At Story we like to celebrate when someone on our team exemplifies our core values -- Honest, Caring, Integrity, Hardworking, Helpful and Planful. Together, these make a difference every day in each of our projects. Every once in a while an especially impactful example sticks out.
In 2015, Story and the crew were hard at work completing a new fraternity house for Theta Chi at Drake University in Des Moines. The house is located on the corner of 34th St and Forest Ave just east of a 45° intersection with Beaver Ave, pictured to the right.
Story's superintendent on the job, Joe Christensen, identified the location of the house as potentially hazardous for residents due to the high speed at which drivers attempt to turn the corner. He suggested to the team that the foundation wall of the house be raised to 4 ft. above ground level, rather than at ground level as it was originally planned. If a vehicle were to make it past barricades placed in the yard of the fraternity, it would likely be stopped at the concrete foundation wall rather than crash through the wood frame building and jeopardizing the lives of the fraternity members.
Sure enough, on the evening of April 16, 2019, an intoxicated driver crashed his Alfa Romeo sports car into the side of Theta Chi's building after taking the corner of Beaver Ave and Forest Ave too aggressively. The collision inflicted minor damages to the concrete wall (see below). Joe's attentiveness several years earlier saved the house from thousands of dollars in damages and possibly even students' lives.
"I was really impressed with the extent that Story's team went to beyond just designing and building our house," said Joe Aiello, a Theta Chi alumnus and a 1980 graduate of Drake University. "I think there's this idea that superintendents are just on site to direct work, whereas Joe was active throughout the project. He truly cared about the outcome of this project, not just in the construction of the building, but in the impact it has on the fraternity and its members."
Many on the Story team -- superintendents, engineers, foremen, craft workers, project managers, designers, estimators, etc. -- tend to go about their days doing what they see as "just their jobs," so much so that incidents like these go unnoticed. We like to highlight these situations as life-changing examples of our core values at work.