Project Kickoff: Emanuel Cleaver II Senior Living Community

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

Straub Construction is extremely excited to kick off a new project in Kansas City Missouri. Due to the increasing need for affordable senior living in the Kansas City Area, the St. James United Methodist Church has decided to repurpose a piece of land that they own into a new senior living community.

Over the past 5 years, the 40 Acres and a Mule Activity Campus, operated by the St. James United Methodist Church has been scarcely used to promote educational, recreational, prevention and intervention programs. As the metropolitan area continues to age, the church recognized and wanted to fill the need for quality and affordable senior living.

Emanuel Cleaver II

The senior living community is named after Emanuel Cleaver II who represents Missouri’s 5th congressional district in the US House of Representatives, former mayor of Kansas City Missouri, and who served for many years as the pastor of the St. James United Methodist Church. The St. James United Methodist Church is currently lead by Emanuel’s oldest son Dr. Emanuel Cleaver III.

The Emanuel Cleaver II Senior Living Community is located on 9 acres of land and will feature 52 townhouses and a clubhouse. The site will have a total of 18 buildings which are being built to LEED Sustainability Standards. This Senior Living Community will serve seniors over the age of 55.

Straub Construction is partnering with St. James United Methodist Church (Owner), Clark Enersen Partners (Architect), and Dalmark Management Group (Developer) to build this project. The Emanuel Cleaver II Senior Living Community project will take approximately 12 months to complete.

We’re very happy to kick off this new project in Kansas City Missouri. Now, let’s go move some dirt!

Straub Construction: Emmanuel Cleaver II Senior Living Project

Project Spotlight: Olathe Pregnancy Clinic

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

Olathe Pregnancy ClinicS2 had the great opportunity to do a tenant improvement build out for the new Olathe Pregnancy Clinic (OPC) this summer. This project was in joint connection with our intern project and included a full demo and renovation of the front half of the space including new offices, counseling rooms, restrooms, and a sonogram room. Each of the areas received new flooring, ceiling tiles and grid, paint, doors, and lighting.

The full scope of work was completed in less than two months!

This was in large part due to our superintendent, Stephen LaGue, who was able to keep on schedule and on budget to get OPC in their new space as soon as possible. Stephen and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the people of OPC and Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic and were honored to be a part of their team.

Just over a month after project completion, the whole Straub team and a few of our subcontractors were invited to attend the clinics annual fundraiser. It was a great evening learning about their past and future projects and hearing their amazing impact from past clients.  We were so happy to celebrate their successes and hope to work with them again in the future!

Straub Construction: Olathe Pregnancy Clinic Straub Construction: Olathe Pregnancy Clinic

Straub Construction: Olathe Pregnancy Clinic Straub Construction: Olathe Pregnancy Clinic

S2 Project Spotlight: Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

S2 had the opportunity to do a restroom renovation this summer at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Shawnee, KS. Both sets of main restrooms in the elementary and junior high areas were fully renovated in less than six weeks!

The renovation included new epoxy flooring, new floor to ceiling wall tile, new solid surface countertops, and larger mirrors in all four restrooms. Two of the restrooms also received new partitions. The wall tile and epoxy flooring gave the restrooms a more modern look and greatly increased the durability of the restrooms.

Our superintendent, Jake Mclees, brought this project in ahead of schedule even with an already very tight schedule. He also self-performed a variety of scopes from hanging doors, installing partitions, and even final clean. We loved working with the school and we’re so happy they were able to start the school year with functional (and fancy!) new restrooms.

Before the Project

Sacred Heart Sacred Heart

Completed Project

Sacred Heart - Finished Sacred Heart - Finished


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.

Johnson County Community College Classroom and Office Renovation

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

Johnson County Community CollegeS2 recently completed a classroom and office renovation at Johnson County Community College. The renovation included six classrooms and two office spaces and was completed entirely during the summer break. Some rooms just received new paint and specialty marker boards, while others included a complete renovation with new walls, ceilings, and all new finishes.

All of the classrooms received new Everwhite boards across all walls, creating interactive work spaces for multiple student groups to utilize at the same time. New flooring, lights, and ceilings made the rooms feel dramatically brighter and bigger.

Johnson County Community CollegeThe eight separate spaces spanned five campus buildings making managing each area a logistical challenge for our superintendent, Kody Simmons. However, after a few days of figuring out the fastest way between each, he was able to bring the project to a close on time and allow the school to get furniture moved in before the start of fall semester.

We all enjoyed our time at JCCC and hope to be back sometime in the future!


Bishop Sullivan Center: One City Café

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

The Bishop Sullivan Center is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services to help low-income people throughout the metro.

Bishop Sullivan Center’s Mission

“Inspired by Christian faith, Bishop Sullivan Center shows God’s love to people in financial hardship by providing food, help in finding jobs and other aid. Beyond material assistance, Bishop Sullivan Center strives to build relationships between those who live in poverty and those who do not, promoting mutual understanding and affirming the dignity of all.”

Bishop Sullivan Center: One City CaféStraub Construction has had a longstanding relationship with The Bishop Sullivan Center and has participated in many of their services. One of these services is their Community Kitchen which provides hot meals to an average of 255 people each night. Right now, the Community Kitchen is only able to reheat food and the dining area is a very small so it is elbow-to-elbow during every meal. In an effort to expand the outreach of the Community Kitchen, provide a more comfortable eating experience, and provide more nutritious meals, Straub Construction has been tasked with the honor of renovating their current space into what will be known as One City Café.

Along with expanding the space and providing a more open concept and comfortable dining experience, the new One City Café will have new cooking equipment that will allow the Bishop Sullivan Center to prepare fresh and nutritious meals. Additionally, part of The Bishop Sullivan Center’s mission is to “build relationships between those who live in poverty and those who do not.” Therefore, there will be a strong effort to include the community in both preparing meals and dining at One City Café.

Straub Construction is honored to have the opportunity to renovate the current Community Kitchen into the new One City Café for the Bishop Sullivan Center. The Bishop Sullivan Center has an incredibly positive impact on the less fortunate in our community and we’re thrilled to continue our relationship with this great organization. We will be starting our renovations on the One City Café in the beginning of September and plan to open the doors to the Café by Christmas.

Visit the Bishop Sullivan Center website to learn more about this great organization and donate to this wonderful cause.

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.

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

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.

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!

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

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

Straub Construction: SVN Charter School