San Antonio Construction News June 2024

Page 1

The Industry’s Newspaper San Antonio


Deep in the heart of San Antonio

VIA Metropolitan Transit has selected Flatiron and its joint venture partner Herzog for the construction portion of its $446.3 million North-South Corridor Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) project, commonly referred to as the Green Line.

Through the ART initiative, the 12mile Green Line will provide a northsouth sustainable mobility option through the heart of San Antonio, Texas, which is a major component of VIA’s Keep San Antonio Moving program.

Collaborating with VIA Metropolitan Transit through a Construction Manager at Risk arrangement, the Flatiron-Herzog joint venture team will deliver important sustainable mobility improvements:

• 26 new enhanced bus stations— with improved access for people of all abilities

• Dedicated bus lanes, allowing for faster travel

• Bus pickups every 10-15 minutes along the corridor

• Improved connections to top locations, including San Antonio International Airport and the downtown area

“This transformational collaborative project will connect San Antonio’s vibrant communities while providing an efficient route through the heart of the

CASA Campus

As proud supporters of children and families in the areas where we operate, HOLT Group donated a building on the Southeast side of San Antonio for use as the Harvey E. Najim campus of Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA). The newly renovated building will serve

around 1,400 local children in foster care providing a place where they can feel safe, learn, and play. Corinna Holt

Richter, HOLT Group President and Chief Administrative Officer, cut the ribbon on the new facility with Harvey Najim, businessman and founder of the Najim Family Foundation.

said Dale Nelson, Flatiron executive vice president for operations. “The Green Line will speed residents to major

employment centers and enhance affordable access to medical facilities and other necessities of daily life”.

Making Room for Students

New Braunfels ISD broke ground on its 11th elementary school May 9 with the campus scheduled to open in the fall of 2025. NBISD voters approved the project funding as part of the 2021 bond, with $42 million designated for elementary 11. Huckabee Architects have provided the school’s design, while Bartlett Cocke General Contractors is handling the construction.

The school will be located in the Veramendi development at 158 Word Parkway in New Braunfels. Veramendi Elementary opened in 2017 and is currently approaching capacity, according to the

district. The new school building will have 36 classrooms and hold 750 students.

The school’s groundbreaking was truly a testament to the support of the district’s constituents, said Superintendent Laurelyn Arterbury. “The 2021 bond program provided us with necessary resources to make this project happen, and as you know, growth in this area continues to rise,” Arterbury said. “With that forms the need for more space and this project and others funded through the 2021 bond and recent 2024 bond will help keep NBISD on track to keep up with our growth.”

PRSRT. STD. U.S. POSTAGE PAID DALLAS, TX PERMIT #1451 PO Box 310207 New Braunfels, Texas 78131 Change Service Requested Texas Style Covering the Industry’s News San Antonio
city,” H (830) 500-0071 H Volume 26 H Number 6 H JUNE 2024
A rendering of the VIA Metropolitan Transit’s rapid transit project known as the Green Line.

Golfing Subs

Page 2 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Advertisers Directory A-1 Fire & Safety 2 ABC-South Texas 15 Alamo Crane Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Alterman Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 American Subcontractors Assoc . (ASA) . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Axis Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Bear Oil Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Buyers Barricades 18 Capital Pumping LP 18 Cokinos/Young 12 Compact Equipment/Bobcat 15 Dausin Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 EPI Enclosures & Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Holt Cat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Howell Crane & Rigging, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 JCH Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 JR Ramon & Sons 2 KCS 11 Lynwood Building Materials 19 Marlin Tire 10 MCA-SMACNA 10 Pipeline Intelligence Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Pro-Line Paving, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Quality Fence & Welding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Raintree Transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Rocky Hill Equipment Rental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Steven Bankler, CPA, Ltd 14 TNT Crane & Rigging 14 Wilborn Steel Ltd 3 NEED CRUSHED AGGREGATE? ASK ABOUT VOLUME DISCOUNTS CALL FOR PRICING | 210.225.1583 • RECYCLED CONCRETE AVAILABLE • FAST LOADING • NO WAITING • ON-SITE PORTABLE CRUSHING AVAILABLE OVER 60,000 TONS AVAILABLE NOW!
he American Subcontractors Association (ASA) hosted their annual golf tournament on Apr. 16 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, San Antonio with a sold-out crowd of 216 golfers! It was a beautiful day on the course filled with great food, drinks, networking, and fantastic prizes. Thank you to Title Sponsor SpawGlass
Photos courtesy of Mary C. Haskin Photography.
Gross Oaks 1st Place Equipment Share Team 2 Longest Drive - Logan Green Gross 1st Place Creeks Mens Closest to Pin - Connor Goodgron Cannon Shot - Andrew Hutto Gross 1st Place Lakes Ladies Longest Drive - Paula Kreeft Cannon Shot - Tony Pineak LAST PLACE TEAM Mens Longest Drive - Tyler Arndt

The San Antonio Housing Trust

(SAHT) is proud to announce the approval, in concept, of a groundbreaking 600-home multi-family development in the vibrant VIDA community in south San Antonio. The project will provide much needed housing to one of the fastest growing sectors of the city, driven by the expansion of Texas A&M University-San Antonio and thousands of new jobs at the new University Health Hospital and JCB manufacturing facility. This three-phase development marks a significant milestone as it would be the first disability-forward housing project developed project in San Antonio.

The San Antonio Housing Trust is committed to providing housing that is accessible and usable by all residents, regardless of age, ability, or body type, and is soon to release new Multi-family Universal Design Standards that will be required of all future SAHT-partnered projects. SAHT is eager to implement these new standards at the VIDA development to ensure that inclusivity and accessibility are front and center in the design. Universal design features will include a wide variety of elements including wider corridors and doorways, zero-step entries, slip-resistant flooring materials, and outlets placed at convenient heights.

“We need to go beyond 20th-century thinking regarding how homes are designed and built. We must start meeting the housing needs impacting our population in this century,” said SAHT Executive Director Pete Alanis, emphasizing the departure from cookie-cutter designs of the past. “Our community is both growing and aging. We need to acknowledge that the human experience changes over time, sometimes rapidly. Our homes must be designed flexibly enough

A Vision to Meet Needs

to meet our needs through those changes”.

This visionary concept aims to provide several housing types and unit sizes to support residents throughout different stages of life, whether they are young families, seniors, or individuals with temporary or permanent disabilities. The buildings will be connected to a pedestrianfriendly network of green spaces and community amenities that will aim to create a thriving neighborhood for all.

The journey towards this innovative development began with the 2022 SAHT Strategic Plan which set forth a goal to acquire and self-develop new affordable housing projects. The acquisition of 19.68 acres in Phase II of the VIDA Master Development laid the foundation for this transformative project. Through meticulous due diligence activities and strategic partnerships, SAHT successfully closed the sale, paving the way for the next development phase.

SAHT has been working diligently with Alamo Architects to design a master plan concept aligned with the organization’s mission and strategic objectives. The proposed development encompasses universal design principles, multi-generational housing options,

sustainable practices, and communitycentered design elements.

Looking ahead, SAHT will continue its efforts to secure necessary approvals, conduct financial analyses, and select project partners to bring this visionary concept to fruition.

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Safety Refresher

ffective safety begins with clear communication, continuous learning, and education. Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) professionals from the TNT Family of Companies, including RMS Cranes, Southway Crane & Rigging, JMS Crane & Rigging, LLC, TNT Crane & Rigging Canada, and Eagle West Cranes, come together annually for a conference dedicated to fostering a safety culture and exchanging knowledge and resources. Safety should always be a top priority, but Construction Safety Week provides a chance to rejuvenate their focus on safety and reassess strategies to minimize incidents and injuries.

Smokehouse Teamwork

The SpawGlass San Antonio team marked off a major milestone last weekend at the Bill Miller Bar-B-Q new headquarters and commissary project. The team worked around the clock to coordinate the concrete pour for the foundation of the new smokehouse building, coordinating with three separate concrete plants to ensure quick and efficient completion. The slab for the building is comprised of 130 tons of steel and 2,200 cubic yards of concrete delivered by 220 trucks. This monumental job was completed in 13.5 hours. SpawGlass would like to extend a huge thank you to the many trade partners who worked together to make this happen, including the concrete professionals at T&D Moravits who were paramount to the success of this milestone.

MLet There be Light

asters Electrical Services has completed 45 projects with Musco Sports Lighting since 2016. Musco Sports Lighting delivers American-made products combined with state-of-theart technology. Masters is currently working on 7 Musco projects and are proud to be expert installers of this fantastic product.


Page 4 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Austin ©2023 Construction News, Ltd. Construction News Home Office P.O. Box 310207 • New Braunfels, TX 78131 830-500-0071
The San Antonio Construction News is published monthly by Construction News and distributed by mail to constructionrelated companies of record in Bexar and 7 surrounding counties. All submissions should be emailed to our editorial offices. We reserve the right to edit any materials submitted. No fees for materials, copy or photographs submitted will be due unless agreed upon in advance in writing. Submissions will be published at our discretion on a space available basis. Construction News will not be liable for errors in copy or in advertisements beyond the actual cost of space occupied by the error. Publisher reserves the right to reject any advertisement at any time. San Antonio Area
Atascosa, Bexar, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties Visit our Website to sign up for a free monthly Digital Subscription SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS GO TO Select “Digital Subscription”. Publisher Haley Mathews Editor Andi Mathews Production Kayla Wallace Advertising Haley Mathews Managing Editor: E
Masters crew erecting pole lights at Matador Baseball and Softball Stadium in their hometown, Sequin.
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Let’s Par-tee

The Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) hosted their 11th Annual Golf Tournament on May 9, at Brackenridge Park Golf Course.

Thank you to Tournament Sponsors, Moen and State Water Heater. PHCC-SA extends gratitude to their co-chairs, Brad Silver from Hughes Supply, Maurice Fox from O’Haver Plumbing, and Chase Anderson from Shafer Services Plus. A special THANK YOU to Brad Silver, Hughes Supply and Maurice Fox, who co-chaired the Golf Committee for the past 11 years. Their dedication, commitment, leadership, and love of the game greatly contributed to the success of the event. 2024 marked their last year as co-chairs, and PHCC-SA wishes to express its gratitude for their years of dedicated service.

Tournament Winners:

First Place: San Antonio WinSupply

Second Place: Reece USA

Third Place: JR’s Plumbing

Individual Awards:

Putting Contest: Dillion Terrel, Tietze Mechanical

Closest to the Pin: Al Mazzocchi, Gibson Plumbing

Longest Drive off the Golden Throne: Ryan Morlock, REC Industries

Raffle Winners:

Hunting Package Sponsored by Shafer Services Plus: Kent Wahl, AAA-Auger

Golf Package Sponsored by O’Haver Plumbing: Ray Ortiz, Primo Plumbing

Spurs Tickets Package Donated by Frost Bank: Brandon Rickett, IES Residential Cooking Class Package Sponsored by Symmons: Jimmy Dyer, Moore Supply

National Shooting Complex Package: Mark Williams, Moore Supply

BBQ Package: Jesse Schuurmann, IES Residential Spa Package Sponsored by Reece: Hayley DeVilbiss, Symmons

Milwaukee Chainsaw: Steve Tschirhart, Reece Milwaukee Pole Saw and Blower: Steve Tschirhart, Reece

PHCC-SA would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Allison & Thompson Insurance, B2B Consulting, Front Bank, Milwaukee, and National Shooting Complex, for your generous contributions to our raffles for the annual PHCC tournament. Your support is greatly appreciated and made a significant impact on the success of the event.

Photos courtesy of Steve Schneider, Dillard Associates

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EMR OF 0.50 (2023)
1st Place Team - WinSupply San Antonio, Jason Patty, Aaron Mulder, Cody Blackmon, Garrett Poth Tournament Sponsor Moen – Kevin Guinther with Alamo Partner, Drew Freiley Heather Foster, PHCC-SA Executive Administrative Assistant, Carolina Elizondo, PHCC-SA Marketing & Events Coordinator, Heidi Trimble, PHCC-SA Executive Director 2nd Place Team – Reece USA, Chris Phillips, John McCarter, Bobby Grisham, Ray Ortiz Hayley DeVilbiss, Symmons & Chase Anderson, Shafer Services Plus Travis Reynolds, Nibco; Chris Phillips, Viega; Brandon Stowe, Viega; Chris Holmes, Leasing Associates 3rd Place Team – JR’s Plumbing, Joe Gonzalez, Mike Molinar, Courtney Ryan, Ryan W., Angie Gonzalez PHCC San Antonio Chapter 2024 Alamo Partners Tournament Sponsor State Water Heater Team, Jake Allen, Micheal Kemp, Alfred DeLeon, Will Galindo

Answered prayers!

After a couple of years of watching much needed Hill Country rain swerve around us or fall short of reaching the watershed of Lake Buchanan, we have been blessed with rain! Our watershed is the country just south of Lake O. H. Ivie down to Lake Buchanan. We have had a somewhat rainy spring, but those rains have mainly been of the splash and dash variety that settle the dust, but don’t soak the ground. Lots of little showers scattered about, just can’t heal the drought damage like a long heavy rain over a large area can. The last month or so the big rains have come.

Lake Buchanan has come up over twelve feet at this writing and is still on the rise! Closed boat launching ramps are

The Great Outdoors

Ken Milam’s Fishing Line

Since 1981, Ken Milam has been guiding fishing trips for striped bass on Lake Buchanan in the Texas Hill Country. You can hear Ken on the radio as follows:

The Great Outdoors:

5-8 am Saturday on 1300, The Zone, Austin and The Great Outdoors:

5-7 am Saturday on 1200 WOAI San Antonio The Sunday Sportsman:

6-8 am Sunday on 1300, The Zone, Austin All on IHeart Radio

beginning to reopen giving us renewed access to the lake. Boat docks are mostly still on dry ground or in very shallow water, but the lake level is moving in the right direction! Right now, the water is on the muddy side and going through a smelly stage while the newly recovered vegetation that had grown up in the lake bottom in the last two years decomposes. In a few days, the water will start to settle out and get back to normal and this year’s good fishing will become great! One exciting thing that recovering from a drought will do for a lake is leave plenty of good structure for fish to hide and grow and feed. Floods bring with them a lot of nutrients that help to recharge the lake’s ecosystem. Bait fish that are at the bottom of the food chain can spawn and grow

Big Hats & Mint Julep’s

and repopulate like crazy and kickstart the whole process.

We will be able to get back to favorite fishing spots that dried up and have less worry about what new obstacles to navigation are coming up next! The timing for this increase in lake level is good too! It is going to be a good summer!

Lake Travis further downstream does continue to struggle with very low water levels. Not all watersheds are the same. While all the Highland Lakes are on the Colorado River, Lake Buchanan is the only one that relies solely on the Colorado River and its tributaries to the north and northwest. Further down the lakes chain, other rivers join in. The Llano brings rain from out west into Lake LBJ. The Pedernales River brings its waters from

Sthe southwest to Lake Travis, innumerable local creeks join in along the way. It is just a matter of time until one of these other tributaries catches the rain that Lake Travis needs.

If you haven’t already discovered it, you need to find the LCRA Hydromet. The Lower Colorado River Authority has provided this invaluable tool for us to see the ups and downs of the waters on the Highland Lakes in real time. One of the best things on the Hydromet is that you can see what rains have fallen in your area and upstream of you, so you have a priceless tool to monitor possible flood conditions and have time to be ready to evacuate or change your travel routes to stay safe. You can find it here. https://


ummertime! Summer can be some of the most productive fishing of the whole year. Fish tend the be really aggressive with the warmer water temps. Depending on the lake your fishing, you can even experience schooling action. There is not much that’s more exciting that casting at a bunch of fish schooling, and watching them hammer your spook as you roll across the top of them.

Now for this article I am going to go over the do’s and don’ts of fishing for schooling bass in the summertime.

First thing and arguably most important thing of fishing for schooling fish is your boat positioning. I tend the see a lot of people make the mistake of getting their boat way to close to the fish while they are schooling. It, in return makes the fish extremely aware that you are there, and way more hesitant to hit whatever lure your throwing at them. The way that I like to position my boat is by staying at least 30 ft away from the school so I can get a decent cast just past the fish and bring my lure right through them without landing in the middle of the action.

Second thing is actually how I cast at the fish. As I said before I really prefer to cast past the fish and bring the bait through the school. Nine times out of ten that is going to be your most effective way at getting a fish to strike your bait.

But experimenting with your cast is important as there have been days that landing right on the fish as it jumps has been the best way to trigger a strike.

Third thing is lure selection. Now this can be incredibly difficult depending on what lake you’re at. Some lakes have way more educated fish and will require a lot more experimentation to figure out. The lures I tend to gravitate towards no matter the lake is a spook, jerkbait, popper, spoon, and fluke. Typically, I can get a fish to react to one of these lures.

Another thing to consider when fishing for schooling fish is your electronics. Fish can be really smart sometimes. And if I notice that every time, I scan the fish they start swimming away I’ll try my best to keep the sonar from pointing at them and if that doesn’t work, I sometimes just turn on the electronics. That is of course I can still keep track of them without.

With that, keep these tips in mind and have fun on the water!

Page 6 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024
Ken Milam On May 4, Craig Noto, Quality Fence & Welding, and his beautiful wife Teresa spent the day cheering on the ponies on at the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky. Captain Evan Coleman Big Bassin’ Fishing Tours
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Fish Replenishment Efforts at Lake Dunlap

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Inland Fisheries Division Corpus Christi District recently launched an effort to rebuild the fishery at Lake Dunlap. The reservoir was refilled with water in the fall after a dam-failure repair, but years of low water levels had a detrimental effect on the fish population.

TPWD staff conducted fish population surveys and determined prey fish and largemouth bass populations had decreased. They initiated a fish restocking plan on April 22, placing 272 adult-sized largemouth bass into Lake Dunlap. Over the next few months, TPWD’s fish hatcheries will also stock bluegill, channel catfish and Lone Star largemouth bass fingerlings as part of the management plan.

“Enhancing the fishery with adult bass not only provides instant angling opportunities, but also expedites replenishing depleted bass stock through natural reproduction,” said Dusty McDonald, TPWD Corpus Christi District Fisheries Supervisor. “Only time will tell how the fishery compares to the predewatering years, but efforts such as these will help put Lake Dunlap on track for success.”

TPWD worked with homeowners to instill the importance of leaving the natural habitat in place prior to the lakes re-pooling. The agency also partnered with the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority and the Canyon Bass Club of San Marcos to enhance the fishery. Using natural materials, they created and deployed artificial fish habitat along with catfish spawning boxes.

“The combination of quality fish habitat and fish stocking has Lake Dunlap on the path to great fishing,” said McDonald. “In time, families should be out there making great memories.”

TThe Great Outdoors

TFederal Red Snapper Season Opens June 1

he private recreational angler red snapper season in federal waters opens June 1. Red snapper fishing is open year-round in Texas state waters. Bag and size limits for federal and state waters will remain unchanged.

Regulations for red snapper in federal waters consist of:

• Two fish per person per day with a 16-inch minimum size limit.

• Red snapper caught in federal waters counts as part of the state bag limit of four fish.

• No more than two red snapper can be in possession while in federal waters.

Regulations for red snapper in state waters:

• Four fish per person per day with a 15-inch minimum size limit.

• No more than four red snapper can be in possession in state waters

while fishing.

“As always, our goal is to give Texas anglers as many days as possible fishing in federal water for red snapper while still maintaining our traditional yearlong fishery in Texas state waters,” said Robin Riechers, Coastal Fisheries Division Director. “State management in recent years has allowed us to have longer seasons as well as greater fishing opportunities.”

Per the 2022 DESCEND Act, all commercial and recreational anglers must possess a venting tool or a rigged descending device on their boat while fishing for reef fish in federal waters. Research shows that properly releasing reef fish, such as red snapper, helps reduce mortality. Last year, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted rules inspired by the DESCEND Act. These regulations apply to all commercial

and recreational anglers fishing in state water and require the use of a venting tool or rigged descending device for reef fish exhibiting signs of barotrauma.

Texas Anglers are a crucial aspect of successful fisheries management in Texas and are encouraged to use the My Texas Hunt Harvest App to log their red snapper catches. Anglers can also use the app to log harvested game species, view harvest history, save photos and share harvests on social media.

The Coastal Fisheries Division will provide public notice of the private recreational season closing date before the state’s allotted catch limit has been reached. TPWD will update all communication platforms, including the Outdoor Annual, website and social media accounts, when it determines that closing date.

Toyota ShareLunker Program Wraps Up Another Outstanding Collection Season

he 2024 Toyota ShareLunker program was full speed ahead and produced an exceptional collection season for the fourth consecutive year.

Anglers contributed 19 Legacy Class ShareLunkers from seven different lakes throughout Texas. Three new waterbodies recorded their first Legacy Class fish, but O.H. Ivie in west Texas was at the head of the class again this season with 12 entries.

“Thank you to everyone involved in making another great Toyota ShareLunker collection season,” said Natalie Goldstrohm, Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “We’re grateful that so many anglers caught their fish of a lifetime this season and then decided to share their ShareLunker to support a future full of bigger, better bass in Texas.”

O.H. Ivie generated seven consecutive Legacy Lunkers to close out the 2024 collection season. It has produced an unprecedented number of ShareLunkers during the last four seasons, accounting for the final ShareLunker of the 2020 collection season and then exploding for 12 Legacy Class Lunkers in 2021, 2022 and 2024. It proceeded to shatter the single-season collection record for that waterbody, with 15 ShareLunkers in 2023. O.H. Ivie boasts 51 combined Legacy Lunkers and multiple Legend Class entries over the past four collections seasons.

Key highlights from the 2024 Toyota

ShareLunker collection season:

• Seven reservoirs delivered Legacy Class Lunkers (Fort Phantom Hill, Inks Lake, J.B. Thomas, Naconiche, O.H. Ivie, Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend)

Three new reservoirs with Legacy Class ShareLunkers (Fort Phantom Hill, Inks Lake, J.B. Thomas)

• Three new waterbody records (J.B. Thomas, Inks Lake, Fort Phantom Hill) and one new junior waterbody record (J.B. Thomas)

Angler Kyle Hall’s ShareLunker 665 (15.82-pounds) made the Texas Top 50 as the 37th heaviest all-time Texas largemouth bass

• Angler Kyle Hall recorded a Legacy Lunker in three consecutive seasons

Six out-of-state anglers etched their name into the program’s record book. The anglers hailed from Kansas, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Washington.

• Angler Larry R. Walker reeled in two Legacy Class Lunkers in 2024

TPWD biologists implemented a genetic analysis of this year’s Legacy Lunkers and made some incredible discoveries. For example, they determined ShareLunker 666, reeled in by Larry R. Walker from O.H. Ivie, was a recapture of ShareLunker 646 originally caught by Mechelda Criswell on Feb. 27, 2023.

A 13.20-pound fish from Lake Athens proved to be the offspring of ShareLunker

552 which was caught by Randall E. Claybourne on Jan. 12, 2014 at Lake Fork. This is the first time a Legacy Class descendant from this specific family tree was discovered in the ShareLunker program.

Of the 19 Legacy Class ShareLunkers, 13 of the fish had secondary relationships to either previous Legacy Class fish or other ShareLunkers that anglers submitted scale samples for genetic analyses. Tissue from a pair of full siblings from Oak Creek were submitted by Criswell through the ShareLunker app. One of these fish was caught in 2023 and the other in 2024. All of these findings highlight the valued partnership that the ShareLunker program facilitates with anglers throughout the world.

Unfortunately, one of this year’s 19 Legacy Class fish, the 13.42-pound ShareLunker 662 from Inks Lake, perished due to extenuating circumstances. However, in the last five years, the program has achieved an excellent overall fish survival success rate of 94 percent. The last time a Legacy Lunker perished in TPWD care was more than three years ago, in 2021.

“The TPWD hatchery teams work diligently to provide the absolute best fish healthcare for each and every ShareLunker bass,” said Goldstrohm. “We continue to learn from these experiences and further refine big bass healthcare and life supporting treatments.”

Anglers who caught and loaned one of these 13-plus pound lunkers earn Legacy Class status, receive a catch kit filled with merchandise, a 13lb+ Legacy decal for their vehicle or boat, VIP access to the Toyota ShareLunker Annual Awards event, a high-quality replica mount of their fish from Lake Fork Taxidermy, and Bass University will provide a swag pack and annual subscription. These anglers also receive entries into two separate drawings – a Legacy Class Drawing and the year-end Grand Prize Drawing. Both drawings will award the winner a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree.

While the Legacy class season has ended, the year-round Toyota ShareLunker program offers anglers three additional levels of participation for catching bass over eight pounds or 24 inches in Texas. Each of these levels still provide vital data to TPWD fisheries biologists, helping them to continue to create bigger, better bass in Texas.

Anglers who enter data for any lunker they catch greater than eight pounds or 24 inches during the 2024 calendar year also receive a catch kit, a decal for their vehicle or boat, a one-month subscription to Bass University and an entry into the year-end Grand Prize Drawing to win a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree. ShareLunker entry classes include the Bass Pro Shops Lunker Class (8 lb.+), Strike King Elite Class (10 lb.+) and Lew’s Legend Class (13 lb.+).

Page 7

Happy Hook Setting Spring

AThe Great Outdoors

nd that’s a wrap to my 2024 winter/early spring Texas Bass Tours guide season. I would like to share some of the highlights and lowlights of this overall successful season as well as some awesome experiences I was able to participate in this year on the water.

This season started off on a “low” note as 5 of the lakes that I wanted to scout and catch at were ridiculously low. I typically like to start off in South Texas and move north/west as the season progresses, but that did not happen this year. For about 9 years I’ve started off at either Falcon, Amistad, and/or Choke Canyon then progressed north in hopes of finding those fish of a lifetime for clients. Well, the border lakes were pretty much not in play because of the border situation, cartel trafficking, and very low water levels. Then I decided to check out a couple of Central Texas lakes that I’ve had some success on and those were nonproductive due to low water as well. So, I decided to stick with OH Ivie for the full season and hope that with the low water level there that we could still be productive with the amount of boat traffic that was going to be there.

Lake Ivie was 8.5’ lower this year than last year (2023) and 14’ lower than the year before (2022), which is a lot of lost water for this lake. Most anglers believe that lower water levels mean it’s easier to catch fish. In my opinion that’s certainly not the case and here’s why I believe this. The natural food that bass eat (threadfin, gizzard shad, bluegill, crappie, crawfish) are right in their face and easier to round up, which means the bass do not have to travel as far to find “real” food. What I also noticed is that these fish were being pressured into feeding and spawning a lot deeper than in previous years. This requires tactic, technique, and sometimes drastic bait changes to be successful which I like as an angler but not as a guide. I put it that way because it’s a lot more difficult for clients to get confident and catch while learning and fishing new techniques without me doing it for them. But I gotta say, it sure is rewarding to watch them become successful at something you just taught them.

Some of the successes and highlights I was able to share in was 14

new PB’s, some being broken during the same day or in consecutive days, 8 double digits, (aka DD’s), and new anglers catching their first largemouth bass. Big Bass of the season in my boat was a 12.06# Goliath that came at best time for this angler. He also caught an 11.89# the very next day. Taught quit a few anglers how to throw a baitcaster, and teaching some anglers how to scope and catch using forward facing sonar (FFS). Some of the best parts of the season as always, were grilling and telling stories with returning friends and new friends after a long day of fishing. I treasure those the most and I can’t wait to see what next season brings, especially with so many lakes catching this good rainwater.

The lowlights of this season were minimal such as, low lake levels, particular clients weren’t able to land their first double-digits (DD’s) with me, fishing highly pressured water all season, my favorite BBQ store closing (Big O’s BBQ in Valera, Texas), and putting the boat up for a few months (happens every year but I still call it a lowlight of the season).

Fishing story time…….I had a new client that wanted to fish Ivie for the first time, and he wanted me to show him how I fish a new lake in early spring season. So, I decided to actually pick a new lake that I haven’t fished before and show him my routine then hit Ivie the next couple of days. When he got there on Monday at lunch, we started looking for lakes within a 2-hour drive and settled on this small lake about 1.5hrs away. I then went to the boat and put all the baits I thought we would use on the deck and tied them on while we discussed the plan of action. As we were driving the next morning, we were discussing our catch goal of the day. We decided that since we would be looking, scanning, and scouting that our goal of catches for the day should be 10-12 fish and at least one picture fish. When we got to the lake, we found out really quick that this lake was lower than what was on the water data website, which meant we couldn’t put in at the ramp we were going to so we drove to another ramp to unload. As we were idling out I noticed some top water flickering about 100 yds away and said, “We probably should start fishing in there instead of scanning and scouting.”

Gameplan of the day was already in shambles. We go over to this cut to start fishing a couple of small shallow moving baits because it appeared the shad spawn was in full bloom in this particular cut. Right off the bat we catch eight 2-3 pounders that were feeding on the shad. We then started sliding down this bank towards an area we planned on scanning in the first place and caught two more. Our confidence was through roof as you can imagine.

As I was scanning using the Active Target, I saw a giant and told my client “there’s our picture fish”. He came up and looked at her on the screen then threw towards her but wasn’t using the FFS because I was moving the trolling motor around and working the areas where the shad spawn should be happening. Next thing I know the boat rocks from a hook set. I turn around and see his line is going straight for some trees that I had just thought to myself, “if I hook up, keep em out of those trees”. I reel up as quickly as possible to grab the net, and as I was saying “get her to the boat”, the line snaps. We both look at each other like “HECK YEAH!! There’s bigs in here.” We got really excited about the rest of the day. Advance about 6 hrs. ahead and not a bite since the break off, I said let’s go back to that side of the lake and start over. Then the brilliant line spews out of my mouth, “Maybe I can show you how to get her to the boat”. We pulled up to that area and make a couple cast and about 30 seconds later….THUMP on my line. I swung to my right into this whale shark of a fish and the fight was on. She started at my 1 o’clock on the front of the boat and 2mins later she was at my 8 o’clock behind the left side of the boat. Then another batch of

ignorant words comes out of my mouth, “to the boat she comes” not knowing my heart was about get broken with one of the biggest “get offs” of my fishing career. That fish was well over 13 pounds, and she schooled me right in front of my client. Absolute whale of a bass just literally came off 2-3’ from the net. Didn’t break off. Didn’t bend the hook out. Just came off. I said, “That’s some humble pie right there.” And he said “yeah, I saw my bait in the side of her mouth.” Lesson learned! Needless to say, Mr. Abrams and I already have 5 days of fishing scheduled for next year and 3 of those days will be searching for that girl!

Until next fall, happy hook setting and hunting!

Page 8 ntonio Construction News • JUNE 2024
Brian Parker, Texas Bass Tours
Serving Falcon, Choke Canyon & Amistad
Brian Parker Texas Bass Tours

Rick Vavro

Austin Underground Inc.

Longtime supporter and reader of Construction News, Rick Vavro, is the President of Austin Underground Inc. They dig Austin! Literally. Specializing in difficult underground installations, their dynamic team of engineers has the knowledge, experience and problem-solving expertise that allows them to execute difficult projects that many firms might consider too risky to take on. With their 20th anniversary on the horizon, it was time to catch up with Rick about where Austin Underground has been, where it’s headed, and everything in between.

Construction News: Congratulations on your upcoming 20 years, Rick. I hear your company has been featured in Construction News before.

Rick: Several times. Let me walk over to my “wall of fame”. Let’s see… I count six articles on the wall. First one appears to be from 2006, then April 2016, January 2017, August 2017, and two features from September of 2022. So we had two separate articles in that one because we started a company called Texas Road. So they talked about Austin Underground and Texas Road.

CN: Awesome. Tell me a little about you. Where were you born?

R: I was born near New Orleans, Louisiana.

CN: Thoroughly disappointed by your lack of a Louisiana accent.

R: Oh, I know. Well, what’s funny is when I talk to people from there, it comes right out. But then I grew up in Michigan, so that’s why you don’t hear the accentalthough my family that still lives in Michigan think I sound like a southerner

CN: So, what brought you to Texas?

R: So, I came here to go to school like everybody else. And once I graduated, like everybody else, I didn’t leave Austin. Now I

live on the outskirts of Austin on the north shore of Lake Travis.

CN: Where did you go to school? And what did you study?

R: I studied architectural engineering at UT Austin, structural engineering and project management for high rise construction.

CN: And now you’re Austin Underground.

R: A big jump, right? Yeah, I think once I left college, I realized that the commercial guys have to travel an awful lot, and I really didn’t want to do that. I wanted to have family, to be present. Not live on the road. So I decided that I would go a different way, and ultimately led me into utility construction.

CN: What kind of projects does Austin Underground focus on?

R: We’ve always done a lot of public work, and we continue to do public work. Our first job was for the City of San Marcos, and our third job was for the City of Austin, and we’ve been working there since we were founded. We do a lot of directional boring of utility lines. One of the significant ones we did, which was probably six or seven years ago now, was in downtown Austin. Across town lake, we installed 2200 feet of directional bore for a water line that came up around Third Street downtown Austin.

CN: So you’re the guys to call when a job requires the underground experts.

R: Absolutely. One cool job we just did was under loop 1, near 360, that had a 96 inch storm sewer line that collapsed directly under the main lines. 50 feet underground and we went and repaired that. Because of where it happened, we had to get it done quickly. Who really wants to lose a freeway when you only have two going north and south in Austin? That was definitely an interesting project, and it was complex. Corrugated metal pipe was used in the original construction. Eventually limestone will corrode the metal at the bottom of the pipe. When the bottom is gone and water starts penetrating, eventually the pipe gets undermined and becomes unstable. This particular pipe had a bend that just kind of unspiraled and ripped out. By the time we got down there, it created a cavern that was probably 30 feet wide and 15 feet tall. So the complication there is how do you get in this tunnel safely? That’s not normally what we do. A more familiar scenario is that you’re digging a line straight in. So you’re only exposing 18 inches of unsupported natural dirt as we install liner plate. This is all stuff that’s been compacted. It’s going to want to collapse. Eventually we came up

with a solid plan and got our tunnel plate in, then we had to backfill the whole thing with concrete, like 300 yards of concrete.

CN: Tell me about Austin Underground’s beginning. Are any of the people who started it with you still there today?

R: Well we started with six employees, plus me, and three of them are still here. One of them left to start his own company, a couple other people retired, and what’s great is some of the guys who were inexperienced back then are now my key people. The business has grown, we’ve grown together. And last Friday we got to celebrate 20 years.

CN: That’s amazing! What did you do to celebrate this milestone?

R: Well, we had a party! I have some property in Jonestown, north of the lake. I keep it really nice and maintained, like a park, so it’s great for company parties. The weather was perfect. We had a crawfish boil, did some fun drawings. We did a drawing where you tear a playing card in half and we put the other half in a bowl to be randomly drawn. The really big gifts were given to people here over ten years. Really fun. We gave away a bunch of gifts, cash, and vacations. We even gave away a car.

CN: You gave away a car??? That’s so exciting.

R: In the end, we gave away a lot of stuff to a great group of people. And as for the car, you know, I became an automotive dealer just for this reason. So I can go buy cars and fix them up, and give them away or sell a car to an employee. Cars are so expensive. So I buy them, fix them up and make a deal to an employee so they can afford a car because they’re just so crazy expensive. It’s something I love to do. And it always seems to work out that the gift of a car ends up going to someone who truly deserves it.

CN: What an amazing way to give back to your people. Speaking of your people, tell me about your family.

R: My wife and I met at a construction company, got married and had our first son. Two years after he was born, I started the company. We have two sons; both are up at UT Dallas now. Now that we’re empty nesters, my wife works part time for the company. She was a stay-at-home mom for years and did an amazing job raising our boys. We live in a small community, and we love the small town feel. When I had graduated, I bought a house right near UT, and within five years, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was tired of city life. So we bought some property, built a house and never left. And now my home and my office are only 5 minutes apart, so I don’t have to suffer in traffic too badly. And we recently bought a bar called the Lone Star Bar that’s right in between, in case the commute gets to be too much.

CN: That sounds really rough.

Congratulations to Rick and Austin Underground for celebrating 20 years of hard work! And from all of us at Construction News, thanks for your loyal support and readership. Here’s another one for your wall of fame, surely more will follow in the coming years. -ndw

San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Page 9 12015 N. North Loop Rd., San Antonio, TX • 210.494.3479 • CHANGING EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT DIESEL Premium Diesel Direct to Equipment at Your Jobsite • Lower Maintenance Cost • Increase Fuel Economy • Boost Engine Power

Celebrating 45 Years

Who would have thought that winning a large contract to install air conditioning and refrigeration equipment would change the course of history?

Before there was Alamo Crane Service Inc., there was Unitemp Refrigeration. A company that Marge and Marvin Ohlenbusch started in 1969. The company was quite successful, especially after winning the installation contract for the new 7-11 franchises moving into San Antonio and the surrounding areas. With each building requiring the installation of seven pieces of roof-top refrigeration and

HVAC equipment, their refrigeration company was booming.

During the height of the boom, San Antonio was blessed with an abundance of rain, and only one crane company in town to hoist the 150 to 750-pound pieces of equipment onto the roofs of each location caused major delays in their installation schedule.

To rectify the problem, they purchased a crane of their own. When not in use, they began renting it out. With their first paid rental job, Alamo Crane Service was born.

Embarking in their new venture, the Ohlenbusches sold their refrigeration

business and became fully and solely invested in their new company, Alamo Crane Service in 1979.

Through the years, ACS has been a part of San Antonio’s ever-growing skyline. In 2000, Alamo introduced the largest crane to ever serve the San Antonio market.

Weighing 170,000 pounds, the LTM 15008.1, 600-ton crane offered a reach capacity of 375 feet. Since then, ACS has added a wide range of cranes to its fleet including a fourth 360-ton crane, a new LTM 1450-8.1 550-ton crane, and Alamo’s beast of beasts, the LTM 1650-8.1 770-ton crane which were commissioned earlier this year. Celebrating

45 years in business, Marge and Marvin Ohlenbusch in conjunction with their talented employees, hosted a celebration party at The Blue Bonnet Palace on Apr. 30. “We want to thank our valued customers, vendors, suppliers, employees, friends, and family for their continued support,” said Marvin. “Without our valued relationship with them, Alamo Crane would not be celebrating 45 years in business, and we are looking forward to many more years.”

Over 250 guests attended the event. They enjoyed live music provided by the Dana Wehrmann Band, delicious food and drink, and lots of door prizes. - CMR

Page 10 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Associations & Education H General Contractors H Subcontractors H Service Providers H Subcontractors H Supplies H Truck & Equip Dealers Resource Guide Suppliers Service Providers Subcontractors Associations and Construction Education For Information on Resource Guide Ads, contact Haley Mathews, 830-500-0071 or email at ELIMINATE FLAT TIRES FOREVER!
ASA Dream Team - Kelly Wilson, Jennifer Swinney, Nora Romero with Tom FreundComfort-Air Engineering | Primo Plumbing Marvin Ohlenbusch & Dawn ThompsonTACCA Stan & Carol Rothman Heather Osborn - Memco, Tom FreundComfort-Air Engineering | Primo Plumbing, Joe Ramon - JR Ramon and Adam Robles - Robles1 Tracy Burns - Equipment Share, Heather Osborn - Memco, Kolten Motes - Rocking M Contractors, Deborah Craft - Comfort-Air Engineering | Primo Plumbing, Gina Ohlenbusch - Alamo Crane and Robin Richter - Windmill Farm Winery Carol Rothman - Alamo Crane, Reesa Doebbler, Marvin Ohlenbusch and Buddy Doebbler Ted Dunnam - Dunnam Safety Management, Douglas & Mary Haskin - Mary C. Haskin Photography and Marge Ohlenbusch Marvin & Marge Ohlenbusch Joe Ramon - JR Ramon, Ed Just - Alamo City Trailer Sales, Marvin Ohlenbusch, Martin Schuh - Purple Wave and Brian Ohlenbusch - Alamo Crane Marvin Ohlenbusch with Doug Muenchow Photos courtesy of Mary C. Haskin Photography

Lemons to Lemonade

Canyon Lake levels have dipped so low that none of the nine Comal County-operated boat ramps are open. But Comal County Engineer Robert Boyd said crews are using the time of extreme drought to improve concrete boat ramps on the lake’s south side. “We’re taking lemons and making lemonade here,” Boyd said. Canyon Lake is at a record low 58.3% full, according to the Texas Water Development Board.

County crews are extending Boat Ramp No. 2 by 25 feet, Boat Ramp No. 7 by 100 feet, and Boat Ramp No. 8 by 75 feet. Boat Ramp No. 1 is actually the old service road used to build Canyon Dam in the 1960s.

Comal County has extended that ramp by adding “butter blocks” — a concrete retaining wall to keep rocks and dirt from falling onto the ramp. “We didn’t choose to extend other ramps because we would have had to excavate a whole bunch of material out of Canyon Lake,” Boyd said. “These ramps were essentially shovel ready.”

The four projects cost the county $338,000 for labor, equipment and materials. Canyon Lake is so low that even the extended ramps won’t likely be accessible for boaters anytime soon. “But in the future when the lake does come back, we’ll be able to use these areas for a longer period of time,” Boyd said, adding that the trigger levels for ramp closures will change at these updated sites.

Some closed boat ramps are still

Yopen for visitors to hand launch kayaks or canoes. Signs at each ramp detail what activities are allowed.

On Thursday, May 16, the Comal County Commissioners Court will consider agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would allow for more non-trailer parking spaces at boat ramps 1, 2 and 5. “The use of Canyon Lake historically has been for the launch and recovery of watercraft, but we also know there’s people who want to use Canyon Lake for walking along the coast, swimming, and fishing,” Boyd said. “We’re trying to create an opportunity for people who want to use the lake for other reasons, and provide an opportunity for them to park there without taking up trailer spots.” The Army Corps manages Canyon Lake boat visitation by the number of trailer parking spaces at each boat ramp. Comal County will add 20 non-trailer parking spots at Boat Ramp No. 1, six spaces at Boat Ramp No. 2, and 30 spaces at Boat Ramp No. 5.

More Lanes Down the Road

ou can expect more lanes on your commute if you travel on Interstate 35, but you’ll have to wait a few years to use them. The newest TxDOT construction project comes with a $700 million price tag and is called the I-35 NEX (Northeast Expansion) South Project. It will cover four miles new and improved roadways.

Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg Jr said the project began Tuesday with work on Phase 1. Texas Clear Lanes, a $75 billion program, focuses on congestion relief in five major metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. “Help is on the way,” he said. “The roads in rural Texas are so important, but we know that in the metropolitan areas (is) where all the growth is going.”

Three new elevated lanes, including two main lanes and one HOV lane in each

direction, will be limited to Interstate 35, the Loop 410 South interchange to Interstate 35, and the Loop 410 North interchange along Interstate 35.

The Interstate 35 elevated lanes will provide a direct connection to Loop 410 South at the Interstate 35/Loops 410 south interchange. With this being the second Interstate 35 NEX project, two years after the first one began, some residents may feel frustrated by a lot of construction seemingly happening at one time.

Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, Texas state representative for House District 120, says the best way to fix the roads is not little by little. “I get it,” Gervin-Hawkins said. “But the reality is, we’ve gotta hit all arteries to be able to disperse traffic so we don’t get congested in one area.” This second Interstate 35 NEX Project is expected to be completed by 2028.

Midnight in Paris

The Home Builders Association of Greater Austin (HBA) celebrated the extraordinary work of their members over the last year on May 4 at the annual Marketing & Advertising Excellence (MAX) awards ceremony. The MAX Awards is the only local awards program to recognize the best in residential construction, development, sales achievement, and marketing. This professionally produced event draws hundreds of attendees each year, bringing together the industry to celebrate the successes of their members. Congratulations to the extraordinary finalists and winners who made the 2024 MAX Awards fantastique!

Job Well Done

White Rock Construction Services is happy to say, after framing, drywall & acoustical ceiling, “Penfed Financial Center in Cibolo is complete!”

ARTIFICIAL TURF | DECORATIVE STONE FLAT WORK | FENCES & GATES Premier Landscape Renovation Tanner Mathews 713-829-8894

Investing in Texas

Caterpillar Inc. announced a $90 million investment to prepare its facilities in Schertz and Seguin, Texas, to produce the all-new Cat® C13D industrial engine. The investment will create 25 jobs at Schertz starting in 2026.

“We appreciate the support from the local community as we prepare our Seguin and Schertz facilities to produce the C13D engine,” said Mark Stratton, vice president and general manager of Caterpillar’s Industrial Power SystemsLarge Engines. “The Caterpillar team in Texas will produce the quality parts and engines we need for our customers as we help them build a better, more sustainable world.”

The C13D is a new 13-liter diesel engine platform designed to achieve bestin-class power, density and fuel efficiency. The engine optimizes the performance of heavy-duty off-highway applications such as material handling, construction, mining, and aircraft ground support.

The investment includes new equipment installations at both facilities, $70 million in Schertz to make C13D engine components and $20 million in Seguin to assemble the engines. The new equipment installations will not impact current operations, which include manufacturing Cat® and Perkins engines and generator sets. C13D engine production is slated to start in 2026

Building for the Blue

On May 11 Nunnelly General Contractors celebrated the ribbon cutting for the new City of San Antonio, St. Mary’s Police Station. This new 2-story 24,000 sq. ft. facility includes locker rooms, fitness rooms, offices, and parking for 145 vehicles. This police station will serve District 1 and the center-city area of San Antonio. Congratulations to the project team, design team, trade partners, and the City of San Antonio for completing this beautiful new building.

Keep it Cool

Anew plant is making its way to the Southside and will be bringing a promising economic boost. Recently, the City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement agreement for a 90% abatement for JCB Inc. JCB is a Britain-based plant and will call the Southside of San Antonio home.

With plans to build a 750,000-squarefoot facility, it will be located off Palo Alto Rd, near Leon Creek.

It will produce equipment currently made in the United Kingdom and India. The tax abatement is worth more than $10,000,000.

According to city documents, the


agreement is contingent on the company investing $265.7 million in real and personal property improvements and creating 1,580 jobs with employees working at least $20.84 an hour by Dec. 31, 2028.

Councilman Manny Palaez shared that he’s excited for the company’s work ahead. “I’m looking forward to seeing a plant full of San Antonians building the best damn equipment that can be built in San Antonio, Texas, and throughout the world.” shared Palaez.

The new plant will be working in collaboration with Palo Alto College and the city’s Ready to Work program to hire its workforce.

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Las Cimas IV, 900 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Suite 425 Austin, Texas 78746


Welcome to Texas
Cat C13D engine The Advanced Solutions division at EquipmentShare provided fans to keep the Texas Longhorns’ sideline cool during their annual Orange-White spring game.

Association Calendar

Content submitted by Associations to Construction News


Associated Builders & Contractors

South Texas Chapter

Jun. 5: Advanced Field Communication

Class: 8am – 5pm, Breakfast and Lunch

Provided, Instructor: MAREK Certified, ABC Office

Jun. 7: CPR/First Aid Certification Training

(9:00am – 11:00am) ABC Office

Jun. 12: Development Services Update with SAWS and CPS, Jun. 13: Family Night at the Missions. Gates Open at 6pm, Game at 7pm- Nelson Wolff Stadium 5757 US-90, San Antonio

Jun. 12: Bimonthly Update from Development Services, CPS, SAWS: 7:30am, Tacos and Coffee, ABC Office

Jun. 19: Dynamic Speakers Series: Lessons Learned from the Battlefield – From SEAL Team to Corporate Team, Will Chesney 3pm- 7pm Santikos Palladium 17703 W. Interstate 10 Frontage Rd. San Antonio

Jun. 21: Two- Steppin’ for Club Kids, Live Music from Tom Yankton: 6pm-10pm, Rancho La Mission, 14047 Henze Rd, San Antonio, TX 78223

Jun. 25-26: ABC National Legislative Conference, Washington DC Jun. 25-27: CTE Construction Boot Camp for Instructors. 8am-3:30pm, MAREK Office


Associated General Contractors San Antonio

Jun. 8: Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Annual Construction Cup Softball Tournament, Rusty Lyons Softball Fields, 5200 McCullough Ave, San Antonio. Limited spots left for teams and sponsors


American Subcontractors Association San Antonio

Jun. 4: Association Celebration, 5pm, Old San Francisco Steakhouse Crystal Room

Jun. 5: National Webinar: Maximizing your ASA Membership, Webinar, 11am Jun. 6: Safety Update, TBA, 11:30am Jun. 6: YPG Cornhole Tournament, 4-6pm, Aprio Parking Lot

Jun. 11-12: Legislative Fly-in on Capitol Hill

Jun. 13: *FREE* Tacos & Training: Bonds, 8:30am, Sanderford & Carroll’s Conference Jun. 21-22: Fishing Tournament, Fulton Convention Center, Rockport TX


Greater San Antonio Builders Association

Jun. 6: Summer 2024 Membership Mixer, 4-7pm, South Texas Brick & Stone, 14329 San Pedro, San Antonio

Jun. 13: SMC Lunch & Learn, 11:30am-1pm Jun. 18: GSABA Board of Directors Meeting, 11:30am-1pm. Please RSVP (210) 696-3800

Jun. 18: Government Affairs Meeting with San Antonio DSD, 1-2pm. Directly after the BOD

Jun. 20: YPLC Leadership Breakfast Panel, 8:30010pm, GSABA Ballroom, 3625 Paesanos Pkwy., San Antonio. Free to attend Jun. 20: 2026 Parade of Hommes Builder Interest Meeting, 3625 Paesanos Pkwy, San Antonio


Independent Electrical Contractors

Jun. 3-20: Journeyman/Master Prep


Jun. 21: 2024 Graduation, 6:30-8:00pm., Norris Conference Center

Jun. 10-12: IEC National Policy Conference, Washington, DC

Jun. 15: Electrical Maintenance Technician Class, 8:00am-5:00pm


Mechanical Contractors Association

Sheet Metal & A/C Nat’l Association

Jun. 1: 29th Annual MCA-SMACNA Golf Tournament, 11:30 a.m. Registration1:30 p.m. Shotgun Start, SilverHorn Golf Club, 1100 W. Bitters Rd., San Antonio

Jun. 14: Regular & Associates Meeting, 11:30am, The Petroleum Club, 8620 N. New Braunfels Ave., #700, San Antonio

Jun. 28: Joint Industry Fund Meeting, 11:30am, MCA-SMACNA, 206 E. Nakoma, San Antonio


National Association of Women in Construction San Antonio

Jun. 1: 2024 GetFitSA: Pride Hike & 5K, Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 200 Noblewood Dr

San Antonio

Jun. 5: General Meeting - Chapter Elections, 5:30pm, The Barn Door Restaurant & Meat Market, 8400 N. New Braunfels Ave., San Antonio

PHCC Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association

Jun. 13: Monthly Membership Meeting, 1pm


San Antonio Masonry Contractors Association

Jun. 21: Golden Trowel Awards Banquet and Ceremony, 6-10pm, Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, San Antonio


Texas Air Conditioning Cooling Contractors Association

Jun. 19: Member Meeting- CPS Energy HVAC Rebate Program, 10:30am-1pm, Old San Francisco Steakhouse, 10223 Sahara Dr, San Antonio. Register Online at

Country Girl

To say that Heather Osborn, MEMCO San Antonio is proud of her daughter would be an understatement! Congratulations to Savanna Osborn for getting her proficiency award in AG mechanics at the Agricultural Science & Technology Academy (ASTA) FFA Banquet.

San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Page 13
210-545-6767 Security License #B15629 www saqualitysteel com W e’re Going Robotic! Pyt honX: The Newest Addition To Our Structural Steel Facility


2024 PHCC San Antonio Board of Directors

At Large Board Members: Tricia Ramirez, A-Ram Plumbing Liz Beyer, Beyer Plumbing George Saliba, George Plumbing Associate Board Members: Brandon Carpenter, Frost Insurance Alex Sessums, Hughes Supply

Page 14 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024
Using their LTM 1130-5.1, 160-ton crane, Alamo Crane’s skilled operator hoisted three large units 30 feet from the front of the store, 30 feet up, and 85 feet in on the roof of the new Buc-ee’s in Luling, TX. The largest unit weighed 10,000 pounds.
Up & Away
Guess who turned 75 years old? Well known in the construction industry, Buddy Doebbler, retired Founder of Construction News, celebrated his 75th birthday! On April 13, dear friends, Stan & Carol Rothman hosted a surprise 75th birthday dinner that he is not likely to forget. Buddy’s wife Reesa & industry friends were there to help him embrace the BIG 7-5.
75! Are you kiddin’ me?
Buddy and Reesa Doebbler, Carol and Stan Rothman
looks good on you!

A Man on a Mission

Nathan Dawson, the founder of Trusted General Contractors, is a man of faith, and his faith is central to everything he does. From humble beginnings, he has worked his way up from a teenager who mowed lawns for family and friends to make extra cash, to a successful business owner. He is passionate about his love for Christ and does not separate his devotion from the vision for his company. His mission is to glorify God by caring for others, through stewarding relationships and resources. When he started Trusted, God spoke to him, and told him to build a church. Nathan has chosen to build that church through his business, using a ministry model, and prioritizing people over profits.

All his life, his goals have been supported, encouraged and guided by his father, whom Nathan refers to as his Dream Manager. His father was his life coach - determined to help his son reach his goals. Recognizing what his father has helped him achieve, he brought him into his business to help his employees in the same way. Keeping his faith a priority in every aspect of his life led him to explore C12, a cohort of Christian business leaders that has developed a framework for how entrepreneurs can honor God through their work. Their website explains, “Eliminating the daylight between our faith and work requires diligence.” Using these resources as a guide, and wanting to help his employees at Trusted thrive in all aspects of their lives, feeds Nathan’s drive. Seeking the wisdom of other people who want to do the same, Nathan reached out to someone he had worked with at Joeris, Chris Carruth. Chris recently retired from METRO, and started a consulting business focusing on Business Development. Nathan became Chris’s first client for his new venture. With Chris’s decades of experience, and their shared passion for

helping others, this became a dynamic connection, and another amazing resource for Nathan, as he continues to build the foundation of his ministry.

Every Monday morning at 6 AM, Nathan’s Trusted crew meets for what they call their Worship Time. The focus is not just on prayer and fellowship, however. It’s all about accountability. The group encourages each other to take care of their bodies, minds and hearts. Together they set goals, support each other through struggles, and hold each member accountable for the goals they set. There are no conversations during this time about business. The focus is solely on personal needs, helping each other reach their dreams. This brotherhood strengthens them in all aspects of their lives, including their bond as coworkers. Utilizing a strategy from C12, when something difficult arises at Trusted that must be addressed - they “buffalo” it. Nathan explains, “When you “buffalo” something, basically, you’re doing what the American bison do. When a storm is heading towards the herd, the herd huddles together and then runs right at the storm, and through it, because the storm passes faster that way. Think about it, plains animals are not going to hide under a tree, they can’t. So how do you make the storm go by the fastest? You run right through it. You have to stick together, face it and charge.”

Nathan is building his church, through his weekly worship meetings with his crew, by truly knowing his employees - so he can help them when they need it. He wants to know what is going on in their lives so he can better serve them as a friend, a boss, and most importantly a Brother in Christ. Whether it’s emotional support, or financial support in an emergency, his people will always know that Trusted has their back. -ndw

Making Room for Students

Who would have thought that winning a large contract to install air conditioning and refrigeration equipment would change the course of history?

New Braunfels ISD broke ground on its 11th elementary school May 9 with the campus scheduled to open in the fall of 2025. NBISD voters approved the project funding as part of the 2021 bond, with $42 million designated for elementary 11. Huckabee Architects have provided the school’s design, while Bartlett Cocke General Contractors is handling the construction.

The school will be located in the Veramendi development at 158 Word

Parkway in New Braunfels. Veramendi Elementary opened in 2017 and is currently approaching capacity, according to the district. The new school building will have 36 classrooms and hold 750 students. The school’s groundbreaking was truly a testament to the support of the district’s constituents, said Superintendent Laurelyn Arterbury. “The 2021 bond program provided us with necessary resources to make this project happen, and as you know, growth in this area continues to rise,” Arterbury said. “With that forms the need for more space and this project and others funded through the 2021 bond and recent 2024 bond will help keep NBISD on track to keep up with our growth.”

6/1 – Joan Zezula, Dumas Hardware

6/8 – Lori DeHoyos, Keller Martin Construction

6/13 – Bert Mazac, Big B Construction

6/14 – Mary Hazlett, SpawGlass

6/15 – Yvette Robinson, Robinson General Contractors

6/15 – Melissa Galvan, CG Steel Solutions

6/19 – Patty Wright, Southern American Insurance Agency

6/19 – George Major Jr., Holes of San Antonio

6/23 – Babet Motes, MEI Rigging & Crating

Know someone celebrating a birthday next month? Let us know! Email Andi Mathews,

San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Page 15 Hurry to your dealer for 0% financing options* or cash rebates* on new compact loaders and excavators. HIGH-POWERED SAVINGS *Offer ends 6/30/2024. Available at participating and eligible dealers only. Offer may vary by product type, series, model and select units in dealer’s current inventory. Must take delivery from dealer stock by 6/30/2024. Offers available on new equipment in US and Canada only. Some restrictions apply. Length of contract and rate may vary. Monthly payment subject to change. Prior purchases not eligible. See dealer for details. Financing provided on approval of credit by authorized Bobcat finance providers to well-qualified buyers. All finance programs and rates are subject to final approval by the applicable Bobcat finance provider and are subject to change at any time without notice. Administrative fees may apply. Offer not available to government accounts, national accounts and municipal/utility bid customers. Bobcat Company reserves the right to extend or discontinue any of these programs at any time without prior notice. Bobcat , the Bobcat logo and the colors of the Bobcat machine are registered trademarks of Bobcat Company in the United States and various other countries. ©2024 Bobcat Company. All rights reserved. Bobcat of San Antonio 11146 N Interstate 35 San Antonio, TX 78233 Phone: 210-337-6136 Bobcat of Pleasanton 1900 E State Highway 97 Jourdanton, TX 78026 Phone: 830-580-4020 Bobcat of Marion 12045 IH 10 West Marion, TX 78124 Phone: 830-420-9020


Maximizing Tax Deductions in 2024

HSteven Bankler, CPA, PFS, Cr.FA, CFF, CGMA

Steven Bankler, CPA, Ltd.

Gina Valorz, CPA, PFS, CGMA

Partner Steven Bankler, CPA, Ltd.

ow confident are you that you’re getting the tax breaks you deserve?

There are dozens of common deductions in the construction industry, but the IRS won’t help you identify or maximize them. That’s up to you. Tax laws, economic conditions, and your own business bottom line shift constantly, which means the deductions available to you are in a constant flow of change as well.

Nothing illustrates this point better than bonus depreciation and Section 179 deductions. Construction firms have utilized bonus depreciation for years to accelerate qualifying business property deductions. In the past, you may have been able to rely on bonus depreciation alone to maximize your tax deductions on purchased and placed-in-service equipment. But beginning in 2023, the value of bonus depreciation diminishes by 20% each year. Now, in 2024, the total deduction is worth 60% of the cost of qualified property and is set to continue to diminish until it fully sunsets in 2027.

Enter the Section 179 deduction, which has increased to $1.22 million with a phaseout threshold of $3.05 million for 2024. Section 179 allows for deducting a qualifying asset up to its entire cost in its first year, depending on certain factors. It’s worth comparing the two methods to understand which provides the best tax advantage. It may not be what you expect—both have advantages and limitations—but many smaller contractors find that Section 179 offers more tax advantages for their equipment and other qualifying purchases than bonus depreciation.

More recent tax changes (as part of the Inflation Reduction Act) include the expansion of the 179D credit for energyefficient buildings. Previously, only commercial building owners or designers of energy-efficient systems for government-owned buildings qualified for this credit. Now, other designers of lighting, HVAC, and building envelope systems for other tax-exempt entities qualify (think nonprofits, churches, and schools). Qualification also starts at 25% energy savings as opposed to the previous requirement of 50%. Additionally, a significant bonus deduction is available for contractors who pay prevailing wages and meet apprenticeship requirements.

The Inflation Reduction Act also expanded the 45L tax credit for residential units (up to $5,000 per new single-family or manufactured home and $1,000 for dwelling units within multifamily new construction). Both opportunities in the Inflation Reduction Act could significantly affect budgeting and forecasting for eligible firms, so consider them before finalizing any new contracts.

Research and development (R&D) tax credits are a potential change to keep an eye on. R&D tax credits can be tricky to claim, but the potential for

significant tax savings can make it worth your while. Construction companies that create or improve materials, designs, or processes (including software) should have it on their radar because the credit can offset employee wages, cost of supplies, and contract research expenses. However, note that credit-requirement and payout changes may be coming. That means business owners both familiar and unfamiliar with R&D should ask their tax advisor about the potential of R&D deductions and if any changes could affect their claim.

With the feast-or-famine effect on the area’s construction projects and the fluctuating cost of supplies and labor, how can a potential loss on the year turn into tax savings? If it’s been a while since you’ve reported losses, please note: Net Operating Losses (NOLs) can generally be carried forward these days, not carried back. Also, partnerships and S corporations typically cannot claim an NOL. Instead, partners or shareholders may be able to use their separate shares of business income and deductions to calculate individual NOLs. The IRS recommends keeping records for any tax year that generates an NOL, all years to which the loss can be carried, and the three years after a carryforward expires.

Then there are the more general tax opportunities that can benefit—or trip up—even the most astute business owners. Meals and entertainment (that are still currently at 50% deductibility), travel and vehicle expenses, materials and supplies, deductible employee expenses including some fringe benefits, subcontractor payments, education and training, marketing and advertising, insurance premiums, and home office deductions: These can all add up to handsome tax savings if you understand how to maximize them effectively.

Don’t wait until tax season to refine your tax strategy. The best way to maximize deductions is to consider them before spending occurs. That’s because your accounting method, invoicing, purchasing, staffing, and other decisions can all affect your taxsaving potential. Bookkeeping best practices are imperative. The better you can categorize expenses, retain receipts, structure purchase orders, reconcile accounts, and stay on top of other administrative duties, the easier it will be to identify and account for every deduction you deserve—and to answer to the IRS if it comes knocking.

And speak up. The longer you wait to involve a tax advisor, the more likely you will miss opportunities and tax changes affecting your bottom line. Anytime you hear of a potential tax change that could affect your business, or your business pivots or experiences a change for any reason, find out how it affects your strategy moving forward. A proactive approach is the most cost-effective.

I“Barley Colorable Justification” May be Enough to Support an Arbitration Award based on “No More than a Guess”

Abagail Chacon Cokinos | Young Austin, TX

t is well known that an arbitrator’s final decision is not automatically subject to review by filing an appeal. In most cases, the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding on the parties unless one of a few narrow exceptions allowing for judicial review of the decision is met. A party may request judicial review of an arbitration award when it is unclear whether an arbitrator exceeded its powers, imperfectly executed its powers, or manifestly disregarded the law.

The ‘manifest disregard of the law’ argument was the basis for the US Southern District Court of New York’s May 3, 2024, opinion regarding Mercantile Global Holdings, Inc. v. Hamilton M&A Fund arbitration award. Hamilton contended that the arbitrator’s admission that the award was based on a guess was a ‘manifest disregard of the law’ for not applying the ‘reasonable certainty’ test to the damages awarded to Mercantile.

Summary of the case:

Hamilton and Mercantile entered into several investment agreements. Under the terms of those agreements, Hamilton was to “provide funds to Mercantile… in exchange for preferred shares of Mercantile’s stock.” However, those funds were never transferred to Mercantile. Mercantile brought an arbitration claim for breach of contract against Hamilton, for which it was ultimately successful and was awarded damages.

While Mercantile was not awarded lost profits as it did not meet the ‘reasonable certainty’ standard—a legal requirement for a high degree of certainty in calculating lost profit damages—it was, however, awarded expectations damages. The arbitrator did not use the “reasonable certainty” standard in determining its expectations damages; instead, it employed an estimate based on the testimony of the experts on the case.

During Arbitration, Mercantile argued the shares were “worthless,” while Hamilton argued the shares were worth the full contract price. Neither party presented evidence as to the current market value of the shares. Rather, Mercantile’s damages expert testified that the proper way to determine the resale value of the shares would be to determine the value of a replacement investment and discount that value to account for the delay. Hamilton’s damages expert agreed with Mercantile expert’s approach but testified the discount rate Mercantile proposed was excessive.

The arbitrator treated the testimony of both damages experts as a mutually agreeable method between the parties and then proceeded to “estimate” the market value of the shares in order to deduct it from the contract price in the investment

agreements. Notably, the arbitrator stated in his award that the amount he calculated from this formula “[was] no more than a guess.”

Hamilton argued that, by stating the damages calculation was “no more than a guess,” the arbitrator had failed to apply the applicable “reasonable certainty” test. Upon review, the Court nevertheless denied vacatur and confirmed the arbitration award.

The Court employed the “barely colorable justification” test, a standard of review in which an arbitrator’s decision is entitled to substantial deference. Opining that even though the arbitrator acknowledged that his award was ‘no more than a guess,’ he relied on it because it was ‘the only estimate offered in this case. The Court criticized that although the parties had an adequate opportunity to provide an estimate of the shares’ market value, both parties failed to provide the arbitrator with better estimates. Thus, the arbitrator had relied upon a figure that he ‘understood to be acceptable to both sides’ damages experts, which was the most accurate estimate offered. Albeit, the only one provided by the parties.

Texas Implication:

While this ruling originates from the Southern District of New York, the ‘barely colorable justification’ test has also been cited in past Texas Arbitration Award challenges. This was evident in the 2008 case, Saipem Am., Inc. v. Wellington Underwriting Agencies, Ltd, where the U.S. Southern District Court of Texas emphasized that “an arbitrator’s decision is entitled to substantial deference, and the arbitrator need only explicate his reasoning under the contract ‘in terms that offer even a barely colorable justification for the outcome reached’ in order to withstand judicial scrutiny.” Although in this case the “barely colorable justification” was not applied to the ‘reasonable certainty’ standard for damages, it underscores the continued relevance of the ‘barely colorable justification’ in Texas and its potential expansion.

Lessons Learned:

The crucial lessons from Mercantile v. Hamilton are that arbitrators are accorded a significant amount of deference in their awards and the reasoning behind them. Therefore, it is imperative that parties present sufficient evidence, including alternative methods of damage calculation, to withstand scrutiny through judicial review. This case highlights the importance of ensuring that the arbitrator is provided with the tools to award damages fairly. Additionally, damage experts should exercise caution in their testimony and ensure they include the appropriate qualifications and observations when discussing other experts’ opinions.

Page 16 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024



Have you reviewed your business risks recently? Are you properly covered?

aving the right business insurance is about more than just finding a policy that fits your budget. It’s about finding coverage that fits your business and addresses your specific risks.

As a business owner, you may have risks or exposures that have gone unnoticed or are improperly insured. Performing regular reviews of your business insurance with your agent can help find and address risks and potential coverage gaps.

Why should you review your commercial insurance policy?

The right insurance policy will help your business stay competitive while protecting you, your company, and your employees. To do this, you have to make sure your insurance is keeping pace with your company and services.

The risks a business faces are not static. They can grow, evolve, and change. Factors such as regulatory updates, market fluctuations, technology advancement, business expansion and changes in operations can affect the coverage required to adequately insure a business.

Regular policy reviews allow you to assess whether your existing coverage adequately addresses these evolving risks or if adjustments are needed.

What businesses should conduct risk reviews?

Every business —regardless of sector, size, or years in business— should conduct regular risk and coverage reviews. Risk is something that every business faces. It’s crucial for companies to have the correct types of insurance coverage with adequate limits in place to properly protect against the risks they face.

What to consider during a risk review

Below are the types of coverages your business should consider during your review with your insurance agent.

1. General liability insurance

General liability insurance, also known as business liability insurance, covers your business if claims are filed against you in the course of normal business operations. This type of policy typically covers claims stemming from incidents such as injuries and property damage.

Businesses often purchase a business owner’s policy, also known as a BOP, to cover both liability and property claims.

2. Property insurance

Property insurance, also known as commercial property insurance or business personal property insurance, covers your business’s building(s) as well as its contents and outdoor fixtures in the event of an incident such as fire, explosion, windstorm, theft and vandalism. This type of policy could pay to repair or replace buildings, inventory, computers, tools, furniture and other property and equipment at your business.

3. Workers’ compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance pays for benefits such as medical care to treat employees who are injured in the course of their work. In some instances, it could help with a worker’s lost income. In the case of an employee who dies due to a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation insurance coverage could help pay for funeral expenses and cover

benefits for the employee’s survivors.

4. Commercial auto insurance

Commercial auto insurance covers cars, trucks and vans that are used for business purposes. It can pay claims arising from vehicle damage or a driver’s injuries. Commercial Auto Insurance isn’t just for fleet vehicles either. It should be in place for any vehicle used in the course of work for a company.

5. Commercial umbrella insurance

Commercial umbrella insurance adds coverage on top of business liability coverage. This type of policy bridges the gap between coverage limits from liability insurance and claim payouts. For instance, your liability policy may offer $1 million in coverage, but you’re required to pay a $2 million claim. If you have a $1 million umbrella policy, it could make up the difference in dollars between your liability coverage limit and a claim payout.

6. Employee health insurance

Employee health insurance includes a variety of coverages such as medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and more that potential employers provide for their fulltime employees. To remain competitive for talent, many businesses offer group health insurance as the foundation for their benefit package.

What should trigger a review?

While every business should conduct regular reviews at least once a year, there are many additional factors that can necessitate a review to ensure adequate coverage is in place. Below are just a few to keep in mind.

Changes in Operations – Have there been any changes to services, hours of operations or number of locations.

Payroll Changes – Workers’ compensation premiums are based on payroll, and any changes can affect policy premiums.

Added Services or Products– Has your company added any new services or products or begun doing work outside of its normal scope of business.

New Property– Has your business acquired new equipment, vehicles, or tools?

Emerging Threats – Some risks can develop quickly and evolve at an alarming rate, like cyber threats. Cyber Threats have emerged, grown and evolved quickly and now post a risk to all businesses.

Regularly reviewing and updating your coverage is crucial to ensure that your business remains adequately protected against unforeseen events. Reach out to an experienced insurance agent to review your coverage program and the potential risks your business faces.

Matthew Knippa is a sales producer and partner at The Nitsche Group insurance agency. The Nitsche Group is a familyowned and operated independent insurance agency specializing in personal insurance, employee benefits and commercial insurance. The Nitsche Group specializes in coverage for contractors as well as a multitude of industries including construction, agribusiness, oil and gas, and more. For questions or a coverage review, contact Matthew Knippa at MatthewK@ or at (512) 971-7933.

ITrenching and Excavation

n the U.S., more than 800 construction workers die every year while on the job. One of the most dangerous types of construction work is trenching, which kills, on average, 40 workers every year. Workers can suffer death or serious injury within minutes of being caught in a trench cave-in.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires workers to be protected against the danger of cave-ins in trenches and/or excavations that are five feet or deeper, except in stable rock. There are four recognized methods of protection: sloping, benching, shoring and shielding (trench box).

Sloping and Benching

Sloping is a protective measure that cuts the walls of the excavation back at an angle from the floor to produce a stable slope. The slope angle is based on soil type.

• Type A Soil: The ratio is 3/4 ft. horizontal for every foot vertical (53° from the horizontal)

• Type B Soil: The ratio is 1 ft. horizontal for every foot vertical (45° from the horizontal)

• Type C Soil: The ratio is 11/2 ft. horizontal for every one foot vertical (34° from the horizontal)

Benching is the process of cutting benches or steps into the excavation. The angle used for benching is based on a ratio of horizontal to vertical cuts. It should be noted that benching is reserved only for cohesive soils. It is not permissible to bench Type C soil because of its inability to support a vertical wall.

Factors that make soil less stable:

• Vibration from machinery or traffic

• Exposure to rain or flooding

• Periods of low humidity

• Soil loading from overburden or equipment

Distress signs include:

• Cracking walls and surface soil

• Bulging of the trench wall and/or sloughing off of clods or small sections from the trench wall

All of these indicate an imminent danger of cave-in. If any of these signs are observed, employees shall be directed to evacuate the excavation.

Shoring and Shielding

Shoring is designed to prevent excavation failure (cave-ins) by supporting trench walls with a system of vertical uprights and/or sheeting and Cross braces (shores). Shores are structures that cross the trench and put pressure on the vertical uprights and sheeting. Shoring methods range from timber shoring to aluminum hydraulic devices.

Shielding is an engineered metal box that is placed in the excavation. It does not provide structural strength to the excavation, but provides workers a safe worksite that protects them from collapsing material. A registered professional engineer must design the trench shield or trench box system.

Safety Requirement

All excavations must be backfilled as soon as possible after removal of the support system. No worker is permitted in an unshored or unprotected excavation or trench no matter how compelling the reason.

San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Page 17

Elgin Independent School District (ISD), a rapidly growing area east of Austin, recently began construction on Trinity Ranch Elementary, which will welcome 850 students in Fall 2025. The school, designed by Pfluger Architects, is the second elementary resulting from a bond passed in 2021. Harvest Ridge Elementary, currently under construction and also designed by Pfluger, will open its doors to students in Fall 2024.

“Trinity Ranch Elementary will provide students a safe and nurturing environment to learn and grow, fostering a sense of community and collaboration,” said Dr. Jana Rueter, Elgin ISD superintendent of schools. “Every student deserves access to engaging and innovative learning experiences so they will have choice and opportunity for their future. We are excited to celebrate this investment in our community and our children, and to see this new facility come to life.”

In 2021, the population within Elgin ISD was booming, and the need for more schools became urgent, so the district turned to Pfluger. Elgin ISD’s fast growth called for adaptable, scalable schools that can be ready to grow with the district’s needs. A vision to develop innovative educational spaces was shaped with

Pfluger Architects Break Ground

input from district leaders, educators and community members. Pfluger crafted guiding principles that will steer not just Harvest Ridge and Trinity Ranch but also shape future developments, and developed a new elementary school design that was scalable, adaptable and able to evolve with the rapid growth in the community.

Each elementary school will be approximately 84,200 square feet once completed, with spaces designed around the community’s core aspirations of comfort, exploration and biophilia. An interior courtyard brings natural light to all classrooms and functions as an outdoor classroom as well. The media center – drenched in Elgin’s purple school colors – is at the heart of the school and has ample glazing for visibility and connectivity. The Houston and Texas Central Railroad, which created the City of Elgin, inspired the interior design,

influencing the flooring patterns and the ceiling and lighting designs.

In the early 1900s, Elgin earned the moniker “The Brick Capital of the Southwest” and its legacy can be found in the ample ornate brickwork throughout the historic downtown. As an homage to the community’s history, Pfluger partnered with the local Acme Elgin Plant to source all of the brick used in the construction of these school buildings, strengthening community relations by contributing to the local economy and weaving the new buildings into the existing architectural fabric.

“These schools are built around the guiding principles of care, community, collaboration and connection to the outdoors,” said Jessica Molter, managing principal at Pfluger Architects’ Austin office. “By optimizing the use of space and encouraging a closer connection between students and the natural

world, the design creates more meaningful educational experiences for tomorrow’s leaders.”

Pfluger took a creative and fresh look at arranging programmed spaces to take advantage of adjacencies and minimize travel time between the spaces, effectively reducing each building’s footprint into a compact design that could still comfortably accommodate the 850 students required by the district. Pfluger successfully balanced practicality and imagination to create a school that is both functional and adaptable to the district’s growth while also creating vibrant learning spaces where students can flourish. A cost-conscious approach in collaboration with the program manager and construction manager ensured the schools included some desirable features in addition to the minimum requirements, such as a larger gym and enhanced security measures.

Page 18 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 the Austin and San Antonio communities for over 50 years. SERVING AUSTIN, SAN ANTONIO & SOUTH TEXAS For decades, JR RAMON DEMOLITION has been a pioneering demolition company in San Antonio, Austin, and the surrounding areas. We provide expert professional demolition services. Our team of demolition experts applies their action plans for each project. The demolition trained project management and execute the plan. From complete removal of structures to technical component 1325 Frio City Road, San Antonio, TX 78226 | 210.225.1583 WE CLEAR SPACE FOR COMMUNITIES TO GROW The demolition industry plays a major role in helping communities to reimagine, rebuild, and reinhabit the spaces all around them. How do you get from this… this? You can start by speaking with one of our demolition experts. Urban Revitalization Demolition Action Plans Historic Renovations JR RAMON helps to rebuild and rise up in their place. As a service to community developers, JR RAMON offers consultations for best practices that help design professionals restore and rebuild. With our guidance, and environmentally friendly demolition action plans that enable them to reimagine their communities. structural integrity of historic buildings decay. We safely prepare historic sites for renovation, saving business our help, dilapidated buildings can be renovated or restored to their intended can be enjoyed by the community again. Call JR RAMON DEMOLITION when your community is ready to clear unsafe structures or revitalize space for new uses. the Austin and San Antonio communities for over 50 years. SERVING AUSTIN, SAN ANTONIO & SOUTH TEXAS For decades, JR RAMON DEMOLITION has been a pioneering demolition company in San Antonio, Austin, and the surrounding areas. We provide expert professional demolition services. Our team of demolition experts applies their action plans for each project. The demolition trained project management and execute the plan. From complete removal of structures to technical component 1325 Frio City Road, San Antonio, TX 78226 | 210.225.1583 WE CLEAR SPACE FOR COMMUNITIES TO GROW The demolition industry plays a major role in helping communities to reimagine, rebuild, and reinhabit the spaces all around them. How do you get from this… this? You can start by speaking with one of our demolition experts. Urban Revitalization Demolition Action Plans Historic Renovations JR RAMON helps to rebuild and rise up in their place. As a service to community developers, JR RAMON offers consultations for best practices that help design professionals restore and rebuild. With our guidance, and environmentally friendly demolition action plans that enable them to reimagine their communities. structural integrity of historic buildings decay. We safely prepare historic sites for renovation, saving business our help, dilapidated buildings can be renovated or restored to their intended can be enjoyed by the community again. Call JR RAMON DEMOLITION when your community is ready to clear unsafe structures or revitalize space for new uses.


Kevin Schultz appointed as Chief Operating Officer at TNT Crane & Rigging family of Companies. “Today starts a new chapter for TNT Crane & Rigging. I am honored to partner with this incredible team of industry professionals. Our vision is not just to be a crane provider but a safe, reliable partner to our clients.” – Kevin Schultz, Chief Operating Officer

TNT Crane & Rigging is excited to have Kevin in his new role! Please join us in congratulating Mr. Schultz.

Cokinos | Young is excited to share that Marshall Swanson has joined the firm’s San Antonio office. Since 2015, Marshall’s practice has focused on complex civil, general business, and construction litigation. Marshall’s experience covers a variety of areas including mechanic’s liens, contract and payment disputes, partnership litigation, personal injury defense, post-judgment collections, formation of business entities, and industry contract negotiations for businesses in the construction and maritime sectors.


This is a section for brief company announcements of new or recently promoted personnel, free of charge as space allows. Email with “Round-Up” in the subject line (w/digital photo, if available) by the 15th of any month, for the next month’s issue.

Good ol’ Fundraising Fun!

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of San Antonio hosted their annual banquet on May 2 at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Halls A & B. More than 1500 members & guests showed up to help raise crucial funds that will help ensure the health and conservation of our marine resources and anglers’ access to them here in Texas. All money raised at the biggest CCA event in the Nation stays in the state of Texas. The food & drink was amazing, and the money raised was even better. If you haven’t been to this chapter’s event, we highly recommend it.

Shattering the 40 Year Mark

Chief Operating Officer, Michael Emmons is celebrating 40 years with SpawGlass! Thank you, Michael, for the passion, dedication, and leadership you have given the SpawGlass team over the past four decades. Congratulations!

JA Family Affair

erry Williams, Founder of A-1 Fire and Safety, started the company in 1971. Ray Williams, Jerry’s father, bought in to the company after he retired from the civil service, and co-owned the company with Jerry for 30 years. Kylie and Brayden are Jerry’s two oldest grandchildren, and both are full time employees. Kylie started working in the San Antonio office in early April 2024. Brayden began his career at A-1 working in the front shop in San Antonio then moved to Uvalde to help get the new shop up and running and is now back in the high-pressure Department of Transportation (DOT) shop in San Antonio. Clint Williams, Jerry’s son, and current CEO was hard at work the day this photo was taken and is not pictured.

4 Decades & then some

at E-Z Bel will always be remembered. Congratulations on your much deserved retirement, Jesus. You will be missed!

San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024 Page 19
Michael Emmons, Chief Operating Officer with Joel Stone, Chairman & CEO E-Z Bel Construction would like to express their deepest gratitude to Jesus Bazaldua for his invaluable contribution during his extraordinary 44 year career with the company. His dedication and hard work (L-R) Kylie, Jerry & Brayden
Page 20 San Antonio Construction News • JUNE 2024

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