Editorial: 12.09.2020

2020, A Year to Remember

— Mike Pranger, Vice President Operations

Celebrating 25 Years and Looking Toward a Better Future

constuction site

This year has tested us all. But Castle is built for times like these. Solving problems, pivoting to keep our projects moving forward, and supporting each other in the process — it’s what we do. As we’ve encountered challenges none of us could have predicted, it has been amazing to witness the resilience of our team and their commitment to getting the job done.

What we miss most is gathering together with each other and with our clients. This loss stings even more because 2020 is our 25th anniversary. Like many others with life and business milestones this year, we had planned to commemorate our 25th year with a party so we could spend time celebrating with our clients. Though we had to postpone those plans, we look forward to getting together in person soon.

With 2020 nearing an end, I thought I’d share some background about Castle’s origins and growth to provide some insight into how we got to where we are today. We’re grateful to all of our leaders, clients and employee-partners who have been a part of our story!

Our Journey

Castle started as a trenching company for electrical contractors working on light pole bases and parking lots. Electrical contractors were our earliest clients and the MEPFP Civil + Utility market is still a major part of our business. Building on that core work, we quickly grew, adding excavation and earthwork services. Our work included overseeing structural excavation on the Barnes-Jewish campus in St. Louis back in 1998. We were a small shop with our team comprised of project managers who would both win and execute the work.

Year after year, our projects grew bigger and more complex. By 2003, we were running a horizontal casing bore under Interstate 64 (Highway 40) in St. Louis to install a water main to feed the new Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School. In 2004, we won the infrastructure package for the new Busch Stadium and in 2006, we were on seven different packages on the MetroLink Cross County Light Rail Expansion, performing $8 million in work over 2 1/2 years.

As Castle continued to grow, we began taking on prime sitework contracts where we self-performed our work and began managing trade partners. We were always looking to provide more value and manage more of the project for a successful outcome. That included providing subsurface utility mapping to support civil design, improve project planning, and increase efficiency and safety in the field before we broke ground. Our focus has always been on looking for better ways to build, minimizing the risk and enhancing value for our clients.

By 2013, our team had built a solid reputation and a strong company culture. We won our largest contract to date, a $10.5 million, 50-acre site development contract for the Taubman Prestige Outlet Center in Chesterfield, Mo. That put us on the path to continue our success and growth. With the acquisition by McCarthy Holdings, Inc., Castle gained a variety of advantages, including better benefits and ownership for our employee-partners ­—¸making them even more invested in our business while adding financial strength and business support for our operations and clients. With that powerful backing, we could continue to move forward and achieve our goals of providing our customers best-in-class civil services.

More recently, we’ve expanded into new markets, including civil design-build, renewable energy and water, as well as geographic expansion to Omaha and San Diego. Castle continues to invest in technology and equipment that enhances project communications and efficiency to improve our clients’ projects and experiences. Our goal is to remain our clients’ first call when they have complex projects of any size.

Learn more about our history here.

construction worker

Our Future

Castle has been in a constant state of evolution — and we don’t expect that to change. We will continue to remain client focused, to challenge ourselves, to look for ways to build better and take ownership of our craft.

Our people are our primary differentiator. This is always difficult to emphasize in the subcontractor world of hard bids. The culture of our team really shapes Castle, providing clients with a great experience that is superior to other civil contractors. Our people, including the best craftsmen and craftswomen in St. Louis, are the reason we are here today. They have can-do attitudes, a love for solving complex challenges and a commitment to quality work and integrity. We will continue to invest in their development so they can do great things for our clients and enjoy their work.

Twenty-five years ago, I don’t think our team envisioned we’d be managing the magnitude of work we are currently executing across the country. But even with all of our achievements, we have stayed true to who we are and maintained our personality, values and culture. I’m truly proud of the hard work and passion of the individuals who have worn the Castle logo, and I’m confident our next 25 years will be even better.

About the Author

As Vice President Operations of Castle Contracting, LLC, Mike Pranger is responsible for overseeing all operations for the firm. With 24 years of experience, he began his career as an intern with McCarthy Building Companies, gaining experience in self-perform work and in the roles of project engineer, estimator and superintendent. He joined Castle as project manager in 2004, expanding the company’s expertise and ability to work on larger, more complex projects. In his current leadership role, he guides all business operations and provides direction to business leaders responsible for accounting, estimating, business development, market team operations and field operations.

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