Editorial: 11.17.2021

Steve Merx Likes the Pace and Variety of Solar Projects

steve merx

Growing up in the rural community of Potosi, Missouri, Steve Merx has always preferred living and working in small towns.

That’s why he considers himself fortunate to serve as a superintendent on many of Castle’s solar projects, which are typically located on sprawling farmland.

“I like being away from the city and the traffic, so it was a definite draw for me to be able to be out on my own and work with a team to build these new facilities that will serve their communities,” he says.

Since being tapped for his first solar job in 2017, Merx has worked on projects in Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan and Georgia as well as two new jobs just getting under way in Ohio. “I love experiencing different areas of the country and meeting new people,” he says. “It's amazing how different we all are and at the same time, how much we’re all the same.”

While working out of town, Merx has lived in a variety of environments, including rental homes, hotel rooms and his own RV. “On the last job we did in Georgia, eight of our employees all stayed in the same campground. On other jobs, we’ve been more spread out.”

The large scale and accelerated pace of solar projects also appeal to Merx. “We're moving a lot more dirt than we would on a typical non-solar job, and we're always trying to deliver the job as fast as possible,” he says. “Making sure the design is completed quickly enough to keep up with what we're doing in the field is probably the biggest challenge that we have.”

Before honing his solar expertise, Merx had the opportunity to work on two landmark Castle projects in the city of St. Louis: the new IKEA retail store and the redevelopment of Gateway Arch Park.

He joined Castle in 2013 after working for a couple of small grading and excavating contractors. “When I made the move to Castle, what surprised me more than anything was how much the company genuinely cares about its employees and does a good job of taking care of everyone,” he says. “I like being part of that.”

Merx chose a career in civil construction after earning a computer drafting and design degree at ITT Technical Institute and realizing he wanted to work outside rather than in a static office environment. “I didn't want to be stuck inside doing the same thing every day, so I ended up surveying for eight years,” he says.

He’s grateful that he discovered and signed on with Castle. “There’s a lot of room for growth, and if you put your best foot forward, the opportunities for advancement are just about endless,” he says.

Although solar projects take Merx to rural communities across the U.S., Potosi remains home base for him, his wife and three daughters. Two of his daughters are currently pursuing college nursing degrees and the youngest is hoping to enroll in pilot school. “Our first grandson is five months old. He’s the first boy in the family and already spoiled,” he says.

Hunting, fishing and boating are Merx’s favorite outdoor activities.


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