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James A. Will Family Academic Center wins state contractor award

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s James A. Will Family Academic Center has earned accolades for Sauerwein Construction Co., Inc., of Wichita.

The firm received the Associated General Contractors of Kansas Award of Honor for its work in renovating the former Science Hall at a lunch and awards ceremony Jan. 18 at the Wichita Marriot.

The original building dates from 1924. It opened as the Will Academic Center in fall 2012, following major renovation and construction of a three-story addition.

The Award of Honor goes to a renovation project in the $2-$6 million range.

The Associated General Contractors of Kansas State Building Awards recognize excellence in construction. For general contractors, the categories are: new construction; pre-engineered; renovation; and design build.

Criteria for judging include significant construction features, innovative construction techniques and outstanding examples of workmanship.

Rudi Sauerwein, general contractor for the Will Academic Center project, accepted the award on behalf of Sauerwein Construction.

President Perry White and Vice President for Advancement Sondra Bandy Koontz represented the college at the awards ceremony. Duane Hickerson, project architect, was also present.

“We congratulate Sauerwein Construction Company on this award,” said Koontz. “They have built a facility that will serve Bethel students for generations to come.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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