PARIC Constructs Missouri S&T’s Vision for Innovation in the Midwest

Missouri Science and Technology needed a partner to achieve its vision of transforming the university into the Midwest hub for research, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. PARIC is that partner. 

In 2020, the Missouri S&T Chancellor set a strategic vision of growing the school’s enrollment by 50% and achieving Carnegie R1 status. Missouri S&T was setting its aim to rival the national leaders in technical education—to be discussed in the same breath as Purdue and Georgia Tech. To achieve this vision for the future, Chancellor Dr. Mohammad Dehghani knew they would need to build a physical campus worthy of this goal. 

“The definition of an excellent university includes excellent students and excellent faculty, and we need to have a fitting campus for the types of students and faculty we want to continue to attract,” said Chancellor Dehghani.

Rendering of high-bay manufacturing lab space at the Missouri s&T Protoplex.
Rendering of high-bay manufacturing lab space at the Missouri S&T Protoplex.

PARIC Builds Answers

The university faced a unique challenge. There was no “front door” to the campus. In order to raise the national profile of the university, they needed a plan that included a physical building that would make a statement to the nation that “Missouri S&T is here to compete with the most talented engineers in the world.” This master plan—The Manufacture Missouri Ecosystem—will be anchored by one of the region’s most daring and inspired buildings—the Missouri Protoplex.

“The Protoplex is the centerpiece or crown jewel of the innovation campus,” said PARIC Client Engagement Manager Kevin Sullivan.

PARIC is literally constructing Missouri S&T’s vision for the future—a 116,000-sq-ft laboratory building designed for collaborative work, which requires flexibility to move back and forth between the suites of traditional lab, office and conference spaces and large, secure, well-appointed high-bay manufacturing lab spaces.

“The high bay nature of the build and the equipment that’s going to go inside is really a first for our state,” Sullivan said. “I’m excited about the role PARIC is playing in the future of Missouri. Attracting jobs and people from outside the state to Missouri S&T, but also providing a great foundation of excellence for the students.”

PARIC Transforms Healthcare for a Small-Town Community

The small Illinois town of Danville was growing, but its healthcare infrastructure had yet to. Operating out of two facilities, one an old converted grocery store, the community desperately needed a modern building that could provide medical services to the city’s residents. Carle Health recognized it was time to invest in and commit to Danville—they chose PARIC to bring that commitment to life. 

The site chosen was strategic—a 17-acre plot primarily comprised of condemned housing was cleared for the build. 

The 17-acre plot cleared for construction of Danville, Illinois most significant investment in decades.

“We ended up clearing about 60 houses that were just falling apart and had become a site for crime around that area,” Project Executive Mike Hayes said. “These were properties that were beyond needing repair. Ultimately, the project brought up the value of the area.”

The 17-acre plot is now home to Carle at the Riverfront—a 152,000 sq. ft. facility. The $70 million project is the largest development in Vermilion County in the past 50 years, which of course, drew lots of interest from the community. 

“There would be times when we would be going around town, and we would have the PARIC logo on our shirts or trucks, and we would get stopped,” Ruck said. “Folks would ask if we were working on the Carle Hospital. They were just so excited about the build.”


“Residents would drive by all the time and check on the progress,” said PARIC Senior Project Manager Bill Ruck. “They would make comments like, ‘It looks amazing. I can’t believe how far along it’s coming so quickly, or I can’t believe it is already open.’”

Ruck and his crew, who lived in Danville five days a week during the course of the project, became minor celebrities around town. 

“There would be times when we would be going around town, and we would have the PARIC logo on our shirts or trucks, and we would get stopped,” Ruck said. “Folks would ask if we were working on the Carle Hospital. They were just so excited about the build.”

Hayes found fans of the project all the way down in Florida. 

“My family and I went to Disney last year, and my father-in-law is one of those people who talks to everyone,” Hayes said. “We were at the Magic Kingdom waiting for the fireworks to go off, and he started talking to the couple next to us. Turns out, they were from Danville. He mentioned that I was working on the Carle project, and those folks were so excited. They started going on about how awesome the project is for the area and how they love that it is happening.”

PARIC Tackles Complex Historic Renovation in Downtown St. Louis

For two decades, the historic Butler Brothers building sat vacant in a prime mid-town St. Louis location. Admired for its old-world charm and intact original design elements, the 1906 behemoth is on the national register of historic places. The 700,000-square-foot building, which spans a full city block, presented a daunting challenge—one city leaders knew was essential to revitalizing downtown St. Louis.

The Butler Brothers Building sits in a desirable area of Mid-town St. Louis. The building occupies an entire city block.

For PARIC Project Manager Mark Kreikemeier, the building was one he had his eye on for years. “When I started with PARIC 17 years ago, I was doing historic renovation downtown, and I remember this was one of the buildings that we talked about, but it was too massive for anyone to undertake.”

Undertake it they have. PARIC’s historic renovation of this architectural landmark is a project that embodies the spirit of preserving history while embracing modernity.

The Butler Brothers Building was once a bustling hub of commerce, housing the headquarters of one of the largest wholesale companies in the country. Founded in 1877 as a mail-order catalog wholesaler serving local retail stores, the brothers’ inventive ordering system allowed local merchants to streamline orders and receive their goods within days. At the St. Louis location, the original rail lines connecting the west building to Union Station still exist under the 18th Street pavement. The east docks once supported horse and buggy deliveries. During the renovation, PARIC workers discovered century-old treasures, including an 8-story spiral material slide, which was likely used for sending packages to the ground floor for delivery. “We jokingly dared some of the guys to go down it,” said Kreikemeier. 

After finishing the meticulous and environmentally sustainable renovation, the building will be transformed into a mixed-use complex that will include 384 apartments, interior parking, co-working offices, restaurant and bar space at street level as well as residential amenities such as an expanded interior courtyard and a rooftop pool.

The interior design of the remodeled apartments.

PARIC Builds Answers

For the owners, it was critical to begin drawing revenue from their investment as quickly as possible. The question was, how could they do it? PARIC built an answer. 

“We came up with a plan with the city to build the building in half,” Kreikemeier said. “The first phase essentially has all the amenities spaces and half of the apartment units. The second phase is the second half of the units. We did it this way because it gets the owner of the building collecting rent sooner.”

This critical and strategic thinking for clients, emphasizing time and cost savings, is what sets PARIC apart from its competitors. 

“Our preconstruction department distinguishes PARIC from the competition,” said Client Engagement Manager Kevin Sullivan. “I would say a lot of whether or not a construction project is going to be successful is determined before the first shovel hits the ground.”

Innovating for the Future of Aviation

For 90 years, Boeing has been producing carrier aircraft for the Navy. With the MQ-25 Stingray, Boeing enters the next technological frontier, constructing the first unmanned aircraft in history which can refuel fighter jets in flight. To manufacture a fleet of this aviation innovation, Boeing needed a facility up to the task. Boeing turned to PARIC. 

“This is one of those projects that I brought my family out on a Saturday to see,” said PARIC Superintendent Adam Paul. “It’s pretty cool that we’re part of this. You know, one day, this drone is going to be refueling fighter jets. It’s going to be used to protect the American way of life. We talk about it on the job site. There are workers out here that are veterans, so it’s definitely something we are proud of.”

The sleek, silver drone is designed to operate from aircraft carriers, where it refuels fighter jets in midair, extending the jet’s range by 1,000 miles. The tanker can operate in hostile environments, providing critical support to American troops and allies around the world.

The Boeing facility is truly a campus, and PARIC’s single largest project to date spans a 34-acre greenfield site and 12 unique steel-framed buildings. The project required 25,000 cubic yards of concrete, seven million pounds of steel, and 15 miles of mechanical and plumbing piping. Located at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, the buildings stand at 300,000 square feet and will initially employ approximately 150 mechanics, engineers and support staff.

“We were putting together all of our logistical plans, getting all of our contracts pre-drafted, all of our purchase orders typed up and ready to go,” Project Engineer, Dan Corkery said. “Once we got the notice from Boeing, we sent out contracts to all of our key players the next day. It was critical to get out of the gate successfully.”


PARIC Builds Answers

The Boeing project began under difficult circumstances. Still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, PARIC knew that securing the right materials and locking in the best team would be a challenge. On this build, PARIC’s approach to pre-construction would prove essential to success.

“We were putting together all of our logistical plans, getting all of our contracts pre-drafted, all of our purchase orders typed up and ready to go,” Corkery said. “Once we got the notice from Boeing, we sent out contracts to all of our key players the next day. It was critical to get out of the gate successfully.”

Once the project was out of the starting blocks, the team faced another challenge outside of their control—the weather. 

“The first winter when we were setting a lot of steel and doing foundation work, we had a lot of bitterly cold days and a lot of precipitation,” Corkery said. “We were up to 40 or so weather days, but despite all that, we could complete phase one on time. This was a huge milestone for Boeing and us because of their obligations to the Navy.”

The team cites quality planning and collaborative scheduling, especially with the subcontractors, as the keys to hitting their targets. 

“That is one of the things PARIC does well, collaborating with our subcontractors and getting their feedback regarding schedule and approach to projects,” Corkery said. “I have worked for other general contractors in the past where it was their way or the highway, which turned out to be an inefficient approach.”

The PARIC team encountered almost 40 bad weather days, yet still delivered phase one of the project on schedule.

Commitment to the Job

PARIC’s teams make all the difference in the successful execution of a project. The Boeing group is no different. 

“The team we have here is just unreal,” said Paul. “The folks I work with daily are second to none.”

PARIC employees approach every project with a dedication to getting the job done right, on budget and on time, which sometimes means long hours and commutes, but PARIC does its best to recognize not just the commitment from its employees but their families too.

“The senior vice president in charge of the Boeing project took our team and their spouses to dinner,” said Paul. “And he said a lot of nice words about everyone, but he also recognized and thanked our spouses for all of the hours we spend away. He recognized the dedication we all have.”

For Corkery, it is growing the team that is the best part of the job. 

“I enjoy building teams. It is beyond building buildings; it is developing and growing people,” Corkery said. “It is rewarding to see people come together to overcome challenges, solve problems, and have mutual successes. For me, the story of how we got to the resolution is a lot more enjoyable than the resolution.”