The 2014 Salute to Design and Construction awards banquet on Nov. 13 honored some of the area’s biggest projects, and some big givers, as well.
Missouri State University took home top honors as Developer of the Year after completing 75 projects valued at over $53 million in the last 12 months. Camp Wakonda Shower House contractors received the night’s other top honor as Project Team of the Year, also distributed at last week’s event at the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Oasis Convention Center.
While the Ozarks Regional YMCA campground project was relatively minor compared to others in the area, the donated time and equipment that went into the roughly 1,600-square-foot shower house set this project team apart, said Event Committee Chairwoman Sheryl Letterman of the Springfield Contractors Association.
“The way the team worked together to make that happen is what we’re honoring,” Letterman said, adding a committee of eight industry professionals selected the winners from submitted nominations beginning in August. “A lot of it was donated materials and donated labor.”
Kent Childs, chairman of the Camp Wakonda Board of Managers, said the campground’s shower house was built in the 1950s, and a new facility had been identified as a priority years ago. Limited funding held back those plans. By 2010, $350,000 had been raised for another camp priority – a new swimming pool – but after that project was completed, officials were only able to raise another $120,000 – about a third of the shower house project’s estimated cost.
They turned to area contractors for assistance.
“So many different people came together to help. I was very heartened by the kindness of these construction people. I know they’ve been through some pretty rough times just a few years ago,” Childs said. “They were so giving. It was an amazing experience.”
Storee Construction was one of two general contractors on the project, and Project Manager Dan Reed said he was asked to gauge the project’s potential.
“We took their goals and asked a couple of our engineering and architectural associates if they would be interested in helping on this project. Without hesitation, every one I asked jumped right on and never even looked back,” he said.
Other team members include general contractor Sechler Remodeling, structural engineer Miller Engineering PC, civil engineer Heithaus Engineering & Associates Inc. and architect Richard Werner.
SCA Executive Director Letterman said the team that built new athletic fields at MSU this summer came in a close second for the Project Team award. It turned out their work was recognized via the Developer of the Year honor.
“They do quality work, and they’ve had a lot of really nice projects come together over the past 12 to 18 months,” she said, adding the committee utilized a point system to determine winners.
Doug Sampson, MSU architect and director of planning, design and construction, said the developer award only was possible through the efforts of the construction and design workers who toiled over a wide range of projects across the campuses in Springfield and West Plains.
Projects in town include four athletic fields supported by a student fee that has generated $25 million in upgrades. MSU also is coordinating projects such as the renovations to Pummill Hall, construction of the Davis-Harrington Welcome Center and the O’Reilly Clinical Health Science Center, and upgrades to its 18-story Sunvilla Tower apartments.
“The students have just been thrilled. They have probably been our most vocal supporters,” Sampson said.
Letterman said this year’s banquet was the 30th Salute to Design and Construction awards ceremony, but the first Developer of the Year award went to John Q. Hammons in 1983 for University Plaza Hotel before an event was established. The 2014 ceremony was organized by the Salute to Design and Construction Council, which represents 26 organizations including the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield, the Springfield Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the SCA and several unions.
The local chapter of the AIA also named its annual craftsman and superintendent honorees at the event. Brent Cruse of DeWitt & Associates Inc. received the Superintendent of the Year award for his work on the CoxHealth’s Ozarks Dialysis clinic, which didn’t close during the project. Randy Martin of St. Louis-based Byrne & Jones Construction was named Craftsman of the Year for his dirt work on the MSU athletic fields.
Other winners include Cheryl Griffeth, an estimator at Killian Construction Co., as the Vesta honoree, given to a woman with over 10 years of construction experience. The Rosebud award, which honors a woman with under 10 years of construction experience, went to interior designer Brandi Bailey of Buxton Kubik Dodd Creative.
The construction crew behind the Camp Wakonda Shower House won Project Team of the Year honors.Photo provided by YMCA