St. Louis

Poettker Construction Takes On Seven Gables Project in St. Louis


Poettker’s hospitality expertise to be showcased in renovation project 

Poettker Construction, a second-generation family-owned professional construction company, has been awarded the historic Seven Gables Inn renovation project. As the Seven Gables Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the $3.5 million project requires Poettker’s historic renovation expertise. The expected completion date is summer 2019.

“The entire Poettker team is excited to be part of this great project for a client dedicated to enhancing communities in St. Louis,” said Keith Poettker, president of Poettker Construction. “We pride ourselves on our historic renovation capabilities along with our detailed project management skills. This project allows us to showcase our team’s great work in these areas.”

Poettker Construction’s hospitality experts were engaged by Restoration St. Louis for overall interior restoration updates and accessibility layout adjustments. The restoration updates will include historic window replacement and interior finish upgrades. The accessibility portion of the project will consist of constructing a bridge between the 2nd and 3rd floor guest wings, adding an elevator, removing extra unused staircases and adding more hallways for better guestroom access.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Poettker Construction for this renovation,” said Amrit Gill, president of Restoration St. Louis. “Poettker’s reputation, particularly in hospitality and historic renovation is second to none, and we’re anxious to see how it will turn out.”

Checkmate Design, LLC is serving as the architect for the renovation of Seven Gables Inn.

Established in 1980, Poettker Construction is a second-generation, family-owned and veteran-owned business specializing in construction management, design/build, general contracting and self-perform services with an emphasis to exceed the client’s expectations.  For more information, visit

St. Louis Joins Worldwide Spotlight on Autism Awareness


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

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


St. Louis Residents Can Take Aim at Helping Wounded Military Veterans


Pheasant shoot hosted by Hibbs Homes, March 2 at Quail Creek Game Farm, benefits Operation FINALLY HOME

Hibbs Homes invites the community to help them raise funds in support of Operation FINALLY HOME at the inaugural benefit Pheasant Shoot to BUILD HOMES and HOPE for America’s military families – Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Quail Creek Game Farm, 212 Majestic Meadow in Union, Missouri.

Members of the military sacrifice so much in the name of protecting our freedom and values. For many of our service men and women, this leads to illness, injuries, PTSD and other challenges. Operation FINALLY HOME provides veterans and widows of the fallen with new homes and home modifications that will give them a solid foundation to help them move forward with their lives after service.

Pheasant Shoot in support of Operation FINALLY HOME

Event includes Lunch, Annie Oakley Team Pheasant Shoot, Clay Station and Silent Auction

Quail Creek Game Farm, 212 Majestic Meadow, Union, MO 63084
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Registration – Begins at 8:00 am

Pheasant Shoot & Lunch – 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Fellowship & Auction – Begins at 2:00 pm 

Spectator Tickets $25 | Participants $175 each | Team of 5 $875

Tickets are available for individuals and teams – register/purchase tickets at or via phone through Hibbs Homes at (314) 392-9631.

Sponsorships are still available at varying levels!

For More Information on Event Sponsorships, contact Angie Cassidy at or Danni Eickenhorst at

Current Sponsors include – ABF Security, Brown-Forman, DAT Inc. Electrical Contractors and Ferguson Bath & Kitchen Gallery.

About Operation FINALLY HOME: 

Based in New Braunfels, Texas, Operation FINALLY HOME was established in 2005 as a nonpartisan/nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of Operation FINALLY HOME is to provide homes and home modifications to America’s military Heroes and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms and values. Operation FINALLY HOME partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, remodelers, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers to help these Heroes and their families by addressing one of their most pressing needs – a place to call home. For more information about Operation FINALLY HOME, visit, follow @OpFINALLYHOME on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

Hibbs Homes is a leading custom green homebuilder in the St. Louis area. Since leaving his career in broadcasting in 2006, owner and general contractor Kim Hibbs has been building high-performance and luxury homes for a variety of price ranges and lifestyles. Hibbs speaks to local building professionals and architecture students on a variety of green building topics. He built one of the first gold level green verified homes in the St. Louis area, and is the builder of the first Active House in North America. Hibbs is a Master Certified Green Professional through the National Association of Home Builders and is active in the St. Louis Home Builder’s Association where he currently serves on the board.

Kadean Building Second Underground Proton Therapy Vault at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis


$32 million Siteman project focuses on proton therapy to attack tumors in sensitive areas

Kadean Construction has begun building a 48,000 cubic foot, underground concrete vault to house a 120 ton cyclotron for Siteman Cancer Center’s second proton treatment facility in St. Louis, it was announced today.

The vault is being built beneath a parking garage on the Washington University Medical Campus, which also includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, in the city’s Central West End.

When completed in mid-to-late 2019, the 40-foot deep vault will house the massive cyclotron, which will produce a focused beam of isolated protons for “pencil-beam scanning,” an advanced form of radiation therapy for patients treated at the S. Lee Kling Proton Therapy Center at Siteman.

In this type of radiation therapy, a single, narrow proton beam is aimed with great precision directly at a cancerous tumor and adjusted for intensity. Its precision helps to spare surrounding healthy tissues and organs and reduce the risk of treatment-related complications, according to experts.

The total cost of the project, which is scheduled to completed in mid-to-late 2019, is $32 million, including $17 million for the cyclotron and related infrastructure provided by Mevion Medical Systems.

The underground proton vault will be 30 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 40 feet tall, and made mostly of high-density concrete with walls that are four feet thick, said Matt Breeze, vice-president of Kadean Construction, based in Fenton, a suburb of St. Louis.

Upon completion, the finished patient treatment room will actually be located in the middle of what is now a cavernous, three-story area. The massive cyclotron and its infrastructure will encompass the treatment room, although it will never be seen by patients or the doctors.

“This is a very complex project,” Breeze said. “We had to dig all the way to bedrock, and then we had to excavate and remove three-to-six feet of bedrock, which serves as the foundation for the concrete floor and the walls of the vault.”

This will be the second proton therapy vault constructed by Kadean at Siteman Cancer Center. In 2011, Kadean finished constructing Siteman’s first proton vault, which, at the time, was the first of its kind in the world. Siteman began treating patients with the first system in 2013. The second vault is immediately adjacent to the first one, which provides some logistical challenges because the construction site has very limited space in which to work or free access for heavy construction equipment.

The first vault, which also houses a Mevion cyclotron, is slightly smaller, Breeze said. And, like the second vault, its walls are four-feet thick and made with high density concrete.

“We learned a lot when we built the first vault,” Breeze said. “The site traffic and logistics are fairly complicated because we had to tackle our work without interrupting the constant flow of patients and hospital deliveries, just as we always do in all medical construction.”

He added that other proton vaults have been built with 14 foot-thick walls for radiation containment.

“Because of the confined area we had to work with when we built the first vault, however, our walls could only be four feet thick,” he said. “The design team solved the problem by using Hematite, a heavy, iron ore aggregate mined in Brazil and shipped to St. Louis.”

Breeze said the high density concrete used for both vaults weighs 250 pounds per cubic foot dry density, whereas regular concrete is about 150 pounds per cubic foot.

Breeze said work on the second vault will involve 25-30 St. Louis-area subcontractors and their crews.

The new proton therapy system will complement the first one, and will be among an array of radiation therapy options available for adult patients at Siteman Cancer Center and pediatric patients through Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Pencil-beam scanning delivers a radiation treatment through a single, narrow proton beam aimed directly at the tumor and adjusted for intensity. Then, the beam paints the radiation dose on the tumor. Alternatively, Siteman’s first proton therapy system precisely targets the tumor using magnets that scatter the proton beam across the tumor.

Today, there are 29 proton therapy facilities throughout the United States, according to the National Association for Proton Therapy, and 75 worldwide, according to the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG). Both are independent, non-profit organizations that track the industry and promote the benefits of proton and particle therapy.

Siteman Cancer Center treats adults from throughout the region and beyond, as well as pediatric cancer patients from St. Louis Children’s Hospital. It is ranked among the top cancer treatment centers by U.S. News & World Report and is one of only a few cancer centers to receive the National Cancer Institute’s highest rating of “exceptional.”

Founded in 1963, Kadean Construction, one of the fastest growing construction companies in the Midwest, specializes in pre-construction, design-build, construction management, and general contracting services in the medical, senior living, retail, commercial, and industrial sectors.

In addition to undertaking major construction projects in recent years for BJC HealthCare at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Siteman Cancer Center, and other major medical facilities, Kadean also has built ambulatory surgical centers in Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and high quality independent and assisted senior living and memory care facilities in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions.

Kadean also has a Kansas City, MO office to better serve customers in Western and Mid-Missouri, Eastern Kansas, and other Midwest locations.

For more information, contact Tom Pagano, 314-602-7549, for Kadean Construction

Tight Construction Workforce, Stagnant Population, Local Regs Impeding New Home Construction Across St. Louis MSA, Economists Report



Record low unemployment in the St. Louis MSA is being offset by a lack of affordable single-family housing due to multiple factors constraining homebuilders here and nationwide – and this trend is likely to continue into 2019, economists say.

This forecast came from National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, Ph.D., who spoke to a roomful of real estate professionals from the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors and the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce. The Dec. 12 program, which also included a regional 2019 outlook from St. Louis RCGA SVP of Economic Development Jim Alexander, painted a crisp picture of the bi-state region’s economic condition against the backdrop of the U.S. outlook.

“We are in a rare situation nationwide where there are actually more job openings than people looking for jobs,” Yun said. “Extreme shortages exist in truckdrivers welders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and more. In addition to shortages in these sectors of the workforce, regulatory factors such as impact fees and zoning restrictions are impeding homebuilders and developers from building an adequate level of new housing stock. This lack of available inventory will continue to prevent future homeowners from entering the market,” he added.

Alexander said slow population growth continues to dog St. Louis, and that it is often viewed as a negative by companies and their site selectors when comparing St. Louis to other U.S. metro areas when choosing a site for future development. “Available workforce and overall business climate are two enormous considerations,” said Alexander. “If our MSA wants to land a 2,000-job construction project, we’ve got to be more competitive with other major markets.”

Another Step Toward National Recognition Of St. Louis As “TECH CITY”


The innovation and technology experts at PARIC Corp. are helping St. Louis earn national recognition and, hopefully, the honorary title of “TECH CITY, USA.”

When several thousand technology and innovationprofessionals who serve the North American architecture, engineering and construction industries meet this week in Las Vegas, their keynote address will be given by St. Louisan Andy Leek, PARIC’s vice president for technology and innovation.

Leek leads a PARIC team of seven technology professionals who have developed the company’s innovative approach to integrating several technology-based platforms to make the construction workflow stream as seamless as possible for owners representatives and the many sub-contractors involved in even the largest building projects.

One example of PARIC innovation involving worker safety is a predictive analytics program utilizing machine learning to estimate risk, to identify potential hazards in a specific construction project and to predict trends.

Another example of innovation is a PARIC program of project controls that on one $50 million construction project cut in half the number of anticipated change orders.

PARIC is a long-time user of technology, having been organized in 1979 around the concept of taping technology to deliver more value to project owners.

In the last two years, PARIC has used its proprietary technology to manage more than $1 billion in construction throughout the Midwest.

PARIC, one of the largest privately-held St. Louis-based companies, pairs their unique construction management approach and negotiated general construction techniques to take projects beyond expectations, offering customers the opportunity to “Experience. Excellence.” in every phase of the build.

PARIC specializes in commercial and interiors, education, healthcare, historic and urban redevelopment, hospitality and entertainment, municipal, science and technology, senior living, and sports complexes. More information is at

Plans for New St. Louis Recreation Park Announced


St. Louis Recreation Development Group, Inc., a St. Louis-based not-for-profit and 501©3, announces Spirit of Discovery Park. The organization was established in 2016 with the vision of creating a 100% inclusive amusement park designed for every BODY.  Its Board of Directors has taken on the monumental task of creating a uniquely focused entertainment and amusement park designed specifically for people with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities as well as special needs from the ground up. The destination will have rides, attractions, a greenhouse, gardens, amphitheater sensory areas, a splash park and an ice rink with access designed for everyone in tennis shoes to wheelchairs.

This approximately 35- acre theme park will be centrally located in metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri.   With the assistance of Washington University School of Medicine’s Program in Occupational Therapy students and the creative team, Wonderland Development Group, of San Antonio, Texas, the 70 plots of land has been researched and narrowed in scope for Spirit of Discovery Park’s team to then utilize the experiences, concepts and connections from both organizations, in order to make our offering as safe, efficient, and accessible as possible.

One of the most exciting attractions will be Spirit of Discovery Park’s ice rink. On-ice programs include a future home for the St. Louis Blues Blind Hockey Club. In partnership with the St. Louis Blues®, the facility will bring a full range of ice sports for athletes both with and without special needs or disabilities, including figure skating, curling, sled hockey and public skating.

The Ride-Along Adventure allows wheelchair passengers and their companions to enjoy an authentic off-road experience while the train and train depot contain custom-built cars and wheelchair ramps that accommodate all guests with ease.  The River Boat Adventure ride will twist and turn through landscapes and recreations of local attractions in a vintage looking paddle-wheeler that pays homage to St. Louis’ rich river history.

The 5 ½ story Ferris Wheel includes 12 gondolas accommodating wheelchairs, children and adults while offering a panoramic view of the entire park.  The indoor and outdoor interactive Sensory Areas will be filled with exciting experiences for all ages and abilities to enjoy.  The musical and colorful Carousel includes specially-designed “chariots” moving our wheel-chaired guests up and down on the merry-go-round.

Open each Summer, Spirit of Discovery’s Splash Park includes many innovative adaptations for those with special needs. Wheelchair visitors, who may not have been able to enjoy a splash park anywhere else, will now have the opportunity to transfer from their own chairs to waterproof wheelchairs while warm-water splash pads provide for guests with aversion to cooler water temperatures.  The Splash Park will give all of our guests the chance to make great summer memories with their family and friends, just like everyone else.

Need a little break?   Playgrounds, pavilions and picnic areas will provide relaxing areas for guests to enjoy. Visitors will also be able to purchase local fares of food, snacks and beverages or even bring their own!

In addition, the Rooftop Greenhouse at Spirit of Discovery Park, will be a tribute to our Veterans. The Greenhouse at Spirit of Discovery Park is being built to provide a safe, stress-free environment for our Veterans as they transition back into civilian life. Managed entirely by former military men and women, this indoor environment will be surrounded by the natural sounds of trickling water and sunlight. Guests will be offered the chance to interact with our Aeroponic Vertical Gardens throughout the Park, giving witness to the sustainable, organic, and nutrient dense growing environment – a glimpse, and a touch of the future of technology and agriculture.

Jamie Vann, President and Executive Director of St. Louis Recreation Development Group, Inc., shares her vision: “We NEED to build this destination that offers families the opportunity to make memories, otherwise thought to be impossible; where the young and young at heart can come and enjoy no matter their ability!”

“Local and national business sponsorships and donors will provide the operational support and maintenance costs, making our park a reality” explains Vann.  “We have a multitude of different sponsorship opportunities both in and around the park.  Every ride, attraction and venue can be utilized to promote our partnerships while showing support for our project.”

The Park’s admission policy will be such that any person of disability or special need, will be admitted FREE of charge. Adults and children of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy multiple aspects of this truly unique park.

Spirit of Discovery Park is a local, nonprofit, organization established in 2016. For more information or additional opportunities to support, please visit

McGrath & Associates Begins Work on Upgrades at Christian Hospital in St. Louis


McGrath & Associates has begun work on elevator and mechanical upgrades at Christian Hospital in north St. Louis County. The projects include two elevator upgrades, a new air handling unit and electrical distribution upgrades. McGrath is the design/build contractor for the elevators and is providing value engineering, preconstruction and construction services on the other projects.

Construction is underway on two original traction elevators that McGrath is modernizing in the five-story Paul F. Detrick Building. McGrath will sequence construction so that one elevator remains in operation at all times. McGrath follows strict safety protocol when working around elevator shafts, and implements isolation and infection prevention measures in occupied health care areas to ensure a clean and safe environment for patients, staff and visitors. The design/build elevator project is scheduled for completion in August 2018.

The air handling and electrical distribution upgrades currently are in pre-construction, with construction expected to begin in August 2018. McGrath will replace the air handling unit serving the Christian Hospital operating room suite with a more energy-efficient, higher capacity unit. The existing air handler will be removed from the mechanical room and a new unit will be installed on the exterior of the building. The architect for the air handling unit project is Lawrence Group and the engineer is McClure Engineering.

Moving the air handling unit will provide space in the mechanical room for new electrical switchgear for the electrical distribution upgrades project. The engineer for the electrical upgrades is Heideman Associates.


McGrath & Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial, health care, industrial, institutional and pharmaceutical construction projects since 1983.  For more information, call Ken Knobbe at (314) 772-7600 or visit

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.35 Million to Bolster Manufacturing and Manufacturing-related Workforce Training in St. Louis


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.35 million grant to Ranken Technical College of St. Louis, Missouri, to establish an incubator facility that will support the region’s manufacturing sector by providing pre-apprentice and apprenticeship workforce training, and encouraging entrepreneurial start-ups. According to grantee estimates, when fully operational, 100 student workers will generate $4 million annually in products and services for local businesses as part of the integrated work-based learning model.

“Reviving our manufacturing sector and ensuring that our workers have the skills they need to compete globally are key focuses of the Trump Administration,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I look forward to seeing how Ranken Technical College will help budding manufacturers establish their businesses and train the next generation of workers to support the local economy.”

The incubator, which will be located adjacent to Ranken’s main campus, will engage with local manufacturing partners to provide students with work experience, industrial training and certifications, college credits and/or a part-time salary. Through Ranken Microenterprises, students will be assigned to industry sponsored work cells to manufacture their products/services.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and the St. Louis Development Corporation. EDA helped fund the completion of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and St. Louis Development Corporation Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (<>)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Retail Designer CSG Expands St. Louis Presence

Core States Group, which has renovated and built a number of familiar retail and restaurant venues in St. Louis, is growing its business.   With relocation and construction assistance of Artisan Building Co., Core States Group has moved into an expanded St. Louis branch office at 6500 Chippewa Street.  Artisan completed the $500,000 renovation in the building formerly known as the St. Louis Hills Office Center to create a more collaborative space for Core States, where it plans to grow its work force by 50 percent or more in the coming years.

Core States Group is a national architecture, engineering and construction firm.  It first opened its St. Louis office in September 2003, occupying 2,200 square feet of space in the Crestwood Executive Center building in Crestwood, Mo. until this past August.

Locally, Core States Group has been a part of the design team for more than 150 newly built or renovated Panera Bread restaurants throughout the U.S. and has also helped deliver services for hundreds of newly built or renovated locations for McDonald’s, Hardee’s, and 7 Eleven, among other clients.  The firm has helped introduce a number of restaurant and retail conveniences to the public including double drive-through service at area McDonalds and has designed and engineered conveniences for Panera customers including drive-through service and quick service kiosks inside the restaurant.

Nationally, Core States Group recorded $78 million in revenue in 2015.  The firm is reporting revenues of $84 million in 2016.

“We always saw St. Louis as a growth market for Core States Group, but the Great Recession slowed our progress,” said Patrick T. Bennett, P.E., branch manager for Core States Group.  “We’ve been able to re-energize our business plan with our seasoned staff, add more architects and engineers and are looking to add more.”  Nationally, Core States Group grew by 36 percent over the past year, employing 300 employees to date.

To accommodate its growth and hiring needs, Core States Group worked with Artisan to find a suitable branch headquarters and create a more collaborative environment for its workforce.  “Artisan is not just a builder, but also a firm that makes it their mission to understand your business goals,” said Bennett.  “The firm was invaluable in helping us find our new office in an urban community and help us execute our vision of the space we need to attract the best and brightest talent.”

The firm occupies all 5,000 square feet of the second floor of their new space in a studio setting with open office space to capitalize on design elements that encourage greater collaboration among engineers and architects.  That includes clear site lines, a strategically placed kitchen to encourage interaction with workers, and small and large conference rooms for more private meetings.  An abundance of natural light from windows floods the interior, creating a more healthy work environment.

To leverage the skills from Core States Group’s 14 offices nationwide, the branch office is infused with technology for virtual meetings to tap expertise from the firm’s 300 professionals.

Founded in 1999, Core States Group originally provided engineering and project management services for the retail petroleum industry.