St. Louis Prepares for Opening of New Convention Center

Sat March 12, 2005 - Midwest Edition

Set to open on April 9, 2005, the long-awaited St. Charles Convention Center will provide the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area with a new venue for small to mid-sized exhibitions and conventions.

Designed by Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets Inc. and built by Paric Corp., the convention center is located on a 21-acre site near Interstate 70 at Fairgrounds Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway in St. Charles County.

Guarantee Electrical Company served as the electrical contractor for the project, completing approximately $3.8 million of electrical work. Guarantee began work in December 2003 and has substantially completed the electrical systems.

Guarantee’s contract included all power distribution, interior and exterior lighting, fire alarm systems and sound systems.

Featuring a brick exterior with early American architectural influences, the St. Charles Convention Center includes grade-level entrances on both levels. The entrance facing Veterans Memorial Parkway grants access to the 16,200-sq.-ft. main ballroom, which can be divided into six smaller ballrooms.

Each ballroom is equipped with a strand lighting system and custom-designed chandeliers. The lighting systems are designed so that every fixture can be preset for an event. The staff then just hits the switch to activate predetermined settings for the group renting the space.

The lower level, accessed via an escalator or the rear entrance, includes junior ballrooms, meeting rooms and the 27,600-sq.-ft. exhibition hall.

Guarantee installed approximately 40 floor boxes in the exhibition hall. Containing power, telephone and data hookups, the boxes are spaced throughout the hall to accommodate booths. One challenge involved in the project was completing the pipe and wire installation under the concrete floor, which is designed to sustain up to 28,000 lbs. of weight.

Guarantee’s subsidiary, TEL-Vi Communications, installed all telephone and data systems. Audio-visual equipment is controlled from master audio-visual rooms on each floor. TEL-Vi also installed closed-circuit television systems.

The convention center uses 3,000-amp 480-volt service. A mezzanine area houses all electrical controls and backup power. Passing through crowded hallway spaces and a retaining wall, the wiring is then piped into the ballroom and exhibition hall. On the exterior, Guarantee installed landscape lighting and provided power to the marquee sign.

Guarantee’s project team included Dipak Kapadia, vice president and senior project manager, Tim Loy, general foreman, and Bill Dueser, foreman.

Founded in 1902, St. Louis-based Guarantee Electrical Company provides a complete spectrum of electrical contracting services, including electrical construction, electrical engineering design, design-assist, value engineering, procurement, service and preventive maintenance.

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