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St. Louis County Honors Aschinger Electric President Emily Martin With 2019 Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Award

Aschinger Electric President Emily Martin is being honored for her business and civic leadership by St. Louis County government. Martin was named the winner of the county’s 2019 Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Award. The award honors “outstanding business acumen, industry leadership and community service.” It was presented during St. Louis County’s inaugural vendor fair on September 18, 2019 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“Emily leads by example,” said Doug Martin, executive vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association. “She’s a leader in both her business and our NECA chapter and devotes countless hours to improving our industry and the St. Louis community.”

Aschinger is among the region’s largest electrical contractors and among the largest women-owned businesses according to the St. Louis Business Journal. It is also one of the nation’s Top 600 Specialty Contractors, according the industry trade publication Engineering News Record (ENR). Aschinger was founded in 1940 in St. Louis and Martin is the fourth generation in the electrical contracting business.

“Emily is strategically growing Aschinger’s business opportunities, expanding its services,” noted Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1. “We have been proud to partner with her firm for decades on its many diverse electrical and communications projects.” Under Martin’s leadership, Fenton-based Aschinger has expanded its service to build and maintain commercial electrical needs. Its key recent projects include:

  • St. Louis County Library branch modernization
  • Renovations to the GatewayArch grounds including improvements to the Arch tram
  • Robert A. Young Federal Building seismic renovation
  • Ameren Missouri community solar array

In 2018, Martin grew Aschinger’s workforce to 170 with the merger with Briner Electric.

Martin is president of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors
Association (NECA). NECA partners with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 form the Electrical Connection, a business development and civic leadership organization for the electrical industry. Martin serves on the AGC of Missouri Diversity Committee and the NECA National Diversity Engagement Council.

“Emily is well known to business and civic organizations locally and statewide,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “She’s an invaluable resource to the state as we help Missouri adapt to new technology that is changing the energy, electrical and communications industry.”

In addition, Martin serves on the St. Louis County Electrical Examining Board which oversees electrical contracting licensing in the county. She is also an executive board member of AAIM Employer’s Association and serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity – St. Louis and the capital campaign committee for Tower Grove Park.

Martin earned her law degree from University of Missouri – Kansas City and her degree in history from Fontbonne University.

Young Seismic Retrofit Required Delicate Work, Pinpoint Scheduling

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has completed an innovative seismic renovation of the Robert A. Young Federal Building—one of downtown St. Louis’ largest office buildings—to improve the historic structure’s seismic performance.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which owns and manages the 20-story, 1-million-sq.-ft. building, undertook the $75 million design-build project to provide additional shelter-in-place opportunities and safe exits for the building’s 3,000 occupants in the event of an earthquake. Originally constructed in the early 1930s, the Art Deco brick and terracotta building faces potential seismic hazards because of its location within the New Madrid fault zone.

The project represented the first use of seismic dampers in a St. Louis building retrofit and the GSA’s first time using this alternative approach compared to more traditional seismic renovation methods. This novel strategy eliminated the need for 90 percent of the concrete shear walls traditionally required, streamlining the project schedule.

The design-build team’s innovative solution combined viscous dampers, steel braces and steel sheer walls, enabling all work to be completed while the building was 100 percent occupied by employees from 48 separate government agencies. Additional project elements included seismic bracing of non-structural components such as ceilings; partitions; and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems.

“Our McCarthy team worked closely with the designers and trade partners to identify and implement the most flexible, efficient design alternatives and to ensure that all construction work was well-coordinated with office moves,” said McCarthy Vice President Ryan Molen.

To complete the project on time and with minimal disruption to government organizations and their employees, construction progressed 21 hours a day—from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m.—with much of the work completed from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. McCarthy scheduled and managed customized moves for each tenant. These included either relocating entire offices or temporarily consolidating office work spaces into more compressed areas. After four to six weeks, employees returned to offices that looked exactly like the space they left—from the original location of electric outlets to the exact positioning of each desk.

During the project, water and electric service for tenants was never disrupted, and all work was completed with close attention to environmental considerations, including controlling negative air flow, avoiding potential contamination, noise reduction, odor management and other best practices.

In recognition of the team’s overall commitment to safety, the AGC of Missouri recognized McCarthy with a Construction Project Safety Award for completing the project without a recordable incident.

The McCarthy-led design-build team includes Gensler (lead designer and architect of record), Etegra (associate architect) and Thornton Tomasetti (structural engineer). Other project team members included William Tao & Associates, Integrated Facility Services, Aschinger Electric and Wilson’s Structural Steel.

New library in Clayton delights readers of all ages

As featured in the the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
CLAYTON — By 4 p.m. Wednesday, the new Mid-County Branch Library had seen 2,100 patrons come through its doors — more than double its typical number of daily visitors, with the post-work influx yet to arrive. Visitors were celebrating the opening of the 18th edition in the St. Louis County Library’s “Your Library Renewed” plan. Nearly two years after the Clayton library closed, they were ready. “We’ve been waiting for it to reopen. We are excited,” said Debby Thomas, who works as a nanny in Clayton. She was sitting on a round purple bench next to a train table, holding a stack of books picked out by 3-year-old Andrew Brown and his 6-year-old sister Allison.
“It’s bright and beautiful in this room. Everything is kid-friendly,” Thomas said.
The children’s area is a point of pride for Mid-County, said Kristen Sorth, St. Louis County Library director. The $8.5 million tear-down and rebuild got a boost from a $30,000 donation to the children’s library by the William T. Kemper Foundation.
“The old library was more adult-oriented than any other branch. There was lots of brown,” said Sorth.
The Mid-County Branch opened in 1977 at 7821 Maryland Avenue. It was — and is — the only county branch to have an underground parking garage, which also got a makeover.
“The old branch was the best it could be, but it just wasn’t accessible,” said Sorth. “It was time.”
The new 18,860-square-foot library is about 15% larger and was designed by Christner Architects to have better separation among books, magazines and DVD stacks, children’s and teen spaces, and collaborative and quiet work areas.
Natural light pours in from a skylight above the circulation desk as well as the floor-to-ceiling windows along Maryland and Central avenues.

Fuchsia and lime green walls announce the children’s area, which features oversize chairs for parent-child reading, round nooks built into the walls and pull-out bins that let little bookworms peruse their favorite titles more easily.
Two-year-old Emmett Florek paged through a “Pete the Cat” board book while singing “The Wheels on the Bus” as his 4-year-old brother, Noah, navigated among the other young browsers poking around the shelves.
“We didn’t used to come to the children’s section here because the layout wasn’t conducive to wrangling a toddler,” said their mother, Liz Florek. “Having a separate area is really nice.”

On the opposite side of the bustling children’s area, a quieter teen room had caught the attention of eighth-graders Alison Booth and Marina Lashmar. “It’s nice to have a space for us,” said Alison, 13. “It’s not for kids, it’s not for adults.”
The new library includes amenities similar to ones added in recent years to the library system’s previous renovations: quiet rooms, vending machines, a business center with copiers and scanners, a multipurpose room and a computer lab.
The $120 million tax initiative funding the renovations was passed by county voters in 2012. Next on the list is the replacement of St. Louis County Library Headquarters and the addition of a history and genealogy and administration building.
On Wednesday, a whiteboard next to the Mid-County circulation desk asked visitors to add a comment saying what they loved about the new branch.
The colorful notes praising the renovation had started to overlap one another, but one stuck out:
“It’s so bright, and open, and wonderful.”

Aschinger engineers a new 120 kW DC elevated photovoltaic array

As a part of IBEW Local 1’s building renovation, Aschinger, in partnership with Azimuth Energy, engineered and constructed a new 120 kW DC elevated photovoltaic array on IBEW’s parking lot. IBEW added 4 dual-port electric vehicle charging stations to the array as well. IBEW Local 1 received a rebate from Ameren Missouri for investing in green energy solutions at their facility. This produces an estimated 160,000 kWh annually, the equivalent of powering approximately 15 average sized homes for one year.

  

Aschinger Electric Teams with IBEW To Complete the New Meramec Valley Branch Library

Project is the 17th St. Louis County Library Branch

Improvement by Electrical Connection Membership

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis County Library’s new Meramec Valley Branch debuted on May 15, 2019.  It is the 17th branch to be modernized by the Electrical Connection partnership comprised of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  NECA contractor Aschinger Electric Co. completed the technology-infused library, taking over work from Briner Electric Co. which it acquired in 2018.   The library was designed by Mackey Mitchell Architects and Bond Architects. Brinkmann Constructors was the construction manager. 

The new $5.6 million Meramec Valley Branch located at 1501 San Simeon Way is more than 21,000 square feet and replaces a 2,690-square-foot branch that was the smallest in St. Louis County Library system.  It is infused with the latest technology for research and features a Discovery Zone for children, private study rooms, a quiet reading room, a community meeting room, a business center, a community garden, a walking path and outdoor reading deck.

NECA contractors and IBEW have performed electrical installations on 16 other branches in the St. Louis County Library system including Grant’s View, Weber Road, Jamestown Bluffs, Indian Trails, Rock Road, Samuel Sachs, Cliff Cave, Prairie Commons, Natural Bridge, Oak Bend, Bridgeton Trails, Florissant Valley, Daniel Boone, Grand Glaize, Mid-County and Thornhill branches.  The projects have entailed a wide variety of complexities including electrical, fire alarm, decorative and energy efficient lighting, generators for emergency lighting, and technology improvements for new and renovated branches. 

The projects are part of a multi-year capital improvement campaign called Your Library Renewed to improve a total of 19 branches. In 2012, voters approved a $.06 tax increase to fund new facilities and upgrades to existing structures, as well as enhanced library programs and services. More information on all of the library improvements including images can be found at https://www.slcl.org/content/your-library-renewed.

Now celebrating its 107th year of service, Aschinger Electric is a four generation, family-owned electrical and communications contractor serving the commercial, industrial, educational and health care markets.  Learn more at www.aschinger.com

Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit www.electricalconnection.org.