Editorial: 10.19.2022

Ray Cureton Helps Keep Castle Projects on Track

Celray cureton

What Does a Construction Superintendent Do? A Bit of Everything!

Each workday at about 4 a.m., Ray Cureton hops into his Castle truck and begins his daily trek from Farmington, Mo., to the St. Louis region.

During the 75+-mile commute, the Castle superintendent takes a systematic approach to visiting projects. His current rotation includes an initial visit to Oakville Elementary School in south St. Louis County, followed by either the O’Loughlin Family Champions Center addition to Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University or the Missouri Botanical Garden for finishing touches on the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center.

“I basically go from one job to the next, reviewing each project with the foremen, and answering any questions or concerns they may have,” he says. “I try to spend anywhere from two to three hours at each job to make sure that the project's going well and staying on budget.”

Other projects on Cureton’s current roster include Old Bonhomme Elementary School in the Ladue School District, the Expo at Forest Park mixed-use development and the Bemiston Place mixed-use development in Clayton, among others.

“The civil side of Castle—pipe work, mass excavation and grading—is what intrigues me the most,” he says. “You're constantly doing something different all day, every day. You may be doing pipe work today and digging for grade beams or doing a mass excavation tomorrow.”

And he isn’t intimidated by a project’s size or complexity. “I tackle just about anything they throw at me,” says Cureton, who previously spent more than a year onsite at the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility expansion in Leawood, Kansas.

A few days a week, he swings by Castle’s office in Webster Groves to attend meetings and drop off paperwork. “On average, I'm usually in the office about three hours out of the week,” he says.

Celebrating 21 Years with Castle 

Before joining Castle in 2001, Cureton was an assistant manager of a lumberyard and also worked as a pipefitter. One of his early Castle projects involved the installation of the storm pipe and drainage system on the Lindbergh tunnel that runs under the west runway at Lambert St. Louis International Airport. Some other early assignments included mass excavation and grading of the soccer field at Saint Louis University, projects at five schools in the Ladue School District, and work at the Saint Louis Zoo and the former Monsanto campus.

During his 21-year Castle tenure, Cureton has enjoyed witnessing the company’s evolution. “Watching Castle grow has been the most exciting part because I’ve seen where we came from and where we are now,” he says. “Our client list is growing and changing, and we have great leadership.”

And Cureton is no longer the only family member employed by Castle. His oldest son, Austin, has been honing his skills as a pipelayer at Castle for nearly six years. “I do a lot of mentoring with the younger laborers, and Austin and I have had lots of opportunities to work on the same projects,” he says.

Married for more than 33 years, Cureton and his wife, Rachel, have three kids: Austin, 24; Cameron, 22; and Katie, 18.

Hunting, fishing and stock car racing are Cureton’s favorite hobbies. During the summer months, he and a buddy race stock cars on Saturdays and have traveled to Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas to compete. “I like the challenge of trying to beat the other competitors,” he says.

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