November 10, 2023 – A ribbon cutting was held Friday, November 10 at the new Village Veterinary Clinic in Collinsville.  Located in a former realtor’s office in the Echo Plaza center on Vandalia Street, the project required Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. to completely transform the 3,000 SF space.  This included the construction of four exam rooms, a lab, surgery room, recovery room, and reception area, as well as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing upgrades.

The project proved to be a perfect partnership between Dr. Kelly Jones (the owner), Michelle Braddock (the architect), and K & L.

The Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce conducted the ribbon cutting, which was attended by K & L staff, Chamber members, and Dr. Jones’ family.

September 30, 2023 – Over 80 people representing 22 teams participated on an unseasonably warm day in the 28th Annual Camp Ondessonk Golf Benefit held at Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course in Okawville.  Korte & Luitjohan’s founder, Pete Korte, a dedicated supporter of Camp O, created the golf scramble as a way to support the camp’s mission.  Pete, who passed away a few days prior to the event, was honored during the post-golf lunch.

K & L hosts the annual golf outing and had two teams participating.  Team one was comprised of Ben Ambuel, Gregg Korte, Kyle Luitjohan, and John Whitworth. Team two players were Jim Bugger, Jacob Theising, Al Toennies, and Ken Toennies.

Camp Ondessonk is a Catholic youth camp located in the Shawnee National Forest of Southern Illinois.

Next year’s golf benefit is slated for September 21.


September 30, 2023 – Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. participates in a few Touch-a-Truck events each year.  None is bigger than the one hosted by Edwardsville Township at its community park.  Several hundred young folks attend the event, which allows them the opportunity to get a close view (and maybe a hands-on experience) with a variety of equipment.  K & L brought its mini-excavator.  Yes, it was a huge hit with the kids!  Each child received a K & L replica construction helmet and a juice box.  K & L’s Adam Kampwerth and Traci Albers were our ambassadors at the event.

September 28, 2023 – The future looks bright for the construction industry!  Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. participated in SIUE’s annual Construction Department Networking Night at the school’s Engineering Building.  K & L’s Lisa Pontious and John Goldsmith met with students in the construction department to discuss our story, their goals, and opportunities in the business.  Students expressed interest in everything from field work to project management.  Goldsmith said, “You can’t help but feel energized after talking to some of these young people.  There are several that we would have loved to have hired on the spot!”  K & L was also a Silver level sponsor of the event.

September 27, 2023 – Cyril “Pete” Korte, founder of Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., has passed away at the age of 85.  Pete died Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at his home in Highland, IL.

He was born on Thursday, February 3, 1938, in Breese, IL, the son of Ben and Mary (nee Toennies) Korte.  He married Jane E. Korte (nee Luitjohan) on July 12, 1958 at St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, Illinois.

In 1958, Pete borrowed $500 from his father-in-law to purchase a trencher and backhoe to install gas service for Illinois Power in the City of Highland.  The following year he was joined by Joe Luitjohan, his brother-in-law, and the two worked countless hours growing their business, which today focuses on construction management, general contracting, and design-build.

Pete was known throughout the construction industry and was a 50-year board member of the Southern Illinois Builders Association (SIBA), including two years as president.  He also had affiliations with the Midwest Truckers Association and American General Contractors Association, serving as a national director with the latter group in 1986.

He dedicated much of his life to service to the community and his home parish, St. Paul of Highland.  Among the organizations he was involved in were the Knights of Columbus, Highland Jaycees, and Highland Fire Department.  In 1976, Pete was Chairman of St. Paul’s Kirchenfest and the Highland Homecoming.  He also previously served as president of the Tri-Township Water District.

Camp Ondessonk, a Catholic youth camp in the Shawnee National Forest, was particularly dear to Pete Korte.  He served on the camp’s board for a number of years, launched their annual golf outing, and provided labor for a number of camp improvements.  Pete once explained his reasons for supporting Camp Ondessonk. “I believe in the growth of children. I am very passionate about the outdoors and feel it’s essential that children get as much outdoor experience as possible.”

The 28th Annual Camp O Golf Benefit is Saturday, September 30 at Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course in Okawville.

In 2004, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. was named Family Business of the Year by the SIUE School of Business.  In an interview prior to receiving the award, Pete said, “Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. is one of my greatest achievements, and my mark on the world.  My life has been very successful, and the Lord has been good to me and my family.”

Cyril “Pete” Korte is survived by his wife, Jane; children, Gregg, Kevin, Gloria, Sandra, Janice, Tammara, and Karen; 28 grandchildren; 36 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren; and brother, Jerome “Dick” Korte.

Visitation will be held from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at Trinity Hall, St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, IL (enter through the south entrance) and from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM on Friday, September 29, 2023, at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland, IL.

Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 AM on Friday, September 29, 2023, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, IL, with Fr. Pat G. Jakel, Pastor, Celebrant.

Interment will be at Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Highland, IL.

Memorial contributions may be made to Camp Ondessonk or St. Paul School Educational Foundation.

September 16, 2023 – Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. partnered with On Board Charcuterie to be a Monet level sponsor of this year’s Highland Street Art Fest. We sponsored Catie Whitworth, who with the assistance of her brother, Jacob, created a colorful, whimsical banana. Catie said she wanted to do something with a “1970s vibe.” Catie and Jacob are the children of K & L’s vice president, John Whitworth.  Their artwork placed 2nd in the Amateur 19-23 category.  The festival is joint venture of the Highland Chamber of Commerce and Highland Arts Council.

September 6, 2023 – A day that’s been years in the making took place on a bluff on the west side of Valmeyer. A brief groundbreaking ceremony was held September 6 for Waterloo’s new water treatment plant. The journey began in February 2019 when the Waterloo City Council retained HMG Inc. to design a new water treatment plant. In 2019 and 2021, the city purchased land from the Village of Valmeyer for the future site of the plant and the well. In April of this year, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. was awarded the low bid of $15,988,500 to construct the plant. Officials from the City of Waterloo, K & L, and HMG participated in the groundbreaking.

August 8, 2023 – K & L is offering a new outreach program to area youth. Construction Time is a 40-minute program that includes the reading of construction-themed books, a discussion on construction jobs, and a chance to try on real construction helmets and safety vests. K & L’s marketing coordinator, John Goldsmith, leads the program, which is provided for free. The first Construction Time programs were held at the Greenville Public Library on June 1 and the Highland Public Library on July 12.  Another program is scheduled September 9 at the Glen Carbon Library.  Construction Time is ideal for kids from ages 5 to 8.  For more information, contact Goldsmith at (618) 654-9877.

June 30, 2023 – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, June 30 for the new East Medical Clinic at Marshall Browning Hospital in DuQuoin, Illinois.  The 4,700 SF clinic was created from the north portion of Marshall Browning Estates, an assisted living facility.  Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. led the construction effort, transforming apartments to exam rooms, reception area, conference room, breakroom, and waiting room.  Following the ribbon cutting, tours were given of the facility and many attending commented on how beautiful it was.  Dan Eaves, hospital CEO, commented, “It’s a facility I’m very proud of.”  Representing K & L at the ribbon cutting were Gregg and Celeste Korte, John Whitworth, Al Toennies, Chris Kattenbraker, and Jason Schwarz.

June 12, 2023 – Middle school and high school students from various school districts, including Highland, participated the week of June 25-16 in the Madison County Regional Office of Education’s Construction Camp. This is the third year for the weeklong camp, which is open to 7th through 12th graders.  Students create a variety of projects alongside career and technical education (CTE) teachers and seasoned construction professionals.

Jason Schwarz, a project superintendent for Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., spent a day helping seventeen 7th graders build doghouses that will be donated to the Metro East Humane Society.  He demonstrated the proper use of tools and provided a helping hand when needed.  Each student was given a K & L construction pencil to take home.  Schwarz commented that he enjoyed working with the kids and encouraging them to consider a career in the building trades.