The History of Castle Contracting

Castle Contracting History

The Castle Story

Twenty-five years ago, Julie Ledbetter founded Castle Contracting to provide safe and high-quality sitework to the St. Louis area. The company she founded in 1995 that first provided trenching services to electrical contractors now supplies turnkey civil construction services across the nation and brings in over $50 million per year.

Purchased by McCarthy Building Companies in 2014, Castle is now a 100% employee owned business. Every Castle employee has a personal – and financial – stake in the company’s future, and each of us now has a greater responsibility to our clients, and each other, to innovate and provide real value. The net result is an empowering environment directed towards providing our clients with safe, value-oriented and timely civil construction services.

1995

First Trailer Truck

firsts

Castle completes electrical trenching work on the Sverdrup Building in downtown St. Louis, becoming Castle’s first official project.

1998

projects

Castle completes work on multiple data center projects in St. Louis and O’Fallon, Mo. that required extensive underground piping.

1998

Exterior Towers Ground Level

projects

Barnes-Jewish Hospital of St. Louis announces a campus expansion, dividing the expansion into north and south campuses constructed by two separate teams. Castle begins structural excavation on the south campus and electrical substation installation on the north campus. 

2000

projects

Excited to be part of the St. Louis Loft District boom, Castle installs pavers in a zipper pattern down the middle of the busy Washington Ave., which required detailed planning and many phases to complete.

2001

Destruction of buildings on 911

news

On September 11, America is forever altered as the war on terror comes to American soil.

2002

milestones

Castle adds earthwork and utility capabilities to its services, becoming a full-service total sitework contractor.

earthwork

2003

projects

Overcoming multiple challenges, including rock under an active interstate and drastic elevation changes, Castle connects a water main for the new Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis.

2003

projects

Castle begins work on the infrastructure package for the new Busch Stadium, home of the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals. 

2004

firsts

Castle completes work on multiple projects associated with the $1B expansion of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, including power duct banks in Missouri’s first tunnel built for vehicular traffic and installing major sewers for the first time.

2004

news

Castle’s wins the 2004 AGCMO Keystone Award – Specialty Contractor, Industrial/Infrastructure Under $2 Million for ongoing work at Busch Stadium.

2006

firsts

Piping is completed at AMSCAN’s facility in Westchester, NY and officially marks Castle’s expansion outside the St. Louis area.
 

Flash forward

15 years later, Castle has operated in 18 states.

2006

milestones

Castle adds prime sitework and turnkey site construction services, further enhancing their sitework expertise.

turnkey

2006

projects

Castle wins work on all seven contracts of the Metrolink Cross County Extension project, delivering $8 million in power and utility packages for multiple contractors, including the installation of 7.5 miles of Plastibeton® cable trench system.

2006

projects

Demolition, mass excavation and shoring package are completed for the Lindell Boulevard Apartment Buildings in St. Louis.

2007

news

The subprime mortgage crisis leads to the collapse of the United States housing bubble, pushing the nation into a recession.

foreclosure

2008

holcim project

projects

Castle completes trenching for site drainage, storm drainage and underground utilities for the Holcim Inc. Concrete Slipform Silos in Bloomsdale, Mo. Additional electrical ductbank required trenching through a significant amount of rock.

2008

projects

Castle completes work on the new Lumiere Place Casino and Hotel in downtown St. Louis.

lumiere place

2010

projects

Castle completes work on the expansion of the River City Casino in St. Louis. 

2010

projects

Work is completed on the new Barnes-Jewish Hospital Biomedical Research Building in St. Louis. Castle’s mapping service begins to take shape as utility mapping challenges are solved on-site.

mapping graphic

2010

castle mapping

milestones

As a result of work done to avoid utility strikes at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Castle adds underground mapping technology to its toolkit, helping owners, designers and builders avoid underground hazards before they become costly delays. 

Flash forward
mapping

Castle uses industry-leading technology to accurately locate and graphically represent problem areas underground. A study by Purdue University concluded that you can experience a savings of $4.62 for every $1 spent on mapping.

2010

people

The ownership group expands to include Vice President Mike Myers.

mike myers

2011

firsts

Castle completes trenching and excavation for a grounding cable substation and solar power distribution in Gila Bend, Ariz., becoming Castle’s first solar project.

2011

news

Castle wins the AGC of Missouri Keystone Award for St. Louis Contractor of the Year, Earthwork & Utilities

2012

agc keystone awards 2012

news

Castle wins the AGC of Missouri Keystone Award for St. Louis Contractor of the Year, Earthwork & Utilities for the second year in a row.

2013

milestones

Castle completes work on its first contract worth more than $10 million at the Taubman Prestige Outlet Center in Chesterfield, Mo.

2013

news

The Castle team moves to a new corporate office in the Webster Groves neighborhood of St. Louis.

2013

projects

Over three years, Castle completes work on multiple projects in and around the University of Missouri – Columbia including a Patient Care Tower at the University of Missouri-Columbia, University Hospital.

university of columbia project

2013

news

For the third straight year, Castle wins the AGC of Missouri Keystone Award for St. Louis Contractor of the Year, Earthwork & Utilities.

2014

milestones

St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies acquires Castle Contracting, and Castle becomes a 100 percent employee-owned company.

2014 McCarthy acquires Castle
Flash forward
castle employees

Operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of McCarthy, Castle has continued to succeed and expand. Today Castle serves more clients, completes more work and has more employees than ever before.

2014

st. louis zoo

projects

Castle completes multiple mechanical, electrical and plumbing projects for the iconic Saint Louis Zoo, including the Sea Lion Sound Exhibit, the Sun Bear Forest and Painted Dog Preserve exhibits in the River’s Edge Expansion.

2015

projects

A major contributor to the St. Louis Midtown redevelopment, Castle installed 1,080 linear feet of 144-inch RCP combination sewer for the new IKEA store in St. Louis’ Cortex Innovation Community.

ikea project

2016

projects

Castle completes work with McCarthy on the Selmer Solar Farms in Selmer, Tenn., paving the way for a national expansion into the renewable energy market and the development of a traveling, specialized workforce.

2017

projects

Grand Hall is completed on the Saint Louis University campus, one of many past and ongoing projects at SLU that Castle has worked on throughout its history. Since 1995, Castle has been involved in more than 10 major projects and many smaller projects on SLU’s historic urban campus.

st. louis university

2017

milestones

Castle reaches more than $50 million in revenue.

2017

news

The Hazelhurst Solar Facility in Georgia is awarded ENR’s 2017 Best Project, Energy/Industrial Category. Castle completed sitework on the project.

2018

gateway arch

projects

Castle completes multiple projects for the renovation and expansion of the iconic Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. Castle worked on the riverfront to help address flooding, the north gateway, north park grounds, south park grounds and Museum and Visitors Center.

2018

firsts

Castle, in partnership with McCarthy, begins work at the Tomahawk Creek Waste Water Treatment Facility in Johnson County, Kan. Tomahawk becomes Castle’s first major waste water project.

tomahawk creek

2018

Washington University’s East End Transformation project

projects

As part of Washington University’s East End Transformation in St. Louis, Castle excavated 330,000-cubic-yards of dirt from the campus’s iconic doorstep. Castle was involved in multiple projects throughout the campus transformation. For the first time, Castle used drones to enhance production and scheduling.

2018

people

Michael Pranger is promoted to Vice President, Operations and begins overseeing operational, project management and field operations teams. Pranger joined Castle in 2004.

mike pranger

2018

castle receiving awards

news

Castle earns two safety awards from AGC Missouri: the Zero Recordable Accidents Safety Award and the Construction Project Safety Award for safe performance on the Washington University East End Transformation project.

2019

firsts

Castle completes civil design-build services for The Hill Development, a residential multi-family development in St. Louis, becoming Castle’s first civil design-build project performed with its in-house civil engineering team.

hill development project

2019

gateway arch

news

The Gateway Arch Renovation and Expansion, on which Castle completed multiple sitework projects, is selected by multiple local and national outlets as Project of the Year, including the Engineering News-Record, St. Louis Business Journal and Building Design & Construction.

2019

news

The project team for the Pedestrian Bridge Replacement at Washington University in St. Louis earns the Best Practices Award for Front End Planning from the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers. Castle installed stormwater lines and underdrain as well as sanitary lines, which included a reroute.

2019

projects

The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station opens on Christmas Day. Castle trenched in interior spaces for MEP installation to support the new aquarium, which replaces a vacant shopping mall under a historic train shed and depot in downtown St. Louis.

2020

news

Castle celebrates its 25th anniversary