Jasminn Jones at Cardinal Ritter College

Jasminn Jones poses for a photo in Cardinal Ritter College Prep's new athletic complex on April 26, which added new collegiate-level training equipment and direct access to outdoor fields.  KWAME managed the design and construction process.

Project provides collegiate-level facilities for students

Construction is complete on the expansion and renovation of the athletic facility at Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School. Kwame Building Group (KWAME) served as the Construction Manager at Risk. The project included updating the building’s footprint to expand the current weight room by approximately 1,200 square feet. The upgraded facility will help Cardinal Ritter develop and extend their athletic program and create a space that enhances the learning experience for students.

Compared to the previous facility, the new weight room adds collegiate level exercise equipment, a large amount of natural light and direct access to outdoor fields. It also features a commercial washer and dryer and a charging station for student use. The KWAME team managed the design and construction process, performed cost estimates, produced project schedules and reviewed the design team’s deliverables. Knoebel Construction was the general contractor partner for the project. The architect was JEMA.

A new athletic field and track is also part of the school’s athletic complex update. The upgraded complex will be a community resource for other elementary schools, youth clubs and community-based organizations. It will serve the more than 10,000 youth and adults who will use the school’s athletic facilities each year.  

“This facility is nothing short of state of the art. It’s on a collegiate level and fits nicely into our strategic health and wellness plan,” said Tamiko Armstead, president of Cardinal Ritter.

Cardinal Ritter alumna Jasminn Jones was KWAME’s project manager for the renovation. While a student, she participated in the Intern Leadership Program and interned for two summers at KWAME. After working for a company outside of St. Louis, Jones, a graduate of Alabama A&M University, returned to her home town in 2018 to rejoin KWAME.

“It is an honor to be working as a project manager at my alma mater. I would have never imagined that I would have this opportunity, and it is completely full circle. I enjoy construction management, and I loved my time at CRCP, so to merge the two together, has been very rewarding and impactful,” said Jones. “Cardinal Ritter’s unique afrocentric style of teaching set the foundation for me to be a young Black professional in the corporate world with confidence.”

“It was gratifying to witness how this has gone full circle through Jasminn, who is Cardinal Ritter graduate, former Kwame intern and now working as a full time project manager,” said Armstead. “We need more businesses like Kwame to invest in our students as interns, so they can experience careers like Jasminn and stay in St. Louis to live, work and give back.”

It gave me great pleasure to provide construction management services to an African-American educational institution utilizing and alum from that same institution,” said Tony Thompson, chairman and CEO of Kwame Building Group

The renovation is part of the Cardinal Ritter’s Health and Wellness Initiative, funded in large part by the Taylor family and Enterprise Holdings Foundation, with support from other donors, including Centene Charitable Foundation, Edward Jones and William T. Kemper Foundation.

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