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By RITA DUCKWORTH
    For SCI Engineering Inc., business in 2016 reflected its motto that customer loyalty is earned one project at a time.
    “SCI is a unique firm that offers clients many different types of quality engineering and science services, not just one,” explains Executive Vice President Scott Harding. “Because of that, our customers come back to us time and again with additional projects, often with expanded scopes.”
    SCI’s continued work at Memorial Hospital East in O’Fallon, Ill., stood out in 2016. In addition to the traditional soil engineering and geotechnical work completed for the original hospital, this year’s medical office building project also involved environmental and natural resource services. While navigating the federal regulation of wetlands and waterbodies is usually included in these types of projects, this scope of work also included compliance with rules related to threatened and endangered species. SCI’s bat biologist conducted studies on the hospital site to identify if critical habitat for the endangered Indiana Bat was present.
    “When a developer wants to move forward quickly, they don’t always foresee some of the environmental nuances and regulations that exist,” Harding says. “It’s SCI’s job to help ensure that our clients not only meet the proper requirements and authorizations, but that the timing of environmental-related activities is coordinated with other aspects of the job.”
    Another key project for SCI this past year was the CityArchRiver Project on the Gateway Arch grounds. In addition to the construction material testing, SCI’s cultural resources team provided archeology services.
    “We gathered quite a few interesting artifacts at the site,” says Harding, “then worked collaboratively with a National Park Service official to decide which items would be used in the Museum of Westward Expansion.”
    SCI also worked on a local pipeline project in 2016. In 2017, Harding anticipates that changes in the federal administration may bring more work in the power, oil and gas sectors, and he expects much of the stalled work to resume throughout the country.
    This past year, and every year since their very first year in business, community service has been an important part of SCI’s business model. Company’s President Mark Harms leads the SCI team’s efforts as a longtime member and officer of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois. Harding is the incoming president of the Scott Air Force Base post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME). The timing of his term is especially important since the base will celebrate its 100th year anniversary in 2017.
    “At SCI, we realize that businesses don’t work independently of the communities they serve. That is why our team members are actively involved in building our environments both inside and outside of work in meaningful ways,” says Harding.