, Taylor Devices Inc., Acme Constructors, TJ Wies Contracting, Joseph Ward Painting Co., SFS Architecture and Walter P Moore.

View all 2021 DBIA Project Award winners.

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. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 9th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2020). With approximately 5,000 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

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Responsibilities on a Multi-Employer Job Site

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Submitted by Schmersahl Treloar & Co.

Let’s say you’re an electrical contractor. One of your employees bumps into an unoccupied scaffold on a construction site and destabilizes it. Which actions should you take to ensure the safety of workers and avoid liability?

An Example from OSHA: “Employer M” hoists materials onto Floor 8, damaging perimeter guardrails. No worker on the site is exposed to the hazard. Although it lacks authority to fix the guardrails, Employer M takes effective steps to keep all workers, including those of other companies, away from the unprotected edge and informs the controlling employer of the problem.

Analysis: Employer M is a creating employer because it caused a hazardous condition by damaging the guardrails. While it lacked the power to fix the damage, it took immediate steps to keep all employees away from the hazard and notified the controlling employer. Employer M is not citable since it took effective measures to prevent employee exposure to the fall hazard.

A. Move everyone out of the way when painters get on the scaffold.
B. Fix the scaffold.
C. Warn everyone who is at risk.
D. Report the incident to the general contractor.

If you answered C and D, you’re correct. Responsibility and liability on a job site with several employers depends on each employer’s role in the project.

In 1999, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enacted a multi-employer worksite doctrine that bases safety responsibility on the role various employers play on a construction project. In general, employers can be held responsible for workers other than their own and more than one employer can be cited for the same violation.

OSHA identifies four types of employers who are potentially citable for hazardous conditions that violate federal standards:

1. The Exposing Employer is one whose own employees are exposed to a hazard. These employers must exercise “reasonable care” to correct hazards if they have the authority to fix them. OSHA requires frequent and careful inspection to prevent hazards and to promptly remedy them. What if you don’t have the authority to correct a potentially dangerous situation? You must take all feasible measures to minimize employees’ exposure and ask another employer to correct the hazard. If there is imminent danger, the exposing employer must remove its employees from the job.

2. The Creating Employer is the one who caused the hazard. In this case, you must keep all employees — not just your own — away from the hazard and notify the employer who controls the work site. If you have the authority to correct the hazard, you must do so promptly.

3. The Correcting Employer is the one responsible for fixing a hazard. This may be any employer on the site who is authorized to correct the problem. For example, as electrical contractor, you wouldn’t be authorized to fix the scaffold in the incident described above, but you would be authorized to correct an electrical hazard.

4. The Controlling Employer or Manager has authority to manage all the other (exposing, creating and correcting) employers. This employer is citable for failing to prevent, discover or correct a hazard. In the absence of a contractually defined role, the controlling employer is the one exercising supervisory authority over the worksite.

To limit exposure, here are some common-sense rules to follow.

Before anyone picks up a tool, make sure contract terms define the worksite responsibilities of the facility owner, contractors and subcontractors. Identify the creating, exposing, correcting and controlling employers.

Make certain that actions on the worksite conform to the terms. Renegotiate contract terms before doing work outside the scope of the contract.

Pre-qualify subcontractors and screen leased and borrowed employees. Make sure they’re adequately trained and outfitted with personal protective equipment.

Remove your employees from areas potentially hazardous to health or safety.

Document your requests when reporting hazards to the controlling employer and asking for corrective action.
Stop work in the event of imminent danger.

Instruct supervisors not to take control of other employers’ people or work. Behaviors that imply control can increase your liability.

During an OSHA inspection, do not waive your rights or admit legal liability.

(Click here for more information from OSHA about employers’ responsibilities.

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U.S. Construction Adds 11,000 Jobs in July, Nonresidential Still Far Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

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

Construction employment – both nonresidential and residential – totaled 7.42 million as of July 31, an increase of 1.5 percent over June, but the lion’s share of that gain came from hiring in the residential sector.

AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson said soaring materials costs, long or uncertain delivery times and hesitancy by nonresidential project owners to commit to construction are the factors contributing to a still-stalled pace of commercial construction across the U.S.

The numbers hail from an August 6 government data analysis by the AGC.

“Recovery has been especially slow in infrastructure construction,” Simonson said.

Construction employment in July represented a gain of 11,000 jobs following three months of job losses, according to Simonson, however the rebound was limited to residential and specialty trade contractors. Nonresidential building and infrastructure construction firms continued to lose workers.

Residential building contractors including single-family homebuilders added 8,399 employees in July, while employment was unchanged among residential specialty trade contractors. Simonson said the two residential segments have added a total of 58,500 employees, or 2.0 percent, to their workforce nationwide since February 2020.

In contrast, nonresidential building contractors shed 2,500 employees in July. Employment declined by 2,100 among heavy and civil engineering construction firms, the segment most connected with building and rehabbing infrastructure. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 7,500 employees last month.

Following the huge loss of jobs between February and April 2020 at the start of the pandemic, infrastructure-centric contractors have added back only 37 percent of lost jobs. According to the AGC analysis, nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors have each regained about 60 percent of lost workers, while the total nonfarm payroll economy has recouped 75 percent of workers.

“There are an unprecedented number of construction material price increases,” said Simonson. “The problems of these extreme price increases and long lead times for production or delivery to project sites mean fewer construction workers are being employed. Some owners are delaying project starts, adding to the drag on industry employment.”

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Four Factors Affecting Your Profits

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Tips to Adopt for Successful Resource Management

Webinar to take place on July 15, 2021 at 1:00pm CST

As the business world moves towards more agile project management, contractors need the proper insight to focus on the impact of their biggest resources— people and equipment This webinar will dive into four key tactics every contractor should be adapting to maximize profits and have a holistic view of every project at any given moment in terms of their asset and equipment management. Including the following topics:

  • Keys to adjust assumptions and view the impact to equipment rental rates
  • Ways to view your backlog of potential jobs and how to properly forecast usage hours
  • Reviewing idle time with detailed analysis on labor performance
  • Tracking inventory and materials available for current and prospective jobs
  • Leveraging a centralized system for overarching views into scheduling, time-keeping and estimating data

This webinar will be hosted by Chris Porter, Construction Solutions Manager at Prophix. As the leader of the Construction team, Chris is responsible for ensuring that Construction organizations understand how Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software will help to better manage their projects to gain a deeper understanding of their data and make better business decisions. In Chris’ 10 years with Prophix he has consistently taken on greater responsibilities in a variety of roles including; Consulting, Sales and Channel Partners. Chris is passionate about helping people improve the pace of their business through the power of automation.

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PPI Jumps 24% in 12 Months, Preventing Contractors from Passing Along Cost Increases

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

Increases in prices for wood, metals, plastics and gypsum continue to narrow the margin between what contractors pay to acquire raw materials and what they’re able to charge the project owner.

Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said the construction industry Producer Price Index – which measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output – has climbed 24.3 percent over the past 12 months, increasing 4.3 percent in May 2021 alone. The 12-month climb, he says, is nearly double that of any previous year in history.

“This increase far outstrips contractors’ ability to charge more for projects,” said Simonson. “This gap means contractors are being hit with huge costs that they did not anticipate and cannot pass on.”

Meanwhile, the PPI for new nonresidential construction – a measure of what contractors say they’d charge to build five types of commercial structures – increased only 2.8 percent over the past 12 months. AGC’s recent analysis included narrative from contractors across the nation who said they’d held their profit expectations down to compete for a limited number of new projects.

According to the AGC, the PPI for lumber and plywood more than doubled, increasing 111 percent from May 2020 to May 2021. The index for steel mill products increased 75.6 percent over the same period. The copper and brass mill shapes PPI rose 60.4 percent since May 2020, and the aluminum PPI rose 28.6 percent. The PPI for plastic construction products increased 17.5 percent, while the index for gypsum products such as wallboard climbed 14.1 percent.

Fuel costs, Simonson says, along with surcharges on freight deliveries, have also jumped.

AGC officials including CEO Stephen Sandherr, are urging the Biden administration to end tariffs and quotas on steel, aluminum and lumber as the first step toward easing pressure on construction costs and supply chain bottlenecks.

“Ending tariffs on Canadian lumber, along with tariffs and quotas on steel and aluminum from numerous allied countries, is good policy,” Sandherr said.

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Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program Promotes Economic Development in Southern Illinois Through Donations to 3 Organizations

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Jefferson County Development Corporation

Formed in 2008, JCDC exists to lead, coordinate, develop and implement strategies to enhance economic development through business retention, expansion, attraction and create a climate for economic growth.  This teamwork drives the community forward with a collaborative spirit, the sharing of ideas and shouldering of initiatives that turn concepts into successful projects.

Regional Economic Development Corporation

REDCO is organized exclusively for the purpose of improving general business conditions in Williamson County:  assist in projects, undertakings, studies, and other activities in cooperation and in coordination with local governmental and civic bodies for industrial development; promote industrial development and expansion of industrial, professional, and civic enterprises; and secure cooperation of as many social and economic interests with Southern Illinois as possible.

Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission

Greater Egypt has been serving southern Illinois communities, citizens, businesses, and local governments since 1961 within the five counties of Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, and Williamson.  Greater Egypt provides economic development planning and assistance, water quality management planning, local government services, technical assistance and provides administrative services for local, state, and federal programs such as Economic Development Administration grants, Delta Regional Authority grants, Community Development Block Grant, Enterprise Zone, and the Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization.

For Further Information:  Donna Richter – Southern Illinois Builders Assn. – (618) 624-9055

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