The Weitz Company helps implode KU residence hall past, builds future

At 9 a.m. Central on Wednesday, Nov. 25, McCollum Residence Hall on the University of Kansas (KU) campus went down like a ton of bricks, quite literally. In just seconds, about 750 pounds of explosives detonated the 10-story, three-wing, 220,000-square-foot residence hall. A video of the implosion is available on The Weitz Company YouTube channel (LINK).

The Weitz Company, a leading national design-build and construction firm, helped to plan the implosion. Weitz also served as construction manager for the university’s two new residence halls, named after three top KU donors – Charles W. Oswald (south building) and Madison A. and Lila M. Self (north building).

“For the thousands of KU students who once called McCollum Residence Hall home, Weitz appreciates that we could be part of the successful effort to remove the building in the safe and ceremonial manner it deserved,” said Radd Way, executive vice president, The Weitz Company. “Our Kansas City team was also very excited to be involved with the construction of the two state-of-the-art new residential facilities on the KU campus. Both are examples of our commitment to this area’s market, and The Weitz Company’s expertise in building university residential facilities.”

Located on Daisy Hill at 1800 Engel Road in Lawrence, Kan., McCollum Residence Hall first opened in spring semester 1965. The facility had an original capacity for 910 co-eds. The land will now become a surface parking lot.

The new residence halls – opened in August 2015 – each house up to 350 students and feature a variety of suites and spaces on each floor for collaboration and studying. An academic service center and a community kitchen are located within the Daisy Hill Commons, which connect the two halls and provide gathering spaces for all Daisy Hill residence hall students to socialize and study.


The Weitz Company Selected as Design-Builder for Composites One Distribution Facility

The Weitz Company has been selected by Composites One, LLC, to manage the design-build construction of its new $5 million, 60,000 square foot industrial distribution facility in the Lenexa Logistics Centre in Lenexa, Kan. The distribution and logistics center is scheduled for completion in February 2016.

“The Weitz Company is excited to work with Composite One as their selected design-builder on this project. It reflects our level of interest in the continued growth in the Kansas City industrial market place,” said Jason Robertson, vice president of Business Development, The Weitz Company. “Weitz continues to build on our reputation in the Kansas City market by serving the industrial needs of the agriculture; feed, seed and grain; distribution and warehousing; food and beverage; and manufacturing industries.”

Weitz’s industrial division developed a 360° Facility Life CycleTM  comprehensive plan that assists clients on large capital projects from inception through construction and commissioning, start-up and maintenance, or any phase of a project.

Weitz industrial clients include ADM, Diamond V Mills, D&S Sheetmetal, Amcol, Purina, General Mills, Bridgestone/Firestone, Valero, Alcoa, Kent Feeds, Syngenta and others.

The Weitz Company Phoenix Office Restructures for Growth


Chris Harrison

The Weitz Company has announced the appointment of Chris Harrison as Executive Vice President and General Manager of their Phoenix office. With over 28 years of Weitz experience, Harrison has a proven record of developing high-performing construction teams and has an intense focus on customer advocacy. Prior to his relocation to Phoenix, Harrison led the growth of the Nebraska office for Weitz for three years and previously led the business development and preconstruction efforts in the Iowa office for ten years.

“Chris is a dynamic, collaborative leader who possesses the ability to motivate teams to deliver outstanding value to our clients,” said Executive Vice President Mike Bontrager. “He will be a vital asset in advancing Weitz’s commitment to the resurgence of Phoenix’s construction market helping Weitz focus on doing what is right for our clients.”

Harrison’s appointment allows Bontrager to shift his three decades of experience in Phoenix to a full-time focus on business development to help capitalize on the Phoenix market growth opportunity.

“The Phoenix metro area is finally pulling itself out of the Great Recession of 2008 with trends reporting a stronger job market and economic development environment,” said Bontrager. “Harrison and I have worked together for over 27 years and we are both looking forward to being on the frontline helping business leaders in our community fuel Phoenix’s construction growth.”


The Weitz Company Expands Food and Beverage Expertise, Welcomes New Leadership

Matthew Chang, PE

Matthew Chang, PE

The Weitz Company, a national full-service design and construction firm, announces the expansion of its Food and Beverage leadership and market segment, with the appointment of Matthew Chang, PE, as Food, Beverage and Consumer Product Goods Market Sector Leader.

Chang brings more than 12 years of design-build, engineering, procurement and construction experience related to consumer product goods, food processing and beverage industries. In his new role at Weitz, Chang will focus on developing new business opportunities and relationships to deliver integrated project solutions.

“Building on the 160-year history of The Weitz Company, our Industrial business is focused on delivering the best integrated solutions for the processing and manufacturing clients we serve,” said Humberto Lopez, president of Weitz Industrial. “Matt’s leadership, market knowledge and successful track record will prove valuable in continuing to serve our national clients at a high level, as well as strengthening our network throughout the United States.”

Having served as a Senior Project Manager during his career, Chang joins The Weitz Company with experience completing turnkey design-build projects ranging from $10 million to $200 million for multiple food and beverage manufacturing clients that include PepsiCo, ConAgra and McCormick & Company.

Chang has a Bachelor of Science in civil and environmental engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He holds a Professional Engineer license, certified General Contractor and LEED AP BD+C. He is also actively involved in various industry organizations and participates in the local community through his philanthropy work.


Video: Weitz, ISU Engineering Complete Stadium South End Zone


Photo courtesy of Brent Isenberger Photography

The Weitz Company proudly served as construction manager on the $37.4 million expansion of the Jack Trice Stadium South End Zone at Iowa State University. The aggressive, 13-month timeline ensured the project would be completed by the kick off of the 2015 football season. Many ISU students and alumni put their skills to practice to help make the plans a reality. Watch this brief video to learn more.