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Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installed at Busch Stadium
The charging station is part of an on-going partnership between the St. Louis Cardinals, the Electrical Connection, Microgrid Energy, and Sachs Electric to introduce renewable energy to the stadium and educate the public in the process.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installed at Busch Stadium
ST. LOUIS, (, August 6, 2013 - Following a successful partnership last year between the St. Louis Cardinals, Microgrid Energy, Electrical Connection and Sachs Electric to bring solar energy to Busch Stadium, a natural next-step was the installation of the stadium's first Electric Vehicle Charging Station, which is located in parking lot "B".

On this project, Microgrid Solar worked again with Sachs Electric, a Fenton, Missouri electrical contractor, and Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

The charging station is part of an on-going partnership between the St. Louis Cardinals, the Electrical Connection, Microgrid Energy, and Sachs Electric to introduce renewable energy to the stadium and educate the public in the process.

"No franchise is as intimately tied to a community as the St. Louis Cardinals," said Jim Curran, Executive Vice President of the Electrical Connection. "So, we greatly appreciate its leadership in helping the Electrical Connection educate the public about our future energy needs." According to Microgrid Solar's Project Engineer, Patrick Kemp, "Microgrid Solar's goal is to help establish a central corridor of charging stations along St. Louis' Highway 40 corridor."

Towards this goal, two additional charging stations have been recently installed, one at Sigma-Aldrich and one at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC). According to Jeffrey Whitford, Global Citizenship Manager at Sigma-Aldrich, "Sigma-Aldrich was excited to be able to install a ChargePoint Charging Station through the JumpStart program. Over the past three years we have been working across our business to implement sustainability initiatives that will help us reduce our environmental impact. With the ChargePoint station and our new electric car, we're able to reduce the emissions of our fleet and provide our employees with broader transportation options."

The new charging station at SWIC is the 3rd at the college campus, highlighting their commitment to alternatively fueled vehicles.

The charging stations at Busch Stadium, Sigma-Aldrich and SWIC are all "ChargePoint" stations. ChargePoint offers the most full-featured and largest network of charging stations in the country. These stations allow station owners to control access and billing, track and display greenhouse gas and gasoline savings, as well as configure demand response and time-of-use pricing (smart grid compatible). Also, these charging stations facilitate 24/7 driver assistance and allow electric vehicle owners to check real-time station availability and track individual usage via ChargePoint's online interface.

Saint Louis Zoo to Purchase Forest Park Hospital Property
Saint Louis Zoo to Purchase Forest Park Hospital Property
Aerial rendering (top) of Forest Park Hospital site and Saint Louis Zoo's proposed plan (bottom) to exhance visitor experience with additional parking, animal themed playground, fitness trail and water feature. See archived story: Saint Louis Zoo Association Finalizes Purchase of Forest Park Hospital Property
Demolition to Begin on Forest Park Hospital Site
ST. LOUIS, (, August 6, 2013 - The Saint Louis Zoological Park Subdistrict Commission, the governing authority for the Saint Louis Zoo, has selected Ahrens Contracting, Inc. and Envirotech over 11 other bidders to remove hazardous materials and demolish buildings at the13.5-acre Forest Park Hospital site.

Based in the city of St. Louis, Ahrens/Envirotech joint venture was the next lowest bidder for the project, bidding $3.9 million - approximately $200,000 above the lowest bidder - Jackson Demolition Services of Schenectady, N.Y.

The Zoo purchased the site Oct. 5, 2012, expanding its land area to further enhance the visitor experience and support wildlife conservation.

"We are excited about completing this major step because these 13.5 acres offer the only contiguous land available to the Zoo. This purchase will shape the Zoo's future for decades to come," said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President & CEO, Saint Louis Zoo.

Contracts are expected to be signed in coming weeks. The project will include the removal of such hazardous materials as asbestos and lead paint and demolition of the East parking garage, surrounding buildings on the site and one underground storage tank. One building on the site - the six-story parking garage on Berthold Avenue - will not be part of this project; it will be renovated under a subsequent bidding process and contract.

"We want to assure all the residents and business in the area around the hospital site that we will be sensitive about the times crews work in the area, the closing of any streets or pedestrian walkways and about excess noise and vibration," said David McGuire, Saint Louis Zoo Vice President, Architecture and Planning. "This will be a gradual process that will not involve explosions or major disruption. We will also maintain security at the site."

Ahrens was selected because it is locally licensed as a Class I demolition contractor, as required by the city of St. Louis, something the lowest bidder was not, said The Honorable Jim Conway, former mayor of the city of St. Louis and chairman of the Zoo Subdistrict Commission. "Ahrens and Envirotech have completed more than 100 projects together, including work for Saint Louis Art Museum and Busch Stadium. Both companies have a strong knowledge of the project. They pay taxes here and employ all local union AFL-CIO labor; the lowest bidder uses non-union labor."

He also said that the projected completion schedule Ahrens/Envirotech provided is 60 days shorter than the lowest bidder's. "For all these reasons, the Zoo's volunteer Facilities and Grounds Committee, which includes experienced developers, the Zoo's senior management and all the Commissioners carefully analyzed the bid documents and agreed that the Ahrens-Envirotech joint venture could handle this project more efficiently, avoiding possible cost overruns due to delays with certification and other issues," said Mayor Conway.

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Plans Major Expansion
The design of the new research facility is underway through collaboration between two architectural firms, Christner Inc. and Flad Architects. Rendering courtesy Danforth Foundation
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Plans Major Expansion
ST. LOUIS, (, July 29, 2013 - The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has announced plans to build a new $45 million addition to its research facility.

The new building, slated to open in fall of 2015, will give the Center the capacity to house more than 100 additional researchers. The three-story addition will include flexible research laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment as well as core facilities and additional growth chamber space. The Center plans to break ground in early 2014.

IN a release, Danforth Center President Dr. James Carrington said, "The Center's expansion project is a major step in our long range plans to increase our impact through plant science. The new addition will improve the capacity for high-level science in crop improvement, bioenergy, sustainable agriculture and plant biology. The new facilities will also help attract the best scientific teams as we expand in the years ahead."

An important event, which prompted the Center's Board of Trustees to give the new facility project the go-ahead, was the award of $4.5 million in Contribution Tax Credits from the Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB). The Center partnered with the St. Louis County Economic Council during the application for tax credits.

"The Contribution Tax Credits were critical to raising the remaining funds we needed to move the project forward," said Dr. William H. Danforth, chairman of the board of trustees at the Danforth Plant Science Center. "The St. Louis County Economic Council and the MDFB have been key partners in the establishment and growth of the Danforth Center. Their confidence in our vision and mission has contributed greatly to our success and we are grateful for their support."

"As Governor, I am very proud that the Danforth Plant Science Center will continue to strengthen Missouri's role as a leader in plant science and technology for many years to come," Governor Jay Nixon said. "This expansion will create jobs and spur growth in this region, and generate new technologies to help feed and fuel communities around the world."

The design of the new research facility is underway through collaboration between two architectural firms, Christner Inc. and Flad Architects. To assist the design team in cost estimating and issues of constructability, McCarthy Construction Company has been selected to provide pre-construction services. Landmark Contract Management Inc. has been serving as project manager.

"St. Louis is leading the way in plant science and an important part of that is the work going on at the Danforth Center," said Denny Coleman, President and CEO, St. Louis County Economic Council. "In fact, there are now more plant scientists at this corner than anywhere else in the world. The Danforth Center constantly attracts new, world-class talent to the St. Louis region. This is good news for everyone who lives here as well as all those around the world working to eliminate hunger."

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