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During three years of construction, the John Twitty Energy Center project employed 16 contractors and as many as 700 workers.
During three years of construction, the John Twitty Energy Center project employed 16 contractors and as many as 700 workers.

Twitty Energy Center nabs top honor for CU

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City Utilities took home top honors from the Salute to Construction banquet Nov. 3 for the construction of the $697 million John Twitty Energy Center, formerly known as Southwest Power Station II. The Springfield Contractors Association presented CU with the Developer of the Year award at the ceremony held at the Clarion Hotel and organized by the Salute to Construction Council.

The council, which comprises more than 20 building and design industry groups including the SCA, is in its 20th year. Roughly 360 people attended this year’s banquet.

SCA President Rich Kramer said CU earned the top honor because the voting committee deemed its power station to have the most impact of those completed in 2011.

“It put a lot of people to work, and a lot of payroll materials were purchased in the community,” Kramer said, adding he wished another such project was under way.

CU General Manager Scott Miller said utility officials identified the need for a new power plant in 1995, and CU began working in earnest in 2002 when it began seeking construction permits.

The award was particularly satisfying because of CU’s hands-on approach to the project, Miller said.

“A lot of people offered to come in and design it and build it for us and give it to us when they got done with it. We did an internal assessment and we have a lot of really talented folks at CU, so we put together a project team,” Miller said, noting CU hired Muscatine, Iowa-based engineering firm Stanley Consultants to help manage the project. “Between Stanley Consultants and our project team, we were our own project managers, and that turned out to be really successful for us.”

Miller said as many as 700 people were working on the site at the peak of construction, between 2008 and 2011. The power plant began operating Nov. 10, 2010, but Miller said some work continued past the first of the year. He said 16 local contactors worked on the project with labor costs totaling roughly $160 million.

Miller said about 90 percent of the laborers were from the Springfield area, helping to boost the local economy during a time when layoffs and unemployment in the construction industry were common.

Other awards presented at the banquet were:
  • Craftsman of the Year to Brent Cruse of DeWitt & Associates by the Springfield chapter of the American Institute of Architects for his role in the $6.8 million Christopher S. Bond Learning Center project at Missouri State University’s Darr Agricultural Center.
  • Project Team of the Year to Missouri State University by SCA for its $11 million residence life renovations, completed in roughly three months. At the peak, about 250 workers were on site. The project team comprised DeWitt & Associates; Butler, Rosenbury & Partners Inc.; John Williams Architecture; Interior Planning Consultants; Malone Finkle Eckhardt & Collins Inc.; and Structural Engineering Associates.
  • Superintendent of the Year by AIA-Springfield chapter to DeWitt superintendents Kelly Troup, Randy Lee and Darryl Montgomery for their roles in the MSU residence life renovations.
  • The Vesta and Rosebud awards by the local chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction to architect Pam Haldiman of Sapp Design Associates, Architects PC and Courtney Johnson of Faith Technologies. The Vesta Award recognizes a woman with more than 10 years of experience in the construction industry, while the Rosebud Award honors a woman who has worked for less than a decade.
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