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Tarlton Garners AGC of Missouri 2020 Construction Keystone Award

ST. LOUIS, MO — Tarlton Corp. won a top 2020 Construction Keystone Award from the Associated General Contractors of Missouri for rebuilding the century-old stage and renovating production areas for The Muny, America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theater.

The Tarlton team was among 13 honored from a field of 38 project submittals ranging from health care, education, and sports/entertainment facilities to railroad, road and bridge, utility, and lock and dam projects. The awards were presented at a hybrid live-virtual event, during which the AGC also honored Tarlton’s Robert P. Elsperman, former longtime Chairman of the firm, posthumously with a Heritage Award.

Tarlton received first place in the General Contractor/Construction Manager/Prime Contractor Building Construction for projects ranging from $10 million to $30 million. The firm, which provided preconstruction services and served as construction manager, began the first phase of construction at the end of The Muny’s centennial summer season in 2018, and the renovations made their debut at the start of The Muny’s 2019 performance season. The project involved four years of planning and design — plus 50 design, construction, theatrical, horticultural, and landscaping firms — to bring it to fruition. The project architect was H3 architects, New York City.

Work at the St. Louis institution continues, and Tarlton recently was selected for The Muny’s Second Century backstage and office renovations project, with CORE10 Architecture serving as project architect.

The stage and production improvements encompassed structural and design changes, including a new revolving stage platform to replace a turntable installed in 1930. Other upgrades included tracks to move scenery and five lifts to bring materials and actors to the stage from below. Two towers flank each side of the stage and hold the latest technologies in theater lighting and sound. They house dressing rooms, a prop room, electrical and sound systems, cooling fans, and air ducts that distribute air more evenly throughout the theater.

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A new 42-ton, overhead light bridge of structural steel with an integrated walkway replaced the older cable light bridge system and provides capabilities for lighting configurations. New LED lighting was added to the existing lighting system, and LED screens were added to enhance stage settings.

In addition, Tarlton brought the orchestra “under cover,” creating a new, expanded climate-controlled orchestra pit under the stage that still allows the musicians to be visible to Muny-goers but provides better protection from the outdoor elements. The team built a full basement and installed new electrical and mechanical systems, new elevators, restrooms, locker rooms, and general storage spaces.

Tarlton coordinated the equipment and manpower needed to reintroduce new trees to the area behind the stage. The Muny worked with experts to select and plant trees in 1,500 individual soil cells across 4,000 square feet to provide for ample root growth. The new trees are an aesthetic nod to the two original, nearly 300-year-old oak trees that had long flanked the stage but had to be removed due to their advanced biological decline.

Tarlton’s project team included Joe Scarfino, Vice President and Project Executive; Travis Aly, Senior Project Engineer; Kevin Oakley, preconstruction; Josh Bunjan, Project Manager for concrete; Chad Hartman, Project Superintendent; Joe Fredrick, Concrete Superintendent; and Cindy Cerentano, Cost Engineer.

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