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Bellows

BYLINE FALL 2015

Project Profiles

The Alley Theatre Renovation St. John’s School, Flores Hall and Campus Center Building

Milestones and Retirements


Project Profile | New Construction The Alley Theatre Renovation | Houston, Texas

Setting the Stage

The $46.5 million renovation to Houston’s historic Alley Theatre is complete and the theatre is buzzing with activity and excitement. This significant restoration/renovation project has revitalized this beloved Houston landmark and set the stage for a whole new exciting experience for its patrons and artists. The idea behind the design and construction was to preserve and restore the facility while still keeping the feel of the original Alley intact. The renovation also brought the theatre into the 21st century in terms of what the Alley can achieve on stage with their productions and sets. Of paramount importance was retaining and broadening the intimate theatre experience which has distinguished the Alley Theatre since its founding. This project wasn’t just about a face lift and new carpet. It was about rebuilding in order to uplift the theatre experience for every person who walks into this incredible building. As theatre-goers arrive at the Alley, they will notice that the exterior has been power-washed and cleaned to give the building a fresher look. Patrons walking through the front doors are greeted by a number of interior updates including the extended sweeping staircase which now flows up to the main lobby and has new access to the third-floor upper level. One of the biggest feats of restoring the staircase was stripping and staining the handrails. When the team first stripped the rails in the lobby, they discovered that the original wood was not brown as they had expected, but instead had a mid-century, yellow tint. The solution to this discovery was re-staining all of the handrails to match the rest of the finishes selected for the renovation in order to have a cohesive look. Additionally, the lobby handrails are lower than what is required by building code, but because they are original to the building, Studio Red Architects was able to have them grandfathered into the design. Throughout the lobby is a new, vibrant version of the red carpet that has been a staple since the Alley’s opening on Texas Avenue in 1968. The bright red carpet against the fresh white paint gives the interior a crisp, clean, and modern feel. A big obstacle that the Alley faced was providing enough space outside the theatre where guests could mix and mingle.


Formerly hidden from the lobby by a wall, the old Plaza Studio was opened to extend the lobby and converted into a bar overlooking Texas Avenue with a panoramic view of the downtown skyline. The bar is beautifully designed with granite countertops, an old handrail mounted upside down above the bar, LED lighting, and a sound-absorbent plaster ceiling which makes the space better for conversation. Another space that wasn’t being used to its full potential was a balcony that overlooked the parking garage. This space was enclosed and a donor reception room was created, complete with private restrooms and bar to significantly enhance the Alley’s fund raising efforts. An opaque, glass partition that mimics a curtain was installed to separate the room from the lobby area, but the space still retains an open-concept feel. In addition to the bars, a new feature that is certain to be a crowd-pleaser, especially among the female population, is the expansion of the restrooms. With the women’s restroom toilet fixtures increased from 12 to 24, and the men’s fixtures increased from 11 to 16, the restrooms better accommodate a large number of visitors during short intermission breaks. The Hubbard Stage, the Alley’s main theatre, is the most transformed space in this landmark building. The entire area was gutted to the walls down to the basement floor and rebuilt with a new four-story fly loft added over the stage.

Bellows Byline | Fall 2015


Project Profile | New Construction The Alley Theatre Renovation | Houston, Texas

The stage has doubled in size, and all of the viewing obstructions, including four large columns on the stage, have been removed. The new thrust stage extends 15 feet farther into the audience and places the actor closer to each patron regardless of where they are sitting. The Hubbard Stage has a total of 774 seats laid out in an extended horseshoe format around the thrust stage. The renovated theatre offers less seating than the original; however, the new design puts more seats closer to the stage and ensures that there is no ‘bad seat’ in the house. Other major renovated additions include a fully-trapped stage floor, state-of-the-art lighting/sound/electrical enhancements, a fiber optic network, and a new catwalk. The acoustics in the audience chamber have been fully enhanced allowing the natural voice to carry to all seats in the house unassisted by microphones. The crowning achievement is a fully automated fly system housed in a new fly loft. Before the renovation, the Alley was technically limited in how it accommodated large-scale productions. Now, the stage has more flexibility and offers more possibilities. The expanded stage has also given the Alley the ability to perform more nights each year. With more than 500 performances scheduled for 2015-2016, the Alley will produce more performances than all other performing arts organizations in the Houston Theater District combined. The opening of the renovated Alley Theatre proved to be very emotional for the staff and resident actors. The old building was their home for more than 45 years, and returning to the updated theatre after being away for the past year was a revelation. The renovation provides more technical capabilities for productions and affords the actors more freedom in pursuing their craft. With all the new additions to the stage, the audience will be entertained and astonished by impressive scenery coming down from the fly loft as well as actors popping up from below the trapped stage. This extensive renovation project has breathed new life into the Alley Theatre and is aiding the actors in their constant reach for new creative heights.


Project Profile | New Construction

St. John’s School, Flores Hall and Campus Center Building | Houston, Texas

Building for a Bold Vision

Over one hundred friends, donors, and community members gathered on September 17, 2015, on St. John’s School’s new Great Lawn to celebrate the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the newly completed Flores Hall and Campus Center Building. Two days later, students were bustling in the hallways and were treated to breakfast in the 10,000-SF Flores Hall, the stunning focal point of the entire project. Flores Hall is a dining and meeting space where students, staff, alumni, parents and guests can gather to foster relationships and create lifelong memories. Before construction began, the 40+ year-old Winston Hall and Arnold Student Center had to be torn down. The building was too small to accommodate the school’s growing student population and was no longer functional for their needs. The new 70,300-SF project includes Flores Hall, the Chao Assembly Room, Frankel Balcony, the Fondren outdoor dining areas, a professional kitchen, servery area and café, college counseling and admissions offices, additional fine arts and other instructional space, Heritage Hall and Spirit Store, 45 underground parking spaces, two large conference room facilities, and the new Great Lawn which is twice the size of the Senior Quadrangle. What sets this new building apart are the intricate details and finishes that were carefully selected to create a beautiful environment for St. John’s School students and staff to enjoy and flourish. The school’s signature limestone used for this project came from the same quarry where the stone used for the rest of the campus originated. This is also the only building on campus that utilizes limestone in its interior.

Bellows Byline | Fall 2015


Project Profile | New Construction

St. John’s School, Flores Hall and Campus Center Building | Houston, Texas The dramatic ceiling of Flores Hall includes massive timber trusses that were stained after installation. Another custom aspect of this majestic room is the floor. The entire linoleum floor was hand-cut and placed on site. This project is on track to be LEED-certified with its recycled tile roof being one of the major LEED credits. The project team was able to reuse about 70% of the roof tiles from the buildings it replaced. The remaining 30% of the tiles were salvaged from an old Houston Lighting and Power building. The duration of a project of this size, complexity, and detail is typically about 24 months. However, our team was able to complete it in 16 months so that the building would be ready for the Fall 2015 school semester. The project was successful due in large part to seamless teamwork and clear orchestration among all of the project team members, including Design Architects Curtis & Windham and Architect of Record, Kendall / Heaton Associates, Inc. The Flores Hall and Campus Center Building project is just one part of St. John’s School’s Opportunity of a Lifetime Campaign which exemplifies the school’s commitment to a “bold vision for the future.” This bold vision is the driving force of St. John’s School and one of the reasons that it is among the premier schools in the nation.


Milestones and Retirements Bellows is proud of the long tenure many employees have had with our company. The loyalty and dedication they exhibit is part of what makes our company so special and is why some of our employees have spent their entire careers working here. Over 40% of our employees have 10+ years of service with Bellows. We recognize how special it is to have long-term employees and we want to honor the relationships we have built. To those folks who have retired from Bellows this year as well as those who have 10+ years of service with Bellows, we thank you!

2015 Retirements

Antonio ‘Gator’ Cardenas

Tony Matamoras

Labor Foreman 35 years of service

Foreman 35 years of service

J. Mario Hernandez Labor Foreman 27 years of service

Trish Frields

Receptionist 25 years of service

Employees with 10+ Years of Service at Bellows Charlie Kubin

60

Johnny Kroll

25

Charles Rucker

17

Tom Newton

46

Kathy Weitzel

25

Alvin Vance

17

Jack Roberts

45

Enrique Gutierrez

24

Jay Wagner, Sr.

17

Rick Mikeska

42

Tim O’Malley

24

Armando Gallardo-Ruiz

16

David Morris

40

Dimas Gonzales

23

Valentin Ruiz

16

Jim Jabsen

37

Christa Vincent

23

Lynn Daron

15

Allie Johnson

36

James Bailey

22

Howard Johnson

15

Mark Self

36

Connie Brown

22

Tony Mansoorian

15

Richard Young

36

Michael Goddard

21

Roger Royston

15

Mike Arclise

35

Rafael Soto

21

Ronald Smith

15

Tommy Lee

34

Norm Molen

20

Marvin Solano

15

Donna Flock

33

Elaine Mullan

20

Johnell Balca

14

Tommy Kubin

33

Paul Oliver

20

Brad Dawson

14

Russell Jones

31

Kim Salisbury

20

Adrian Alvarez

13

Gilbert Martinez

30

Tim Bice

19

Ricardo Gonzalez

13

Leo Richardson

30

Kenneth Lake

19

Socorro Gonzalez

13

William Wainright

30

Larry Lastrapes

19

Constantino Lopez

12

Deborah Gagnon

29

Daniel Mendoza

19

Wendell Green, Jr.

11

David Kubin

29

Brent Miller

19

Melzar Hernandez

11

Texas Shorts

27

Jose Blas

18

Jason Johnson

11

Ricardo Gutierrez

26

Steve Feliciano, Jr.

18

Scott Strozier

11

Malcolm Kelley

26

Heberto Garcias

18

Matt Kelley

10

John Lastrapes

26

Ray Mancias

18

Aurelio Turrubiartes

10

Art Williams

26

Serafin Rodriguez

18

Nelson Kirkham

25

J-Oscar Moncivaiz

17

Bellows Byline | Fall 2015


W. S. Bellows Construction Corporation P.O. Box 2132 | Houston, TX 77252-2132 713.680.2132 | 713.680.2614 Visit our new website: www.wsbellows.com

Passing the Plans

Jack Roberts, Vice President of Estimating, Announces Retirement After 45 Years of Service While at Texas A&M University, Jack alternated working in construction and attending school until he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering in December 1970. Hired by George Bellows, Jack worked as an intern at Bellows in the summer of 1970. Upon graduation, he started full-time with Bellows and has been a “lifer” ever since. Jack has progressed through the company as Project Engineer, Project Manager, Superintendent, Staff Estimator, Chief Estimator, and in 1995, became Vice President of Estimating. Jack’s first project was the 1100 Milam Building but his favorite project was Marathon Oil Tower where he served as Superintendent for the first time. Throughout all of his positions, he learned how things were built which was a great asset when he was tapped to become Chief Estimator in 1989. Since then, Jack has orchestrated building and leading one of the best estimating departments in the business as well as accumulating an amazing wealth of estimating experience. Jack credits two of his most influential mentors, George Bellows and Warren Bellows, Jr., for giving him not just a job, but a career in which he looked forward to going to work every day. He recommends that everyone seek that goal in a career. After creating quite a legacy over his 45 years with Bellows, Jack is ready to “pass the plans” to Vice President and Chief Estimator, Brent Miller. Brent has been with Bellows for 19 years and has been preparing for this role since 2008 when he became Chief Estimator under Jack. Brent has enjoyed learning from and working alongside Jack for the past seven years. They both agree that they complement each other in their working relationship. In addition to joining the Bellows “family” in 1971, Jack married his wonderful wife, Wanda, that year. Over his years at Bellows, they welcomed three sons whom he each lovingly nicknamed the project that he was on when they were born: Jack III (One Houston Center), Sam (Anheuser Busch), and Michael (Marathon Oil). With their children and eight grandchildren now living in Dallas and Austin, Jack and Wanda bought a farm in central Texas which is conveniently located “on a straight line” between those two cities. Jack and Wanda look forward to enjoying their farm (with no animals, Jack says) and spending lots of time with their extended family.

Jack Roberts and Brent Miller

Spending one’s entire career at a single company is practically unheard of nowadays. How fortunate we are that Jack Roberts dedicated his 45-year career to building excellent projects and lasting relationships with colleagues, clients and his “family” at W. S. Bellows Construction. We sincerely thank Jack for his longtime, strong commitment, and will greatly miss his infectious enthusiasm and singular expertise. Jack will always be a part of the Bellows family and we wish him well.

Bellows Byline Fall 2015  

The Alley Theatre Renovation St. John's School, Flores Hall and Campus Center Building Milestones and Retirements