McKendree Ice Complex

Construction of McKendree Metro Rec Plex advances

McKendree Ice Complex

A workman removes the forms from the completed walls. After the walls are lifted into place, the concrete work surfaces below will be demolished.
(Photo by Susan Meister, Lebanon Advertiser)

By Susan Meister, Lebanon Advertiser  

O’FALLON – Over the past few months, it hasn’t appeared that much has been happening at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex site at the northwest corner of the intersection of Scott Troy Road and U.S. Hwy. 50. There’s been lots of dirt mounded up and white hard hats moving about, but the real progress has been, literally, on the ground.

The new center, which will house two NHL-sized ice rinks, an aquatic center, a fitness area and more, is being constructed using “tilt-up construction.” In a tilt-up construction project, the building’s walls are poured directly at the jobsite in large slabs of concrete called “tilt-up panels” or “tiltwall panels.” These panels are then raised into position around the building’s perimeter forming the exterior walls.

Last week, John Arbeiter, Senior General Manager, and Kim Smallheer, General Manager, pointed out the progress on the walls, saying that they will be raised into position with cranes very soon.

“A ‘work table’ of concrete creates a work surface,” Smallheer explained, “and the walls are built with concrete, rebar, and insulation in place.” Electrical conduit is built into the walls as they are poured.

McKendree Ice Complex

Concrete work surfaces are built first, and then the walls are built upon them. (Photo by Susan Meister, Lebanon Advertiser)

Arbeiter said that this technique is often used on big box store construction, including the recently-completed Hobby Lobby in Fairview Heights. The technique can be used to build hundreds of feet of wall per day; it is faster and less expensive than other building techniques. More details can be found at

Once the walls are lifted into place and joined, the steel roof can be bolted on. Smallheer said that steel would be delivered at the end of March.

The complex will serve as home to the McKendree University hockey and aquatic teams and the Southern Illinois IceHawks, but Smallheer and Arbiter emphasized that the building is not just for University and club sports. While teams will train and compete there, memberships will be available. In addition, it will be open to the general public for classes and other fitness activities. Smallheer likened the concept to a “YMCA model.”

In fact, Smallheer mentioned that he has waiting for seven years to realize a rec center dream, first proposed to him when he went on staff at McKendree.


McKendree Ice Complex

Electrical conduit is built into the walls. Windows are framed in as well. (Photo by Susan Meister, Lebanon Advertiser)

The groundbreaking ceremony for the facility was held in October 2015. It is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2016. More about the McKendree Metro Rec Plex, including building schematics, is at The website is posting several career opportunities and advertises the opportunity to be a charter member. Aerial shots of the building site from Feb 15 are at

Trump, Sanders win mock primary election at O’Fallon High School

Freshman Kim Klaver voted in Tuesday's Mock Primary Election at Milburn Campus

Freshman Kim Klaver voted in Tuesday’s Mock Primary Election at Milburn Campus

Freshmen at O’Fallon High School held a mock primary election during their lunch hour Tuesday. There were two laptop computers setup for students to cast votes for either Republican or Democrat presidential candidates.

Donald Trump won the Republican election with 46%, Cruz 23%, Rubio 16% and Kasich 13%.

Bernie Sanders handily defeated Clinton 81% to 19%.

Ashton Hess a freshman was one of the students lined up at 11:30am waiting to vote. Hess said he voted for Donald Trump because “he is actually going to bring change to the country and help us save money on the immigration problems.” Ashton’s friends also agreed and were planning on voting for Trump too.

Ashton Hess casting his vote for Donald Trump

Ashton Hess casting his vote for Donald Trump

Khalil Muhammad said he voted for Bernie Sanders. Khalil said “I like how he is trying to raise the minimum wage to $10.”

Today is the primary election day in Illinois. Voters throughout the state will be voting on who they want to see run for President in their respective political party.

View to the Past – March 9, 2016

Interurban at mine 1910s

This week’s view shows coal miners, lunch pail in hand, boarding the Interurban (electric streetcar) at St. Ellen mine in O’Fallon about 1910.  The streetcar stopped at the north end of what is now St. Ellen Mine Park.  St. Ellen was opened in 1903 by Joseph Taylor and was named after his mother.  It was the last operating coal mine in O’Fallon.  St. Ellen finally closed at midnight May 20, 1960 and, at the time, was believed to be the oldest rail mine in Illinois, employing about 360 miners.  During its years of operation, it covered 3,835 acres underground and produced nearly 22 million tons of coal.

(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society)

Recent Real Estate Transactions

Real Estate Transactions – March 9, 2016

Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of New House


   608 Tennyson Court; From Doris Swearingen; To Chad and Amanda Benson; $276,000

   721 Merrifields Drive; From H & L Builders, LLC; To Junhua Zhang; $281,415

   1254 Illini Drive; From Richard Heinrich and Judith Bittick; To Kevin and Gerald Garner; $215,000

   246 Fieldspring Court; From Ryan and Emily Madison; To Larry and Barbara Friederich; $222,500

   4 Wildwood Lane; From Russell and Joy McDonald; To Chaz Cannova; $198,000

   1401 Arley Hill Drive; From Mark and Jamie Obszanski; To Brett and Shannon Knolhoff; $218,000

   114 Fortress Drive; From Robert and Brenda Corcoran; To Donald and Cheryl Harris; $694,000

   1445 Winchester Grove Court; From D & F Contracting, Inc.; To Denita Wilkins; $262,516


   4025 Sassafras Lane; From Mark and Tiffany McCaughtry; To Steven and Grace Browning; $232,000

Shiloh Chiropractic

Shiloh Chiropractic cuts ribbon at newest location

Shiloh ChiropracticDr. Rice and his staff at Shiloh Chiropractic are very happy to announce their move to their own free-standing clinic just 800 feet west from their original location.  Shiloh Chiropractic has enjoyed steady growth and success in the O’Fallon/Shiloh region.  This expansion allows for a higher patient volume, reduced wait times, improved services and quality of care.  Shiloh Chiropractic moved its clinic on its ninth anniversary – December 11, 2015.  Shiloh Chiropractic plans to continue expanding its practice. (Submitted Photo)


For more than a decade, Mathnasium has made math easy and fun


Mathnasium is located at 210 Hartman Lane, Suite 100, O’Fallon.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Business Name: 

Mathnasium O’Fallon

Owner(s) Name: 

Greg Marston

Business Address:

210 Hartman Lane, Suite 100, O’Fallon

Business Phone: 


Business Website:

Year Business Started: 2004


   Tell us more about your business – what products and services do you offer?


Owner Greg Marston has found a way to use his love of math to teach students from all around the area that need help. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Mathnasium is a neighborhood math-only learning center that teaches kids math the way that makes sense to them. Our experienced math tutors utilize our proprietary teaching materials and techniques, The Mathnasium Method, to deliver a customized learning plan designed to address each student’s needs, whether they started out far behind or are already ahead in math. Our instruction approach goes beyond traditional math tutoring to develop understanding and build a love for math. We help and challenge students from first grade to 12th grade.

Our programs are similar to memberships in a fitness center. As a member you can drop-in for your math workout when it is convenient for you and most students come two or three times each week. We have a Core Membership for first through eighth graders, an ACT Math Prep/Homework Help Membership for high school students, a Homework Help Only Membership for highs school students, and a Summer Membership for students who want to build their math skills during the summer.

   What motivated you to start your own business?

I loved math in high school and college and I always wanted to own my own business. When I ran across Mathnasium franchises I knew this could be a good fit for me. Then I saw the material and the way Mathnasium teaches math, The Mathnasium Method, and I was ready to open a center. At the time there were only 20 or so Mathnasium centers in the country and now there are over 650 centers in North America.

Do you have any suggestions for people interested in opening their own business?

Know your market and product or service and determine if there will be enough demand for your product or service in your area. Be ready to work long hours the first few years so pick a business you are passionate about.


Do you have any upcoming events or specials you’d like to share with our readers?

Summer enrollment is now open and we offer an early-registration discount.


The instructors at Mathnasium take immense pride in their work helping kids learn and comprehend math skills. Front row, from left: Amanda Schwarz, Kristyn Tully, Julie Warchol, and Greg Marston. Back row, from left: Mike Halik, Jack Cook, Byron Keller, and Alex Laird. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Work to begin on Presidential Streets stormwater project in May

City Hall

City Hall

O’FALLON – Mayor Gary L. Graham is pleased to announce that the City of O’Fallon has received all easements required for Phase 1 of the Presidential Streets Stormwater Remediation Project. Construction on the project should begin in May 2016, weather permitting.

“I am excited that we were able to receive all the required easements for this project,” said Mayor Graham. “Work can now begin on helping relieve stormwater concerns in the Presidential Streets neighborhood.”

The Presidential Streets Stormwater Remediation – Phase 1 Project will provide the ground work for remediation of stormwater in the mainly residential neighborhood bound by State Street on the south, Lincoln Avenue on the west, Smiley Street on the east, and Madison Street on the north.

The improvements planned for this initial phase will consist of several detention ponds located on City owned property, a new storm sewer system, and surface drainage improvements. The proposed detention ponds will provide areas where stormwater can collect and slowly drain over a period of time.

More information about this project will become available in the coming months.

For questions about the Presidential Streets Stormwater Remediation Project, please contact O’Fallon Public Works at 618.624.4500 Ext. 3.

Matt Gilreath Weekly Traveller

Weekly Traveller – The Weekly heads down to Atlanta for a spell

Matt Gilreath Weekly Traveller   Matthew Gilreath recently went down south to Atlanta and he brought his copy of the O’Fallon Weekly with him. Matt went south to attend a wedding and enjoy a weekend away. We appreciate him taking us along for the ride!

Are you going on a trip? Take the O’Fallon Weekly along with you! Just take a photo of the Weekly while away from home and email it to us for the Weekly Traveller.  Please include who is pictured and where the photo was taken.  Email photos to and please mark them “Weekly Traveller.”

SSM Ribbon Cutting

SSM Health Medical Group opens new practice in Shiloh

SSM Ribbon CuttingSHILOH – SSM Health Medical Group held a ribbon-cutting recently for their new facility in Shiloh, IL, located at 1191 Fortune Blvd. The unique practice combines maternal and fetal care and pediatric services under one roof. The practice officially opened its doors on Feb. 9.

“Shiloh is a rapidly growing and developing area with a very robust medical community,” said Donna Bernard, director of maternal services at SSM Health. “Over the years, we have seen a steady increase in referrals for high risk pregnancy care from this area. We felt that these patients would be better served by offering care closer to home.”

The new practice has two fetal monitoring rooms, two ultrasound rooms and a telemedicine robot on site to expand physician availability and provide patients with access to genetic counseling. Additionally, there is a diabetic education space and private patient consultation areas. Maternal and fetal care services will be provided by SLUCare physicians.

“We are proud to offer patients a top-of-the-line facility in which they can receive world-class care throughout their pregnancies,” Bernard said.

The addition of pediatric services will give expectant parents the option to stay at the practice once their child is born for his or her pediatric care. This is especially important in high risk pregnancies. Having the pediatrician onsite will allow the physicians to plan and prepare to give the child the best start possible.

Scott Keller, MD, a board certified pediatrician, and Lindsay Brefeld, NP, will provide care for patients from birth through 18 years of age. Keller has a special interest in working with children with asthma and allergy problems.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (618)206-6101 for maternal fetal medicine or (618)206-6106 for pediatric medicine.

Recent Real Estate Transactions

Real Estate Transactions – March 2, 2016

Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of New House

Sold Home For Sale Sign in Front of New House


   1214 Welles Court; From Robert and Donna Gamble; To Josh Hester; $235,000

8541 Treybrooke Place; From Andrew and Nicole Kniffin; To Michael and Lesia Thornton; $380,000

1319 Illini Drive; From Benjamin and Rhonda Blackstone; To Robin Brown; $227,000

603 South Smiley Street; From William and Sara Crider; To J C Wilson Jr.; $73,500

1553 Round Top Ridge; From Scott Gaines; To John and Gerlynnda Fischer; $227,500


   2735 Lauren Lake Drive; From Robert and Janphen Lounsbury; To Jerry Thomas; $279,000

Experimac Shiloh ribbon cutting

Experimac cuts ribbon on new location in Shiloh

Experimac Shiloh ribbon cuttingSHILOH — The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce a ribbon cutting ceremony for Experimac of 3220 Greenmount Crossing Drive, Shiloh.  The ceremony took place at noon on February 17, 2016.

“We are excited to have Experimac in Shiloh and as a member of our Chamber,” said Chamber Executive Director Debbie Arell-Martinez.

Scott Markovich opened the rapidly expanding concept Experimac in November. Providing pre-owned computers and devices; repair and upgrade services for laptops, phones and tablets; trade-ins of existing devices; and sales of accessories and software for Apple devices, Experimac make available heavily in demand devices at costs far below their retail value.

Markovich, a retail and restaurant manager for almost 20 years, sought a career change that would grant him the autonomy to be his own boss. Recognizing the demand for Apple devices yet aware that a large percentage of the population could not afford what they cost when purchased new, Markovich identified a new career direction. But it wasn’t until he came upon the new concept Experimac that he had known he had found an ironclad opportunity to transfer that insight into a career.

“The demand for Apple devices has never been greater but because of that demand the costs to obtain them at retail are often beyond the reach of most consumers,” said Markovich. “By making them available used, more people can gain access to them than ever before. Experimac makes this possible, backed by a reputation of excellence.”

The newest addition to the United Franchise Group family of brands, a system with over 30 years of franchise experience, Experimac has grown precipitously since the opening of the first franchised location in March. For Markovich, Experimac provides an opportunity to create a legacy for his family.

“Growing up as a military child I had to move around a lot, so I know the importance of stability and permanence,” said Markovich. “With Experimac, my wife and I have found an opportunity to build a real foundation for success in the area. With my years in retail and restaurant management, I always had some sort of roadblock in my way of delivering world class service and support customers deserved. But with Experimac I’ll be able to bring a great product and great service to this area with nothing but the best customer experience.”

Fontebella logo

Fontebella provides new mothers with care and support

Fontebella logoO’FALLON – One of O’Fallon’s best kept secrets is an organization working hard to support and assist new mothers who are in need of help. Fontebella Maternity Home has served more than 60 women since opening in 2010. The O’Fallon Weekly recently sat down with Fontebella’s Development Director, Shannon Durio, to talk about the organization and how it has helped the O’Fallon area.

Can you tell us about the founders of Fontebella?

Fontebella was founded by Bob and Susan Hoff.  The Hoffs believed that every woman needs a healthy support system as she strives to become a stable, loving mother. In addition to their work with Fontebella, Bob owns Performance Roofing in South County, and Susan works there part-time. Both of them donate countless hours and resources to help keep the doors of Fontebella open.  The Hoffs attend St. Nicholas Parish in O’Fallon and are active supporters of the greater St. Louis philanthropic community.

What services does Fontebella provide?

Over the last six years, Fontebella has served over 60 women. Women can come at any stage of their pregnancy, and stay up until three months after the baby is born.

While staying at Fontebella, each woman is responsible for either furthering her education or working (and sometimes they do both!) Not only do they receive a safe home environment, but they receive weekly counseling (group and individual), case management, and access to partnering agencies to help them chart the course of their future.

Local businesses and organizations donate time and resources to help these women develop vital life skills that set them up for a life of independence once the baby arrives. Examples include financial planning (shout out to Regions Bank for sending employees to train our women for free!), healthy cooking, first aid, parenting classes, CPR, interview and resume prep, Bible studies with local churches, crafts, sewing, meal planning, and so much more.

The goal is to help these moms regain self-esteem and pursue opportunities that lead to stability.

How many employees and volunteers serve the organization?

I am the Development Director, and Thelma Vaupel is our House Manager. We are both part-time. We also have paid supervisors on duty at the home 24/7 to ensure the safety of the moms and babies who live there. We have well over 100 volunteers who give of their time regularly in a variety of ways, from house maintenance to fundraising to working directly with the moms.

We are a small organization, and depend heavily on volunteer support to keep our doors open. Recently, two ladies stepped up to serve as our Volunteer Coordinators – Allison Agar and Catherine Miles – both are retired USAF and give several hours each week to help keep our volunteer projects organized and running smoothly.

We also have a governing Board of Directors with eight other community leaders along with the Hoffs.

What are your plans for growth?

• Expand our current facility in order to accommodate more women and children. At this time, our space limitations prevent us from being able to provide housing for any other children that these women have. We hate turning women away, so we hope to grow and provide a safe home for these young families.

• Build transitional housing on our property so once these moms leave, they have a place to go where they can ease into a successful, independent life with their child.

• Partner with more local agencies to be able to provide more tailored approaches to helping each woman.

Can you provide details about your upcoming event?

Our phone rings off the hook with women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and have nowhere safe to go. When we are at full capacity, it is devastating to have to tell them that we simply do not have the resources to help. It costs an average of $10,000 a month to keep our doors open and these women safe and cared for. It is critical that we increase awareness in the community about who we are and what we do, in order to gain the financial support that we need to continue to operate.

Our banquet is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We are expecting over 300 guests this year. Tickets are still available for purchase.

For more information visit:

Old City Hall ca1938

A View of the Past – March 2, 2016

Old City Hall ca1938
This week’s view is of the old O’Fallon City Hall at 200 N. Lincoln Ave.  The photo was taken shortly after the original bell tower was removed in Sept. 1937 as part of a general renovation of the building.  At that time, City Hall still housed both the fire and police departments plus the city jail.  Though it faced considerable opposition, the hall was built in 1890 at a cost of $4136 and was dedicated on New Year’s Eve at the end of that year.
(Contributed by Brian Keller, O’Fallon Historical Society.)
Hardee's armed robbery suspect

Police Looking for Suspect in Armed Robbery at Hardee’s

IMG_0026On Monday February 29, 2016 at 6:03 a.m. O’Fallon, IL police officers responded to Hardee’s Restaurant, 110 East Hwy 50, in reference to an armed robbery that had just occurred. (See attached photo) The following is a suspect description:

Black male – 5ft 8 / 150 pounds (small build)
Distinct mole under left eye
Blue bandana covering half of his face
Gray “University of Illinois” hoodie sweatshirt inside out
Possible Tan hatchback or small SUV
Northbound on Parkview Dr from Hardee’s

No one was injured or harmed during this incident. Anyone with information or identification of this suspect is encouraged to contact the O’Fallon, IL Police Department @ 618-624-4545.

Weekly Traveller – The Weekly takes a trip down to Florida

jim Vernier Weekly Traveller

Never one to not keep up on what’s going on in town, Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier read his copy of the O’Fallon Weekly online during his recent trip to Florida. Above, Mayor Vernier visits a produce stand at Immokalee, Florida. Below, Jim and his dad enjoy Bonita Springs Beach.  It looks a lot warmer there than around here! Jim Vernier Weekly Traveller 2

Are you going on a trip? Take the O’Fallon Weekly along with you! Just take a photo of the Weekly while away from home and email it to us for the Weekly Traveller.  Please include who is pictured and where the photo was taken.  Email photos to and please mark them “Weekly Traveller.”