Operation Clean Sweep 2018 - The Power of Community

BSI employees and family members were on hand recently to help clear three separate St. Louis properties in conjunction with Clean Sweep 2018. Sponsored by the St. Louis Regional Business Council and Better Family Life, Clean Sweep is an initiative that brings together residents, volunteers, city government and area construction companies to help clean and renew city neighborhoods.

The program takes place throughout summer and BSI was happy to participate. It was a hot, sticky Saturday - with a heat index of about 105 by noon. Our team of 19 people cleared several properties in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood, about a mile north of Grand Center. We cut trees, removed old fences, trimmed weeds and removed trash.

"Our Clean Sweep location was already very special to us, as it is within two blocks of our current jobsite at Missionaries of Charity on N. Spring Avenue," said BSI Vice President and Clean Sweep volunteer, Tim Hudwalker.

In 2017, BSI began construction on a new tilt-up, concrete panel, multi-purpose building that will serve primarily as a food kitchen for the St. Louis congregation of the Missionaries of Charity. "The Missionaries of Charity have set an extraordinary example through their support of this neighborhood, and the new food kitchen will allow them to provide continued service in St. Louis for many years to come," said Project Manager Andy Schwartz.

Mother Teresa, now St. Teresa of Calcutta, founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 in India. The St. Louis congregation serves a daily meal and also provides after school care for children. The new building (which will replace an older facility) will have a kitchen, serving area, chapel, children's daycare, offices, meeting & activity spaces and storage. The project is expected to wrap up later this year.

Schwartz was also on the Clean Sweep team for BSI. "The 'Clean Sweep' was a great opportunity to help a struggling part of our city look a little better for those who call it home," he said. Clean Sweep continues through August. The program seeks to provide a real sense of hope to inner-city residents and to demonstrate what is possible when people come together.

BSI's Clean Sweep 2018 team includes: Scott Held, Alex Held, Taylor Held, Ken Kolb, Julie Kolb, Cooper Kolb, Jim Horner, Ann Horner, Quin Atkins, Brian Bell, Pam Crook, Tim Hudwalker, Megan Hudwalker, Joe Kaiser, Paul Mueller, Neehall Philogene, Anna Pozzo, Andy Schwartz and Kelly Swanson.

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In Progress: The Union Trust Building's Transformation into Hotel Saint Louis

Restoration of the iconic Union Trust building at 705 Olive Street in St. Louis is expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2018. The 15-story building, designed by legendary architect Louis Sullivan, was built in 1892 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Much of the original building's character and details will be maintained in the renovations currently underway.

BSI is working with Restoration St. Louis and Checkmate Design to transform the historic structure into Hotel Saint Louis, a Marriott Autograph boutique hotel that will have 140 rooms. The top three floors are being converted into residential apartments (including a rooftop penthouse). There are also plans for a rooftop pool and a rooftop restaurant with a bar called Form, in homage to Sullivan's "form follows function."

Hotel Saint Louis will have many additional amenities, including a ballroom, a spa and a street-level restaurant. BSI has successfully completed a number of projects for Restoration St. Louis, including Hotel Blackhawk and the ML Parker Building (both in Davenport, Iowa). Hotel Blackhawk was named the "Most Beautiful Hotel in Iowa" by Architectural Digest in 2017.

For this project, BSI's team includes Project Executive Jim Shaughnessy, Senior Project Manager Steve Schrage, Project Engineer Peter Boudoures and Superintendent Haus Truelove. Truelove worked on Hotel Blackhawk and Boudoures has the distinct honor of helping restore the Union Trust building where his grandfather once had his law offices.

In a recent edition of St. Louis Construction News Review, Sr. Project Manager Steve Schrage discussed how impressive the Union Trust building remains even after all of these years, "I continue to be amazed at the detailing work that exists in these classic buildings," he said. "We're cleaning the building, tuck pointing it, making masonry repairs and replacing the windows. Other than that, structurally it is in great shape," he added.

BSI is honored to be part of this project to revitalize the historically significant Union Trust building and to convert it into a luxurious boutique hotel for Restoration St. Louis.

 

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Additional links to recent stories include:

NEXTSTL (January 8, 2016)
St. Louis Business Journal (July 27, 2017)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (October 20, 2017)
KMOV-TV (June 7, 2018)

Expanded Services & Campus Improvements at Great Circle

BSI completed the second major phase of expansion on Great Circle's 22-acre campus in Webster Groves, MO. Work included construction of a 22,600 SF gymnasium and related meeting/presentation/resource rooms, roads, additional parking, a maintenance building and site work. The new John T. and Janet Baumstark Community Impact Center and the new Orthwein Fieldhouse are now serving children and their families.

From Great Circle's website, "Our transformative vision for Missouri's children and families has come to life. [The campus expansion] created a regional hub enabling children and families to access more educational, therapeutic and social support and services when they need it most."

The previous phase of construction (also completed by BSI) involved expansion of the campus school, including additional classrooms and educational spaces, along with upgrades to the residential cottages. The latest round of work included expanded space to host community-wide programming, staffing, family resources such as conferencing and teleconferencing areas, and recreational space for team sports and individualized activities for kids and parents.

In a YouTube video tour that took place during construction, Mike Singer, Great Circle's Director of Gift Planning, said, "Hats off to BSI, our contractor. They've been great to work with."

Since that time, Great Circle also publicly recognized BSI, along with eight individuals, with a Circle of Caring Award, for volunteer service at Great Circle. BSI was recognized for its "extra effort" to connect with the children who reside and go to school on campus. According to a Great Circle news release"On-site, BSI staff can regularly be seen answering questions about their work from children and staff, which Great Circle applauded as 'helping us not only transform our campus, but giving of themselves to help our kids.'" Another news release stated, "From digging the foundation to creating structural framework, from laying in brick to installing miles of electrical cable, it's been a wonderful opportunity for visitors, staff and clients to observe and learn about the construction process."

Senior Project Manager Steve Schrage says BSI employed an enhanced safety checklist while working on the Great Circle campus. "We've developed the level of protocol we use on a site like Great Circle after many conversations with administrators," Schrage continued. "We try to understand their needs and remain flexible." BSI is honored to have been part of this project to provide additional recreational and family resources in the form of a new community impact center and fieldhouse at Great Circle.

View this time-lapsed video here which contains months of construction video compressed into 120 seconds. Additionally, Great Circle posted this Topping Out Ceremony video on YouTube during construction of the new buildings. Other links to recent stories about Great Circle include:

"Masonry Rounds Out the Great Circle Campus" from the Masonry Institute of St. Louis, newsletter 24.1
St. Louis Business Journal's second annual Building St. Louis Awards, published March 23, 2018
"Coming Full Circle" from June 7, 2018, published in Ladue News

Great Circle is a statewide behavioral health non-profit organization that serves individuals, children, and families through a variety of educational, residential, and outreach programs. Great Circle has 20 locations throughout Missouri and serves more than 34,000 people each year.

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