Our Story



Sargent founder, Don Sargent was an iron worker by trade. He gained invaluable experience on projects such as the St. Louis Arch, Tom Sauk reservoir, Pea Ridge mine and many projects across the country (traveling as far as Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming).

Founded in 1973 


Don and his wife Barbara started Sargent Construction in 1973 out of a basement office in their home. The business climate was tough with high interest rates and inflation, but the Sargent family had high hopes and a strong work ethic. Don bought a new Allis Chalmer’s 21’ straight mast forklift and signed on as a representative for Star Metal Building Systems to get started.



Sargent experienced great growth in the 70’s and developed a fruitful relationship with Casey’s General Stores. From 1978 - 1985 Sargent would go on to build 24 convience stores for Casey’s. The crew became so efficient that thier turn around time was 30 days.



In 1981, Sargent built a new office to celebrate their growth. Sticking to his resourseful principles, Don and his crew built the office with left over materials from past jobs. The building was built on Business 67 S in Fredericktown, and the Sargent home was once again occupied by flowers and grass in lieu of steel and metal panels.



The economy began to rebound in the early 80’s and this brought out of state government jobs as far as Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky as well as local business that brought Sargent closer to home in 1982. Sargent built a solid reputation as a General Contractor that specialied in pre-engineered metal buildings.



Tragically in April of 1987, Don Sargent, President and founder of Sargent Construction was killed in an automobile accident. The Sargent family and employees never questioned that the company should continue. Don had established a tremendous work ethic in his employees and a good reputation with clients. Renee his daughter, a civil engineer working with a construction company in St. Louis returned to run the business and continue her father’s work.

Late 80's


The late 80’s filled Sargent Construction’s schedule with lots of metal building work and a new relationship with a large company called Gilster Mary Lee Corporation. Gilster a private labeling food manufacturer based in Chester, IL was expanding plants and warehouses in both Missouri and Illinois. Our average jobs prior to this time were 10 to 15,000 square feet. The buildings for Gilster ranged in size from a few hundred square feet to a 250,000 square foot distribution center.



Great flood occurred along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and tributaries from April to October. The flood was among the most costly and devastating to ever occur in the United States. The Gilster Mary Lee McBride facility was devastated when the levee broke and water flooded into their production plant and distribution center with less than 24 hours notice. Seventeen feet of water entered the buildings.  Sargent Construction joined forces with Gilster Mary Lee to rebuild their plant in less than six months.

* Image by Fred Lynch, Southeast Missourian.



BREC Office - FredericktownBlack River Electric Cooperative occupies their new Corporate Headquarters.  Sargent Construction and the BREC board of directors worked as a team through a design/build contract to build their new 70,000 square foot plus facility in Fredericktown, MO. 



 M&A Electric Cooperative multiple buildings and facility improvements are completed under budget and ahead of time using a design/build team headed by Sargent Construction.



May 8, 2009 "Super Derecho" was one of the most intense and unusual derechos ever observed.  A high wind producing storm caused widespread destruction especially in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Locally, called an inland hurricane, a large portion of Sargent Construction's customer service area was affected by the sustained 70-90 mph winds that lasted up to a forty-five minute duration. Although Sargent crews were put into action with repairs to roofs and building replacements, none of the "STAR" Building Systems failed. These pictures are two non-Star Buildings that were affected.



May 22, 2011 F5 Tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri cutting a path through the core of the city and causing total destruction. The 200 mph plus winds gave a glancing blow to Gilster Mary Lee's Joplin plant. Building roof gone and substantial building damage, Gilster contacted Sargent to help them rebuild. New materials were on site within two weeks and the warehouse was functioning by July 1.



February, 2012 -- Tornado again strikes the Heartland and devastates Southwestern Illinois.  Gilster Mary Lee's popcorn storage facility sustained significant damage. Gilster teamed with Sargent to return them to operation and help them redesign their 1940's facility. Project included stabilization of the damaged structure, demolition, 30,000 sf of retrofit standing seam roof system and a 10,000 sf warehouse replacement. STAR recognized Sargent at the 2013 National Sales Meeting with a "Master Builder Award" in the "Retrofit Category".

Before                                                    After