Project Spotlight: Church of the Annunciation

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

S2 recently completed a basement renovation for the Church of Annunciation in Kearney, MO. The project included several offices and classrooms as well as a kitchen and parish hall for events. New flooring, doors, paint, trim, and lights throughout in addition to raising the ceiling height created an open, updated, and useful space for future church functions and after school programs.

Church of the Annunciation: Ahead of Schedule

The project finished in just three months, ahead of schedule, and was ready for Easter Sunday! It was led by our superintendent, Kody Simmons, who oversaw all subcontractors in addition to self-performing a variety of scopes including installation of doors, frames, trim, and casework. Thanks to Kody for pulling together all of the before and after photos.

“I can’t believe we are already finished! It looks great. I also wanted to say that Kody has been wonderful and a great person to have on site. It has been a pleasure working with Straub, and I hope we can start the next phase sooner than later.”
Megan Herndon, Church of the Annunciation

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Project Delivery Methods

By Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction

Straub Construction - Project Delivery MethodsFor years, I’ve heard many people say “Design-Build is the way of the future.” But, if you go back to when people started saying that, now would probably be the future. And yet today, Design-Build isn’t really all that common. Even back then, it was mostly people from the A/E/C  community saying that – not the owners. The owners make the decision, not the Architects, Engineers or Construction companies.

Design-Build works very well… with some projects. It may be a really bad strategy for other situations. There are multiple Project Delivery Methods available, the most common being Design-Bid-Build (DBB), Design-Build (DB), Construction Manager at Risk (CM@R), and Construction Manager as Agent (CMA). Hybrids, like Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), are also emerging. There is no “one size fits all” solution.

The Right Delivery Method

To choose the right delivery method, owners need to evaluate the goals of each and every project. What is most important? Budget? Timeline? Risk or liability to the owner? Control over design and sub-contractor selection? These are all important factors in determining which solution will generate the best outcome for the owner.

For more than 98 years, Straub Construction has delivered quality construction management services. We take the time to understand what desired outcomes are most important to our clients. Before evaluating your next project, we welcome the opportunity to partner with you in helping to determine which method is right for you.

Not Your Father’s Education

Board PresentationBy Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction

“You kids have it so easy these days.  When I was your age, I had to WALK to school UPHILL, BOTH WAYS.  THROUGH SNOW!”  Right? We’ve all heard it. To this day, I’m still not sure if our dads were saying their way was better, or if they were calling us weak.

My 10-year-old son recently had the privilege of speaking at the USD 232 Board of Education meeting. He was prepared. He worked hard on getting his thoughts together, he rehearsed, and he dressed for the occasion. Still, he was nervous. Shortly before he would go up front, I caught him chewing on one of his shirt’s buttons.

He then stepped up to the microphone, calmly spoke his thoughts and feelings, and made eye contact.

He delivered. My wife and I were so proud.

Next Gen LearningEarlier in the board meeting, one of the district’s high school robotics teams was being recognized for qualifying for a national competition. Also awesome. The feeling of pride subtly switched to reflections of how much Education has changed since I was in school. And no… I did not walk uphill both ways. But, sometimes, there was snow.

Straub’s emphasis on Education has granted me access to some of the sharpest minds in the industry, including Architects, Engineers, Project Managers, Superintendents and School Administrators. They’re thought leaders regarding Next Gen and 21st Century Learning Environments.

7 habitsI’ve also seen examples of K-12 aged kids doing “real world” activities and solving life’s real problems. These environments are enabling high schoolers to do more advanced work than what I saw in college. Even at the grade school level, our kids are being taught things like leadership principles – which circles back to my son.  He was at the board meeting as a student representative to speak on the benefits he has gained from a program implemented by his school. The Leader in Me is based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® by Steven Covey.  Communication and interpersonal skill are just a few of the principles coached.  I can’t wait to see the amazing things my kids and their schoolmates are doing 5-10 years from now.

Contractor by Trade, Engineer by Training, Architecture Enthusiast by Night

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

Hannah Story about FLW Trip and her love of architectureI can easily date my initial interest in buildings to the numerous Frank Lloyd Wright books laying around my house growing up. My dad was the biggest FLW fan and he was personally dedicated to finding the best space, whether it be for home or his office. The two of us spent most Sunday afternoons going to every open house in town trying to find the “perfect” place.

Contractor by Trade, Engineer by Training

Although I never viewed myself as a designer, I knew I wanted to be involved in some way with the construction industry. This led me to study Civil Engineering, although I quickly determined that engineering design was not my cup of tea.

Working in commercial construction gives me the opportunity to participate in the design process with architects, engineers, and owners to create the ultimate space for the end-user – the very pastime I loved growing up.

Architecture Enthusiast by Night

Hannah Story about FLW Trip and her love of architectureThis past month, while visiting family in Scottsdale, AZ, I had the opportunity to visit Taliesin West. Taliesin West served as Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, studio, and school and still functions as home and school to architecture students from October to May each year.

Taliesin means “Shining Brow” as FLW believed that a home should be built into the brow of the hill, not on top, so as to truly integrate with the surroundings. He purchased the 620 acres in 1937 and continued building new spaces and renovating his initial designs until his death in 1959.

The property also boasts a cabaret theater he designed that has 95% acoustic perfection, even better than the Sydney opera house! The structures were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982 and are currently being considered for World Heritage Status.