Supporting Bishop Sullivan Center

By Ernie Straub, President at Straub Construction

Supporting charities that care for those less fortunate has always been an important part of how Straub Construction Company lives out our core values. Take the Bishop Sullivan Center which provides a wide range of services, food, training, soup kitchen, elder cool, etc, etc, to all who ask, the list is amazing.

Bishop Sullivan Center

What if you didn’t have a restroom?

Our commitment and support started 14 years ago when operating the St. James Kitchen & Food Pantry.  My Dad discovered there were no bathrooms for the 200 plus guests. Many of the guests received their only meal of the day through the pantry.  There was a need and we knew we could help, delivering new facilities just 150 days later that the guests have been very thankful for.

The fun didn’t stop there.  You can’t imagine how impactful it is to change a family’s life when we turned a simple one day window replacement project into an extreme home makeover project.  We helped a family of four that was devastated when the 39 year old dad and husband suffered a sudden stroke that left him completely disabled.

When we started at 9am, 3 days before Christmas, and saw a family living with no heat in very difficult conditions, we knew what we needed to do.  Besides windows, we installed new plumbing, heating, kitchen cabinets, flooring, wall repairs, paint, appliances and a new flat screen TV in 30 hours.

There is a special satisfaction that comes from charitable giving when nothing is expected back.  Thanks to all who support the Bishop Sullivan Center.  We are blessed and thankful to be a part of the special work you do.

Here is the video of the Extreme Home Makeover!

More to come next month!

We will be sharing more information in a blog post next month about an exciting renovation project that will enhance the experience of those served by Bishop Sullivan Center!

The Ideal Team

By Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction

I admit it. And I’m proud to admit it. I’m a sucker for business books – especially those dealing with leadership and culture.

It hasn’t always been that way. When I was in my twenties, I definitely considered anyone to buy these (what I called) “self-help” books as true suckers.  Not anymore.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that these authors might actually know more than I do about some things.

The Ideal Team Player

These books often get shared among the leaders and managers of companies who endeavor to improve their culture or business processes.  The book The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencione was recently given as a gift to our Executive Vice President, Parker Young. Parker read it almost immediately.

It’s a quick read, which made that easy to do. The book focuses on the three main attributes people must possess to be great team players.  They must be hungry, meaning self -driven in the constant pursuit of excellence. They must be humble. They are more concerned about the team and share credit in times of success. They also generally accept blame when things don’t go so well. And finally, Ideal Team Players are smart. They understand how to read people and work with them based on the situation at hand. So, of course he wanted to share the book with the leaders at Straub.

This is not a summary of the book, The Ideal Team Player. Rather, it’s a short story about how the entire company came together to share ideas on how to be great team players. To be great, every employee – in the office and at every job site – must approach their work with ownership and the mindset of a leader.

Rolling it out to the company

Straub Construction: Ideal Team PlayerSo, we kicked the process off with an all company meeting to introduce and distribute the book to all employees (all leaders). As with all meetings, Ernie shared some great stories about what the book means to him and how it relates to the culture he and his father envisioned when they took over the company thirty plus years ago.

From there, employees were grouped up into teams of 7, including a facilitator.  All were tasked with reading the book in preparation of a follow up small group discussion. The book and assignment were well received, as lots of employees were asking questions and getting engaged right away – even before reading the book.

Fast forward to two weeks later, and we conducted our small group discussions. These groups were designed to foster diversity and inclusion. Each group had a mixture of field, project management, operations and support personnel. This provided a tremendous opportunity for all to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of just about every position in the company. In small teams, we talked about how to work better together, and everyone was sharing ideas. The takeaways from the discussions were invaluable, and we are in the process of implementing many great ideas from these conversations.

Always building the team

I’m proud to work for a company filled with Ideal Team Players. It’s not only rewarding, but it makes my job easier. When speaking with customers, I have the confidence to ensure their projects will be delivered by an entire team of people who are hungry, humble and smart.  Finally, if this type of culture appeals to you… we’re always in search of more Ideal Team Players. Pick up the phone. Give us a call. We want to talk with you.

Finishing an 11,600 Piece Puzzle for The Priory of our Lady of Ephesus

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

“That in all things God may be glorified through Mary”

On May 22nd, the final piece of the more than 11,600 piece puzzle was placed to complete an endeavor that took about 8 months to complete. This puzzle was the masonry veneer of The Priory of our Lady of Ephesus in Gower Missouri.

Inspired by the Historic Taylor Barn

The Historic Taylor BarnIt all started exactly one year to the day, on May 22nd when the project team went to see the Taylor Barn. The Benedictine’s of Mary, Queen of Apostles dreamed of a beautiful stone church that mirrored churches built hundreds of years ago. For inspiration and to get an idea of what that might look like, the project team to a trip to the Historical Taylor Barn in Lawrence, KS.

This historic barn is made of limestone and was built in 1879 and has been used as a unique event space for weddings and other events since 2007. During this visit, the ownership and design team were able to show Straub Construction what they wanted the exterior of the church to look like. We tried to tell the sisters and design team that people don’t build new construction like that anymore, but they would not be swayed. It’s almost like their decision was set in stone.

A Masonry Endeavor

The Priory of our Lady of Ephesus in Gower MissouriAfter the visit to the Taylor Barn, several masonry veneer mock-ups and samples were constructed at the project site to confirm the ability to construct the masonry details and to establish the ‘standard’ for the masonry construction. Once this mock-up was approved, Apex Construction was off to production and began laying stone. We knew this wasn’t going to be the fastest masonry endeavor, but when it was done it would be a sight to see.

Throughout the months of veneer construction, the Apex Construction crew became a welcome sight for the sisters at the Priory of our Lady of Ephesus. However, the masonry veneer wasn’t without its challenges. One of the main challenges undertaken during the veneer construction was the sequencing of the bell tower masonry. The bell tower’s location provided both a logistical and engineering challenge. The church’s roof couldn’t sustain the weight of a scaffolding system, so the stone on the bell tower had to be set before roof construction began. A scaffold system was erected from the church floor through the structure of the church to gain access to the bell tower. Once the bell tower masonry was complete and the scaffolding was removed, everyone got to marvel at a ‘floating’ stone tower fifty feet in the air.

The Priory of our Lady of Ephesus in Gower Missouri

Completion Celebration

Completion CelebrationAs the winter months turned to spring, the stone exterior that the owners and designers dreamed of was completed. After a long 8 months of work, a celebration was in order. On May 22nd, many people gathered to celebrate the blessing and setting of the cornerstone. On this beautiful day, many Straub Construction employees, the design team, and members of the community gathered in Gower to share in the celebration. The stone was set with the inscription “That in all things God may be glorified through Mary.” We hope that in hundreds of years, the Benedictine’s of Mary Queen of Apostles are still glorifying God in this beautiful church.

A special thanks to the Historic Taylor Barn for helping provide us with some inspiration and also to Studio Chyree Photography for the beautiful picture of the Historic Taylor Barn.

Employee Spotlight: Ben Lutz, Estimator for Straub Construction

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

Straub is so excited to welcome Ben Lutz to the team as our newest estimator! Ben was born and raised in the Kansas City area, but left for college at Baylor where he pursued a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Commercial Real Estate. Upon graduation, he returned to Kansas City and has worked for the past eight years as a commercial real estate appraiser. This background has given Ben a unique perspective on projects from their initial concept to final design.

Why Straub?

Ben was always more interested in construction and development and was thrilled to make the change to Straub. The culture has stood out to Ben as one of the biggest benefits of working here: “I enjoy learning and working as a group with the ability to bounce ideas off one another.  The people have definitely been my favorite part of working here!”

The Personal

Ben is married to his college sweetheart and together they have a 10-month old daughter, Samantha. Outside of work, Ben can be found tearing up the disc golf course or enjoying the great outdoors hunting and fishing. We’re so glad to have Ben be a part of Straub!