Project Spotlight: Oxford Academy

By Nolan Cisper, Project Manager and Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction

Straub Construction: Oxford AcademyStraub Construction recently finished a brand new, first-class Montessori pre-school facility in Olathe Kansas, at the Prairie Trails West development. This new Montessori school is located at the busy cross section of 149th and Blackbob, and is the first development by Rain LLC at Prairie Trails West.

The Montessori pre-school consists of over 7,500 sf of space. This includes seven classrooms (one specifically for infants), a storm room and three outdoor turf playground spaces. During the construction of Prairie Trails West, Straub Construction also undertook several public improvement projects. These projects included the demolition of two existing vacated private homes, a new public turn lane, and public utility extensions to serve the future developments at Prairie Trails West.

Straub Construction: Oxford AcademyThe project team which made this Montessori pre-school a reality consisted of Sonal Patel of Rain LLC, Jason Reece of Focus Architectural, Judd Claussen of Phelps Engineering and Straub Project Superintendent, Ralph Pruente.

First Project as a Developer

Through Sonal’s vision and passion for education, Straub Construction was able to assist in making Rain LLC’s dream come true by completing their first project as a developer. Straub Construction, partnering with Focus Architecture and Phelps Engineering, helped coach Rain LLC through the trials of being a first-time developer. The project team coached Rain LLC through the city permitting process, overcoming existing fiber conflicts, and the everyday challenges of a construction project, all while working towards the same goal of providing Rain LLC with the best building possible to educate the community of Prairie Trails West.

Overall, it was this project team’s effort which allowed Rain LLC’s goal of completing the Montessori pre-school in early summer to come true. With completing the newly built Montessori pre-school on time, Rain LLC has been busy preparing to serve the surrounding community of Prairie Trails West in the fall of 2018!

Straub Construction: Oxford Academy Straub Construction: Oxford Academy

The Straub Construction Picnic was a blast again this year!

By Parker Young, Executive Vice President and COO at Straub Construction

Straub Construction PicnicJune. It’s the time of year when temperatures get warm and the lightning bugs come out (along with the mosquitos…) And it was also time for the 20th annual Straub Picnic. This year didn’t disappoint! We had a great turnout again this year. We brought in the usual bouncy house and face painting for the kids. And of course burgers and beverages along with the raffle so that everyone goes home a winner!

The Families

For me, the best part is catching up with the spouses and family members of our team. It’s amazing how much the kids grow and change from year to year. We’ve watched them grow up before us and now they’re starting families.

Ice Cream!

For the kids, and many adults, the ice cream truck’s arrival may be the best part. This year the ice cream truck showed up in the middle of the raffle, but that didn’t stop the kids. We might have had a couple winners who even had to be called away from the truck to pick their prize!

The first timers always comment on how much fun our picnic is. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Straub Construction Picnic Straub Construction Picnic

Berkel Stadium: Fostering Pride in the Students of St. Mary’s

As a purpose driven organization, Straub Construction is dedicated to working with customers that are like minded and focused on the bettering of their communities. One of these purpose driven customers is the University of St. Mary’s. Their mission is “The University of Saint Mary educates students of diverse backgrounds to realize their God-given potential and prepares them for value-centered lives and careers that contribute to the well-being of our global society.”

One of the ways that they live out their mission is by providing affordable education and scholarships to their students. Many of them are first generation college students, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to go to college. Thank you to Sister Diane Steele for furthering the mission of The University of St. Mary’s and for sharing your story with us.

Guest Post By: Sister Diane Steele, SCL, Ph.D.

Straub Construction: Berkel StadiumAnother semester is winding down at the University of St. Mary’s in Leavenworth, Kansas. Students are bustling around campus, enjoying the spring weather that finally arrived, and preparing for finals. As the president of USM, I enjoy walking around campus myself. Often, as I leave my office, I head north, past the red brick buildings of campus and around DePaul Library and up the hill to Berkel Memorial Stadium.

Throughout these warm spring days, a variety of students and faculty are using the stadium. Some runners make laps around the track. Our lacrosse team practices in the field. The staff working in the offices take their lunch breaks in the sun-soaked bleachers. It has become a central part of the community here at St. Mary’s.

The stadium is one of the newest additions to our campus. A few years ago, we received a generous donation and were able to create this state of the art facility for our students, and it truly has been transformative for our students.

The Impact on Students

Almost all of our 810 undergrad students receive scholarships to come here. A lot of those students (43%) are first-generation college students, and see their college education as the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in their families.

Some of our students come to us with almost nothing to their name except a desire to get their degree. For example, we had a student arrive on our doorstep this year with nothing but a suitcase and a backpack. We have supplied everything from food to glasses to finding someone to help pay his tuition. We believe he came to us for a reason and trusted that God would provide a way for us to help him get a degree.

We are called to see the face of God in everyone. It’s our mission to educate students of diverse backgrounds to realize their God-given potential and to prepare them for value-centered lives and careers that contribute to the well-being of our global society. So, to have such a beautiful place to practice and play reinforces this message to our students: that you are a child of God—an important and valued member of society.

The Beauty of Berkel

Straub Construction: Berkel StadiumBefore we had Berkel Stadium, our athletes were practicing and competing on a nearly barren field. We had enough funds to build a row of bleachers and a press box, but not much else. To go from that to a modern stadium with an AstroTurf field, a collegiate-level competition track, and a building with spacious locker rooms, a multi-use meeting space, offices, and ample storage was a night and day difference.

There are a variety of components that have made this multi-faceted facility integral to USM success:

  • Aesthetics: The field really elevated our athletic program to have the feel of a high-quality collegiate level space to practice and compete on. Both our students and our alum feel a sense of pride in the stadium.
  • Safety: The materials and design of the track, field, and facility were built with safety in mind. Before, if the football team practiced on a rainy day, the turf would be torn up and no one else could use the field. With AstroTurf, that problem is avoided altogether.
  • Entertainment: We love to host events for donors, alumni, our board of trustees, and the families of prospective students. The multi-use meeting space has been used by our faculty and staff as well as community members, including the Straub Construction team! They met there for an annual meeting.
  • Recruitment: The stadium has also become a tool for recruiting new students. We have a strong athletic program, with a football team, two lacrosse teams, two soccer teams, and a track team that is now tenth in the nation! Being able to use the Berkel Stadium is ideal for athletes, and it has brought our student body together, supporting our Spires in various athletic events throughout the year.

Working with the Straub Team

Straub Construction: Berkel StadiumIt was great working with the Straub team, from start to finish. I first met the Straub family several decades ago when Ernie Straub Jr. helped renovate the nunnery on campus into the first building for our new nursing program. When we got the funding for the stadium, we knew the Straub team would be the perfect fit.

The Straub team is a faith-based, family unit so you know that you’re dealing with integrity. They’re a hard-working crew committed to doing things with excellence. They take such pride in their work that they’re there early in the morning and late at night because it’s not just a job. There’s some personal pride involved.

While the project for Berkel Stadium has been complete for a while now, the legacy and impact of Straub Construction remain strong here on the USM campus.