Local Construction Contractors and Unions Voluntarily Restore Deteriorating Park in Berkeley

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Berkeley, MO, June 16, 2021 – Short Park in Berkeley has received more than $50,000 in renovation work and new facilities thanks to the SITE Improvement Association.  Over the past 18 months, dozens of SITE Improvement Association members and labor union counterparts came together to donate money, time, labor, and resources to improve Short Park, which had fallen into disrepair to the point where the community was deprived of a quality park for outdoor recreation and play.  On June 3, SITE and the city of Berkeley held a Grand Reopening of the park for the community featuring entertainment, food and athletic ball giveaways.

The project was the idea of the Young Executives of SITE (Y.E.S.), a group of emerging leaders whose ages range from 21-40. Past-Chairman of the group, Chris West, Vice President of NB West Contracting, Co., said conversations between Mr. West and Missouri State Senator Brian Williams (D-University City) led the group to the area around Berkeley. 

“One day I drove by Short Park to find 6-8 kids literally playing in the street, adjacent to the Park,” said West.  “Our group’s intention was to not only give back to the Community, but to expose and inspire those young kids to pursue a career in Construction.  If we can give young kids a fun place to play, and show them that construction is a fun career, then we hopefully are inspiring our next generation of the workforce and construction company owners. 

SITE members excavated a parcel of the property in Berkeley and installed over $50,000 in new playground equipment and a new picnic Pavilion.  New concrete sidewalks were installed, a new soccer/football goal was put in place and an existing basketball court was resurfaced and enhanced with new hoops. Private donations from St. Louis area contractors and suppliers and local labor groups Missouri/Kansas Laborers District Council, Cement Masons Local 527 and Operating Engineers Local 513 were collected in 2019 to make this project a reality.

“The Berkeley Council appreciates the time and resources in renovating Short Park,” said Babalunde Deinbo, Mayor of Berkeley.  “SITE Improvement Association has made the park an improved recreational asset for our residents. Thank you.”

“Part of SITE’s mission is to make the St. Louis Metro area a better place to build, a better place to work, and a better place to live. We are celebrating our mission by officially re-opening Short Park.” said Jeremy Bennett, Executive Director of SITE. “Because of the efforts of SITE Members, labor union counterparts, the City of Berkeley, local elected officials and other community leaders, this park went from a barren parcel to a place that children and families can enjoy now and into the future. A career in construction can pay off and it shows through this beautiful restoration of Short Park.”

SITE Improvement Association is a local trade association representing over 220 construction contractor owners and suppliers in the St. Louis Metro region.  SITE Contractors primarily perform land development work including road and bridge, sewer and utility, excavation, landscaping, and specialty construction. Additional information can be found at https://sitestl.org/news/short-park/ or by contacting Jeremy Bennett at (314) 966-2950 or jeremy@sitestl.org.

Photo Above:  The ribbon cutting at the Short Park Grand Reopening Event on June 3, 2021 included several Berkeley residents joined by Jeremy Bennett, Executive Director of SITE, Chris West of NB West Contracting Co., Berkeley Councilwoman Brenda Williams, Berkeley Councilwoman Willie Mae Anthony, State Senator Brian Williams, St. Louis County Council Chairwoman Rita Heard Days and Missouri Kansas Laborers District Council Business Manager Brandon Flinn.

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