S2 Project Spotlight: SVN Charter School in Kansas City, MO

Straub Construction: SVN Charter School

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

S2 recently completed a full building renovation for the SVN charter school in Kansas City, MO. The building, previously unoccupied, had been built as a rectory for the church which now houses the K-8 school. It was later converted to offices and then sat mostly unused for a number of years.

The Project

Straub removed all interior walls, added trusses throughout to raise ceilings, finished out the connected garage space, and added an extensive two-story concrete patio and learning space behind the building. This full-scale renovation included a new roof, addition of numerous windows and exterior doors throughout to let in light, and an addition of a large central staircase with dual purpose stadium seating in the center of the building. Straub was also able to refurbish the existing fireplace with an electric insert and original brick.

The Superintendent

The project was finished in seven months and led by our fantastic superintendent, Rodney Pullen. Rodney was able to self-perform installation of doors, hardware, TV’s, and exterior signage in addition to other accessories while overseeing the remainder of the project. Thanks to his dedication and the help of our subcontractors, we were able to provide the school with a beautiful, like new annex for their growing middle school.

We’re so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to work with the staff of SVN and excited to see them utilizing the space next fall!

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Straub Construction: SVN Charter School Straub Construction: SVN Charter School

Straub Construction: SVN Charter School

If You Don’t Know About New Century Fieldhouse in Gardner… You Should.

By Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flow through Johnson County Park & Recreation’s New Century Fieldhouse in Gardner, KS. This project was completed by Straub Construction in 2011. When I think of New Century Fieldhouse, I think of volleyball tournaments, basketball games, and the brand-new turf for the soccer field.  However, the impact of the facility stretches far beyond traditional sports programs.

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 It Starts with the Culture

Straub Construction: New Centruy StaffShannon Sonnier oversees the daily operation of the Fieldhouse. But he credits his team of four full-time and roughly twelve part-time employees for the culture and attitude of service. In Shannon’s words, “I’ve been blessed from day one to have a fully engaged staff who care about the people we serve.”  This attitude trickles into the safety and maintenance of the facility, which shows. Although the building was completed in 2011, it looks brand new. Shannon still gets joy out of seeing people visit for the first time. Their eyes open wide and they pause for just a moment, taking in the view of the fieldhouse.

Serving Diversity

One goal of Johnson County Park & Recreation is to serve as many people as possible. They have programs that span from the indoor play park for toddlers to Pickleball and card games for seniors. They serve groups of great means, like club teams, as well as people who are able to take advantage of free and low cost services. Plus, having the vast space available inside New Century Fieldhouse affords the ability to host many unique events. Events for which the staff are extremely proud, but are somewhat unknown to people outside of the community.

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Further Community Impact

Straub Construction: New Centruy StaffNew Century Fieldhouse provides a tremendous amount of economic impact to neighboring businesses by bringing in thousands of participants and their families. It also serves as employer to many teenagers who will call Johnson County Park & Recreation their first job.  They learn work ethic, team work, punctuality and responsibility.

Quick facts:

  • 88,000 square feet
  • Completed Spring of 2011
  • 135,000 participations in 2017
  • 162,000 spectators in 2017
  • Architect:  DLR Group
  • Contractor:  Straub Construction Company

Bring Your Kids to Work Day is a Big Deal at Straub

Straub Construction: Bring Your Kids to Work Day

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

One of our favorite days of the year at Straub Construction is the day we get to bring our kids to work. It gives them a chance to see what mommy and daddy do every day. This year, Bring Your Kids to Work Day was jam packed with a bunch of activities from different departments at Straub.

Here’s a look back at some of those activities.

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The first activity that the kids participated in was a Quantity Takeoff with our Estimating Department. In this activity, the young estimators looked at project plans and tallied up a list of items within the plans. These items included things such as fireplaces, toilets, bathroom sinks, fire extinguisher closets, water fountains, etc. This activity showed the kids just a few things that the estimating department does on a daily basis and tested their attention to detail.

Straub Construction: Bring Your Kids to Work Day


Following the estimating activity, the kids got to spend some time with the Marketing Department. During this time, the kids all went outside to watch a drone flight and got to see what the drone sees when it’s hundreds of feet in the air. Following the flight, we went inside and watched the drone video, where the kids got some good laughs watching themselves dance around on the video.

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Project Management

After Marketing, the young employees moved into the Project Management Department. This was another fun activity, where the kids build bridges using just Dots (candy) and toothpicks. After building the bridges, they were all tested to see how much weight they could hold before breaking. Two of the bridges could withstand the weight of the small stapler and tape dispenser, but none of them were any match for the heavy-duty stapler.

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On Site

Once the Project Management activity was complete the group took a quick break for some pizza. After everybody was full, it was time to get out on a job site. It was a perfect day to do this because there was a concrete pour going on at St. Paul’s Catholic Church so the kids got to enjoy watching the machines and people at work.

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The final event of the day was an especially fun one because the kids were provided with some materials that had been measured and cut, and they got to learn a little bit of carpentry. With the help of their parents, the young carpenters assembled a bunch of boxes for the game Washers. Additionally, they spray painted their washers whatever color they wanted. This was a great learning experience for the kids and now they all have a fun game to play that they built themselves.

Thank you again to everyone that helped out with this great event. And a special thanks to all the awesome kids who were so eager to participate and learn. This was another great year for Bring Your Kids to Work Day and we can’t wait until it comes around again next year!

Ten Years in the Office, Time to Hit the Field

By De Nell Morris, Project Assistant at Straub Construction

Straub Construction: De Nell's Field ExperienceI’ve been with Straub Construction for almost ten years, and I’ve spent the majority of my time working in the office as a Project Assistant.

As a Project Assistant, I act as support on every project from issuing work orders, change orders, assembling operation maintenance manuals, analyzing job costs, managing our project management software Procore, and much more. Most of the time, I’ve been working in the office. For many years I have wanted to spend some time working in the field. So, about a month ago, I finally decided to go for it and asked if I could spend some time out on a project, and my boss agreed.

For the last four weeks, I’ve spent two days a week on job sites doing all kinds of jobs from finish carpentry to cleaning. These few weeks have been such a great learning experience and I’ve really enjoyed the work that I have gotten to do.

The Physical Work

I love my position as a project assistant, but what I have learned from being out in the field is that when you spend so long in an office, it’s easy to become detached from the physical work being done every day. We spend so much time looking at plans, that we see projects through that lens and don’t see the day to day operations.

Straub Construction: De Nell's Field ExperienceI’m married to an iron worker, so I have an idea of how difficult this kind of work is, but you don’t truly understand until you’ve done it yourself. We take a lot of things for granted being in the office such as having clean bathrooms right down the hall, getting fresh coffee whenever we want it, having all of our equipment handy, and turning on the AC or heater when it’s hot or cold. Being out in the field, you’re not afforded these kinds of luxuries.

Despite the many challenges of being in the field, all of the people that I worked with really love their jobs and being out in the field. The experience has given me a greater appreciation for the work that’s done every day on our job sites. Also, it has given me a more personal connection to these projects; bringing them to life for me with a personal connection.

I am excited to be back out in the field two days this week continuing to learn. I will be working on job sites two days a week for the foreseeable future. Thank you to all of our field employees for all of the hard work that they do, and a special thanks to Jeff Walters, James Mowdy, George Dinneen, and Rodney Pullen for their training and guidance. Also, an additional thanks to Dan VanDonge and Doug Heinen for putting their confidence in me and giving me this opportunity!