Research, health lab specialist moves to McCarthy’s Kansas City office

Seth Kelso

Seth Kelso, project director at McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., has relocated to the company’s Kansas City office, expanding McCarthy’s local expertise in constructing research and public health labs.

Since joining McCarthy in 2001, Kelso has overseen construction of more than 25 percent of the nation’s biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) high-containment facilities, which are used to conduct research related to infectious diseases, biological agents and other sensitive scientific and medical areas.

His work encompasses more than 50 percent of the gross square footage of BSL-4 facilities, the highest containment level established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most recently, Kelso has served as onsite project director during construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas. Located on a 48-acre site on the Kansas State University campus, the 707,000-square-foot facility will study diseases that threaten both America’s animal agricultural industry and public health. To be operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will be the nation’s only BSL-4 lab for large animals.

As NBAF construction continues to wind down, Kelso will shift his focus to the design and construction of research laboratory projects in the Kansas City region while also overseeing a new BSL-4 lab for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Kelso earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. An active community supporter, his recent volunteer activities have benefited Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Manhattan, Schools of Hope, Girls on the Run, The First Tee of Manhattan, Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Inc. and Flint Hills Breadbasket. In 2018, the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation named Kelso a finalist in the Community Foundation Awards.

In 2020, Ingram’s named Kelso as one of the 50 Kansans You Should Know.

Based in Overland Park, Kansas, McCarthy’s Kansas City office is currently managing a diverse range of local projects, including the $270 million expansion of the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility in Leawood, Kansas; the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Facility in Olathe, Kansas; and the new Merriam Community Center; as well as several projects with the region’s major healthcare providers. McCarthy ranks among the five largest local general contractors, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.