Editorial: 01.04.2019

Digging Deeper in 2018: Castle Year in Review

— Aaron Retherford, Director, Business Development

Earthmoving Site in Action

From the heights of the mounded dirt at the site of the former Crestwood Mall to the depths of the new underground parking garage at Washington University, Castle Contracting made its mark across the St. Louis region in 2018.

Our team contributed to diverse projects, welcomed talented new colleagues, implemented innovative technology tools and participated in meaningful initiatives to enrich our community.

As we head into the final days of 2018, We’d like to share a few company highlights:

Diverse Project Work

Castle Contracting Excavation Equipment

This year, our work ranged from landmark projects beloved by millions to new developments that will help define the region’s future.

Castle was proud to play a prominent role in renovating the historic landscape and expanding the subterranean museum at Gateway Arch Park, in collaboration with McCarthy and many other industry partners. This iconic St. Louis monument will continue to inspire visitors locally and from around the world.

We’re also honored to be actively involved in transforming the east end of Washington University’s Danforth Campus, a project that includes eight separate components: six buildings, a parking garage and a landscape feature.

Our other project work ranged from healthcare and education assignments to recreation and retail developments, and spanned the country from Virginia to Omaha to Denver.

A few of them included:

  • Delivering civil design-build services for The Hill residential and multi-family development.completing the new all-ability ballfield, putting green and outdoor spaces at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital.completing sitework for the new Topgolf venue in Chesterfield.preparing the site of the St. Louis County Library system’s new Meramec Valley branch in Fenton.
  • Completing water main emergency repair work for Missouri American Water Company as we celebrated the new year with frigid temperatures.
  • Overseeing site utilities for the 4000 Premier Parkway warehouse and distribution center being built for Amazon in St. Peters.
  • Starting utility work for the City Foundry STL, an adaptive reuse project that will become a new innovative entertainment, retail and restaurant complex.managing utility and site work for the Tomahawk Wastewater Treatment Facility in Johnson County, KS.

A Client-Focused Team

To support Castle’s recent growth and ensure we can continue delivering excellent customer service, we made some exciting promotions and additions to our team. Our most visible change was the promotion of Mike Pranger to vice president operations, a role in which he now oversees all aspects of our business while carrying on our company culture. We also added several talented individuals to our team, including:

  • James Parks and Amy Huller, who bring engineering and design capabilities to our civil design-build services.
  • Christie Brinkman, who is fully dedicated to business development in St. Louis.
  • Charles Danner and Dan Schaefer, who bring great energy to our estimating team.
  • Corey Howell (our first Kansas City team member), who is assisting with project management on the Tomahawk Wastewater Treatment Facility project in Kansas.
  • Dan O’Neal, who brings large project and construction management expertise to his role as project director leading sitework projects for general contractors.
  • Christina Chiodini and Angie Langford, who bolster the capability of our accounting department.

Streamlining Construction Through Technology

Group of male construction workers wearing VR headsets

Castle team members continued to leverage advanced technology to improve the accuracy, speed and safety of construction work.

This included using drones to document the progress of site excavation work so construction teams can identify potential problems before they escalate into costly delays.

We’re also using real-time GPS tracking and RFID technologies to efficiently locate, manage and maintain our construction equipment.

And our team members explored an innovative approach to portraying underground utility lines using the Microsoft HoloLens head-mounted display. This “X-ray underground vision” can help clients and project teams better visualize and understand site-specific conditions, subsurface conflicts, design challenges and constructability. 

Enriching our Community

Castle Staff at clean sweep event

Castle has a long history of giving back to the community, and we continued that tradition in 2018 by participating in a wide range of volunteer and charitable initiatives.

We helped revitalize several north St. Louis city neighborhoods through our active involvement in Operation Clean Sweep, a program of Better Family Life and the Regional Business Council. Teams of Castle volunteers devoted several Saturdays to demolishing abandoned structures and cleaning up tree and brush overgrowth and rubbish.

We were proud to continue our commitment to honoring veterans by participating in community events to benefit the Missouri Military Memorial Foundation, which honors fallen servicemen and servicewomen, and The BackStoppers, which provides financial aid and support to families of fallen heroes. Castle also served as a sponsor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Stories of Honor program, recognizing the selfless contributions of veterans. And our employee partners served as guardians to many veterans on flights to Washington D.C. throughout the year in support of Greater St. Louis Honor Flight.

Our employee partners stepped up to support many other organizations as well, including KIDstruction, American Heart Association, Children's Miracle Network, Make-A-Wish® Foundation and Home Sweet Home.

As we reflect on 2018, we’re grateful to our clients and industry partners for the opportunity to work together to improve the region.

Here’s to a great holiday season and a prosperous 2019 for everyone. 

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