Iola water plant was company’s first project

Burns & McDonnell, an engineering and construction company, celebrated its 125th anniversary by recognizing its longstanding partnership with the City of Iola. The city's water and light plant was the company's first significant project in 1900.

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January 19, 2024 - 3:37 PM

A historical photo of the original water plan designed by Burns & McDonnell. Courtesy photo

In an impressive milestone, Burns & McDonnell, a global engineering and construction firm, celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding and first project with a special luncheon in Iola on Dec. 13. The event brought together representatives from Burns & McDonnell and the City of Iola to mark the longstanding partnership that began with the design of a water and light plant in 1900.

During the luncheon Ryan Scott, Project Manager at Burns & McDonnell, presented the city administration with framed restored photos of the original water plant. City Administrator Matt Rehder, Assistant City Administrator Corey Schinstock, and Iola Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Toby Ross were on-hand to receive the gift and celebrate the long-standing collaboration between the city and the firm.

Founded in 1898 by Clinton Burns and Robert McDonnell, Burns & McDonnell began its journey with a vision to address the infrastructure needs of communities in the Kansas City area. The design of Iola’s water and light plant in 1900 was the firm’s first significant project.

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