What do Seville, Spain and Kansas City have in common?

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

HannahI recently had the opportunity to spend the holidays in Spain and Portugal, visiting family and seeing some of the greatest architecture in the world. I was most excited to spend time in Seville, a Sister City of Kansas City. The cities have shared street names, designs, and expositions over their 52-year agreement.

J.C. Nichols designed the country club plaza with a Spanish theme by including courtyards, tile facades, stucco buildings, and fountains throughout the city.  He copied prominent Seville features including the Giralda Tower, modeled above our Cheesecake Factory, and Plaza de Los Reyes fountain, which we call the J.C. Nichols Fountain.

One of Seville’s main roadways is Kansas City Avenue, and they also have a replica of The Scout statue that sits just to the west of Liberty Memorial. It was exciting to walk around the city and see little pieces of our hometown throughout, even though it was over four thousand miles away.

In addition to Seville, I was also able to tour the Alhambra, the burial place of Queen Isabelle and King Ferdinand, the Royal Palace in Madrid, and the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon. Each of these contained unique and breathtaking design elements, all of which have been standing longer than our city’s existence.

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Happy Holidays from Straub Construction!

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

The entire Straub Family hopes you’ve enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, and we wish you peace and joy as we approach the New Year.

In keeping with our traditions, we were able to take a few moments to step away from the hustle and bustle to have a little fun with those who are so important to us. It wouldn’t be Christmas at Straub without our annual White Elephant Gift Exchange and Christmas Party (Casino Night!)

White Elephant Gift Exchange

Happy Holidays from Straub Construction Happy Holidays from Straub Construction Happy Holidays from Straub Construction

Christmas Party – Casino Night

Happy Holidays from Straub Construction Happy Holidays from Straub Construction Happy Holidays from Straub Construction Happy Holidays from Straub Construction Happy Holidays from Straub Construction

Pax Intrantibus: Peace to Those Who Enter (Drone video)

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

Drone license… check. New drone… check. It’s been three months since I received my drone pilot license and new drone, and I’m putting them to work!

With the purpose of getting additional flight hours/practice under my belt, I headed up to Gower, Missouri where we were putting the finishing touches on an important project. After eighteen months of construction, The Abbatial Church of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles is nearing completion. My intent was to simply get some practice, but the video I captured was worth sharing.

Pax Intrantibus: Peace to Those Who Enter

As you enter the site, a Latin phrase adorns the top of the gateway, which in English reads, “Peace to Those Who Enter.” Over the last several years, we’ve been blessed to work alongside a group of women who have dedicated their lives to peace and service. They remind us to slow down and find the peace in our daily lives, especially during this holiday season. As the construction activity comes to an end, we look forward to restoring more peace to their world.

This has been a challenging and rewarding project for our team. We’ve worked with the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles on many different projects for many years, and we are honored to be completing this beautiful church for this group of amazing women.

 

Procore’s 2018 Groundbreak Conference.

By Dan VanDonge, Senior Project Manager for Straub Construction

Dan VanDongeNovember 13th through 15th were action packed days at Procore’s 2018 Groundbreak conference in Austin, Texas. We’ve been a partner with Procore for 5 ½ years now, and we’re proud to be associated with such a great platform. Procore helps us collaborate and communicate with the highest level of transparency on all of our projects. The conference included a state of the art innovation lab, four breakout sessions daily, and a number of keynotes featuring Procore brass along with guest speakers Peyton Manning and Marc Randolph.

Collaborating with Industry Leaders

In addition to the many scheduled activities, we were able to find time to hang out with industry leaders, specifically representatives from JM Coull based out of Massachusetts and Tilton Pacific out of California. These companies, along with Straub, participated in a nation wide peer group that was started years ago and the relationships continue to be strong today. Even outside this peer group, it was a great opportunity to meet other professionals in our industry and share insight into challenges and successes that we all live on a daily basis.

Procore: Only as good as the people using it.

Procore 2018 Groundbreak ConferenceWhile we continue to embrace and develop our partnership with Procore, the software is only as good as the people using it. One thing is for certain, we came back to Kansas City proud that we get to work alongside Project Managers and Superintendents at Straub that leverage this project management platform as good or better than anyone in our industry.

A big thanks to Procore and our industry peers for a great all around experience at Groundbreak 2018!

 

The Dedication of the Abbatial Church of Our Lady Queen of Apostles

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

On September 9th, a beautiful ceremony took place in Gower, Missouri at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus. The Dedication of a Catholic Church is a very specific process that exists in order to consecrate and dedicate to God a material temple, as the Church consecrates most things that serve religious usage.

The Dedication

This dedication involved over 75 religious people from bishops, priests, sisters, and monks. It started on the outside of the church where the exteriors were blessed, accompanied by a litany of prayers and songs. After a few hours, the ceremony moved into the interior of the church, where every cross, statue, pew, font, etc. was blessed.

The Altar of the Church was the next thing to be dedicated and blessed. The Altar blessing also included the placing of the Holy Relics of three Saints. The Relics of Saint Maria Goretti, Pope Saint Pius X, and Saint John Neumann were placed into the Altar. After the Dedication ceremony was complete, the First Mass was celebrated in the newly dedicated Church. The day was concluded with a delicious celebration feast.

This was an incredible ceremony and we are blessed to be a part of such a holy place. Here are some photos from the day.

Dedication Dedication

Dedication Dedication

Dedication Dedication

Straub now has a certified drone pilot. Our first mission was St. Paul Catholic Church.

Matthew Straub in his Drone Pilot gear4By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

A few months ago, I became certified through the FAA as a Remote Pilot.

In order to fly a drone for commercial purposes, you must have, or be under, the direct supervision of someone with their remote pilot’s license. Receiving this license required numerous hours of study and passing a rigorous 60 question exam at an FAA facility. And now I’m excited to present my first drone video and project update for St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Olathe, Kansas. Yes, it was my first official mission!

St. Paul Catholic Church

The St. Paul Catholic Church project is moving right along, on schedule. The project began in December of 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by early 2019. When the building is complete, the church and school will move all of their operations from their old facility into the brand-new building.

A few weeks ago, all the teachers and staff took a tour of the new facility and they are all extremely ecstatic to move into their new building.

St. Paul Catholic Church has the Mission, “To use our diversity and compassion to inspire, teach, and nurture all to grow in their respect for God and one another as we follow Christ who willingly laid down his life for us.”

Straub Construction is happy to play a part in furthering their mission. We’re excited for the future of St. Paul Catholic Church and School, and for the many generations of students, faculty, and parishioners who will benefit from this amazing project.

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.

Road Trip. Sometimes you just need some time away.

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

Parker Young - Jackson HoleRecently, my 16 year old son and I took a relatively unplanned 2,500 mile road trip. I say relatively unplanned, because just 10 days before, most of our crew was planning to head to Lakeland, Florida. Unfortunately, our host in Lakeland was out for his daily bike ride when he got hit by an inattentive driver. Fortunately, he was wearing his helmet! But he ended up with six broken ribs. So obviously they weren’t up for a Kansas invasion. (He is well on the road to recovery, thank goodness.)

So we started kicking around ideas about where we could go together. Ultimately, my son and I ended up deciding to go skiing. I had always heard about Jackson Hole and knew the area was gorgeous from our dude ranch trip a few years ago.

So off we went.

Parker - Jackson HoleIt always amazes me the variety of geography our country has in such short stretches. We left the rolling hills of East Kansas and Northwest Missouri into the corn fields of Iowa and Nebraska. Then we hit the foothills and high desert of Wyoming and ended up at the base of the Grand Tetons. All in 15 hours!

The skiing at Jackson Hole was unlike much of the skiing that I’ve done before. You actually have to work to ski! But the best part of the trip was forming fun memories with my son. Whether it was packing into a tram with 98 others to ride to the top, or him watching me walk off a run that was way too advanced for my skills. Or listening to K-State make the Sweet Sixteen on the road home. We had some great quality time to bond.

It was a good reminder that life moves quickly and you have to take full advantage of the time you’re given. No one is going to remember the day to day grind, but we always remember what happens on a fun road trip, especially with those we care so much about. When was the last time you carved out time for a road trip? If it’s been longer than a year, I encourage you to get something on your calendar in the next three months!

Parker - Jackson Hole Parker - Jackson Hole