Message from the President
Hello and welcome to the new digital AG|CM Quarterly Newsletter. This is another exciting step in our continued efforts to improve and enhance our use of technology. These newsletters will remain available on our website on a separate page. Through this publication, we hope to bring timely information about the AG|CM team to all involved. We will use this opportunity to communicate the strength of our AG|CM team by providing project highlights, regional updates and something new, an employee spotlight. As you will read we have a lot of great things happening. Keep up the great work.
All the best,
Scott D. Meares – CCM, LEED AP BD+C
AG|CM, Inc has had an exciting quarter in Central Texas, as we have seen a flurry of activity of late from potential new clients. During the 1st Quarter of 2017, we saw exciting times and landed our first contract in Dallas. Wayne Gordon came on board with us and relocated from California to manage some Housing work with the Cesar Chavez Foundation. There is great potential that when this project is completed, we will be able to transition to a similar project in Austin for the same Client. Shortly on the heels of this, we were also shortlisted for the City of Lewisville on their solicitation for Project Management.
In addition to the excitement in Dallas, a little closer to home, we were awarded both the City of San Antonio PM IDIQ, which we are negotiating now, as well as the PM services for the UT System Project Management. We still have several other potential Clients we are in discussions with and its shaping up to look like its going to be a strong 2017!
As this is our inaugural newsletter issue, I wanted to share with all of you the size and dynamics of all the sub-markets that make up the Houston area ensures that there is no shortage of opportunities to pursue. As of the last census, population for the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area (eight counties including Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Liberty, and Chambers) is over 6.5 million and growing. The growth has put a strain on all of the communities within the area, causing a surge in AG|CM’s traditional target markets (i.e. school districts, municipalities, higher ed, etc.). Furthermore, business is booming in the region and there are plenty of potential opportunities on the private side of the market as well. You would be hard pressed to find a piece of raw land that is not already set for either commercial or residential development.
Our strategy for tackling such an enormous market has been to build a network of relationships throughout the region, which is accomplished by getting involved in various community and professional organizations such as chambers of commerce, non-profits, fundraising committees, and industry organizations. Through these efforts, we have found clients and teaming partners that have led to amazing opportunities for AG|CM, including Midtown Park, Katy Convention and Hotel center, Fort Bend County Justice Center Expansion, Harris County ESD 1, and most recently, a 43-acre soccer complex in Brazoria County. People do business with those they know and trust, so being involved in as much of the community as possible will continue to be AG|CM’s best strategy for success.
We also would like to introduce and welcome aboard, Alex Zetusky, our new hire in the East Texas Region. Alex comes recommend by Sean Spyres and brings a diverse background of experience to AG|CM. Alex will start of as the Project Manager for the Fort Bend County Justice Center Expansion project, 18-month contract, and in late June will add the City of Pearland roadway project to his responsibilities. We are very excited to have Alex join our family.
The South Region grew 36% in terms of personnel during the first quarter of 2017 and is projected to increase by an additional 50% in the second quarter. In addition, Saul Pompa relocated temporarily to the South Region to take over the Nueces River Railyard Project for Mark Stein, who will be transferring to Del Mar College to manage the $45 million General Academic and Music Building project. Growth in the first quarter was due primarily to new contracts with the City of Corpus Christi. Projected growth for the second quarter is due anticipation of an expanded contract with Del Mar College. New contracts during the first quarter increased gross monthly revenues for the South Region by approximately 27%. Gross monthly revenues for the South have the potential to increase by an additional 72% towards the latter part of the second quarter. Exciting times!
A few minor contracts came to a close this quarter in the South, including the Hilton Home 2 Suites Hotel in Portland, TX and thanks to Dan Parker and Paul Jackowski’s efforts, our client is satisfied and has awarded us another project! We also kicked off construction of a new, major project in Portland, TX, which involves complete reconstruction of a $16 million, 13 Acre Municipal Park and a separate Sports Complex, which Paul Jackowski is managing for the City of Portland. Hellas Construction is the Design-Builder. In addition, Dan Haupt, having managed the design into Budget with the help of the estimating department, was able to successfully award and start construction on the Pettus ISD project, part of an overall Bond Program touching every part of the campus where grades pre-K – 12 are co-located. Weaver and Jacobs is the General Contractor. Finally, thanks to the efforts/performance of Gene Perkins, Marcus Garcia, Dan Parker, Manuel Hernandez, George De La Cerda and William Hammac for the past year or so serving in Staff Augmentation roles on multiple projects for City of Corpus Christi, the City awarded us 3 additional positions of 4 available. We proposed 4 but lost one candidate during the evaluation process. It is anticipated that the original scope of the Nueces River Railyard Project will be completed during the second quarter, at which time Mark Stein and Chris Shull will transfer to Del Mar College, leaving Saul Pompa to inspect a new access Road that was recently added to the scope of the project. Things are well in the South and I greatly appreciate all of your efforts. If not for your performance, growth wouldn’t be possible!
The preconstruction (estimating) team had one of the best years yet in 2016 with over 30% in increased gross revenue compared to 2015. Additionally, over 25% in 2015 compared to gross revenue in 2014. As a result, we’ve estimated nearly $1.5 billion on over 160 projects/programs in 2016. This now brings AG|CM’s combined total of estimated projects/programs to 550 valued at over $7.4 billion. Another great milestone for AG|CM!
We all continue to develop existing & build new relationships throughout the regions that I believe will certainly lead to even a better year in 2017. If all goes well with the voters at Lamar CISD, we’re positioned well to continue on Bond 2017 after spending the last six months engrained with Bond 2014 estimating. Also, we have a good chance of receiving prime contracts in a couple months for on-call estimating services with the City of San Antonio and University of Texas. We’re even teamed-up on a few federal pursuits that can allow us to estimate projects in other states & countries. With all that said, I greatly appreciate the entire estimating team’s due diligence over the last couple months and even more over the last couple years. It’s worth noting that we only have 1 estimator on the team that’s been with AG|CM for more than 3 years. That’s me (Lorenzo) with 14 years and really don’t count being that I don’t estimate too much these days, LOL!!! Our next longest employed estimator is Ben Cass, going on his 3rd year. Basically, we have a young team that works with each other on a constant basis with challenges of distance, levels of experience and different lifestyles to name a few. With all the challenges, we still make it happen by having a positive attitude to keep moving forward as professionals to provide unmatched information for our clients. Thanks again for all the support and dedication!
AG|CM in the News
Nick Tuttle has received his CCM making him the 7th person in AG|CM to received such designations. Congrats Nick!
Congratulations to Mari Zapata on breaking ground on the first project of the 2016 SCUC ISD Bond Program as well.
New Hope Housing Prepares for Eastward Exodus After Selling Its Downtown Property to Astros Owner Jim Crane
HOUSTON – (By Dale King) – After selling its downtown property to Astros owner Jim Crane, New Hope Housing is preparing for an exodus to a new facility on the eastern edge of downtown Houston.
Project Spotlight | CENTRAL
KARNES CITY ISD BOND PROGRAM
The Karnes City ISD Bond Program has been a huge success under the Project Management leadership of Sean Spyres. This program, which was passed by voters in 2014, is comprised of several phases of construction which include a new Primary School, Maintenance Building, Transportation, Tennis Courts, High School Addition and a new Fine Arts Facility. Recently Sean has begun the final major phase of the program, which is the Fine Arts Facility, after finishing all previous phases on time and under budget. In fact many of the projects have finished ahead of schedule. The project team also includes Lamarr Womack and Associates as Architect, and Bartlett Cocke as the CMAR. AG|CM also provided estimating services during preconstruction, with final estimates within 1% of the GMP. This construction was originally programmed to be completed in August of 2018, and all indications are that the project is slightly ahead of schedule at this time.
Project Spotlight | SOUTH
DEL MAR COLLEGE
Del Mar College, as part of the 2014 Bond Program, received bids on the new Workforce Development Center project, which is proposed for the West Campus. The $14 million, 45,000 SF project consist of a welding shop, petro-chemical laboratory, refinery pilot-plant component assembly and instrumentation areas, administrative and general instructional spaces. The project will be awarded in Budget. The estimating department worked closely with and directly under contract to the design team lead by local Architect, Turner-Ramirez, to keep the project on budget. This is the 4th of 13 projects making up Del Mar’s 2014 bond program to be issued for bid, the first to bid in budget and the only project that AG|CM served as the estimator to the design team. AG|CM is under contract to the College to manage this project, and Dan Parker will be the Construction Manager.
Project Spotlight | EAST
The key to bringing people back to abandon areas of towns and cities is the redevelopment practice of providing public areas of interest. Houston’s Midtown Redevelopment Authority administers the TIRZ and is constructing a $17 million public park over a previously constructed underground parking garage. MRA has collaborated with Camden Properties to create a dynamic and mixed-use superblock that will include the park as well as retail facilities, eating establishments, residential dwellings, and a public parking garage. Residents, business owners and visitors will enjoy a performing arts pavilion adjacent a great lawn space, an interactive water fountain, chalk board wall, play grounds, a bayou fountain with several bridges and waterfalls, dog spaces, many pieces of art, formal water fountain, designed farmers market infrastructure along Main Street, stone ping pong tables and other games, all meshed in a landscape that qualifies for a SITE’s certification used to educate people in the ecological thoughts of our times.
AG|CM is currently under negotiation to extend our contract through April of 2018, and Amos Byington will continue to act as our Project Manager.
Project Spotlight | PRECONSTRUCTION
LAMAR CONSOLIDATED ISD BOND 2014
The preconstruction (estimating) team started providing preliminary estimates in late 2015 with most of our involvement here in the last six months as many of the projects are nearing design. Without a doubt, our continued involvement throughout early design and construction documents has allowed favorable results for a region that has experienced some volatility over the last couple years. The addition of Ian Davis (our Houston based estimator) in October 2016 has allowed the client to see a face on a weekly basis to remind them of the value we bring while constantly being involved rather than periodically. Below are a few projects that have recently bid and/or about to bid in the next month or two.
BAND HALL ADDITIONS
This project is two separate sites with approximately 1,400 SF additions at each site constructed with drilled pier supported foundations, masonry walls, structural steel joists, built-up membrane roofing, acoustical doors & panels, paving, lighting, HVAC and utilities. The project went through a redesign at Design Development once it was determined that the established budget could not support the design. It recently bid on February 27th with our estimate falling within the bid spread. The anticipated construction completion is the 4th quarter of 2017 for both sites.
Earlier this month, everyone was assigned RedVector core employment courses that will be assigned to all employees on an annual basis from now on. While the topics are not pleasant, they are about issues that affect everyone in the workplace. The three courses are Driving Safely, Sexual Harassment: Respecting the Individual, and Protecting Your Team Against Workplace Violence.
The purpose of these courses is to increase employees’ awareness:Driving a vehicle – have no distractions, and watch out for the other guy,Sexual Harassment situations – do not participate in this type of behavior, and if you are a victim, REPORT IT TO SOMEONE WHO CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Violence in the Workplace – be aware of your surroundings at all times, protect yourself in case of a violent event.
Our Employee Handbook provides for employee conduct and work rules that ensure the best possible work environment. Behavior such as: (1) fighting or threatening violence in the workplace, (2) boisterous or disruptive activity in the workplace, (3) insubordination or other disrespectful conduct, (4) sexual or other unlawful or unwelcome harassment, and (5) possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials such as explosives or firearms in the workplace, are absolutely unacceptable. There is zero tolerance for such behavior.
AG|CM is committed to providing the best possible working conditions for its employees. As a result, AG|CM encourages an open and honest atmosphere in which any problem, complaint, suggestion or question can be reported to the employee’s Regional Vice President, or the Executive Team, without any fear of retaliation.
A formal Complaint Process is being developed to assist employees in filing a complaint such as Sexual Harassment, harassment, violent behavior, inappropriate behavior, or any other issue that may arise involving employees. All complaints will be taken seriously. A fair, complete, and non-biased investigation will be conducted by Human Resources and the corresponding RVP.
Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Manager asks a young engineer fresh out of school about his salary expectations. The engineer replies, “Oh, about $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.” The HR Manager replies, “Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks of vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental benefits, company matching retirement fund up to 50% of your salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?” The engineer sits up straight and says, “Wow! Are you kidding?” The interviewer replies, “Yeah, but you started it.”
George De La Cerda
Stephen Karp, Jr.
Nathan Swinney CPE, CCM
Vice President South Texas Region
Heather Mendez CCP
Upcoming AG|CM Events
AG|CM Crawfish Boil
Meeting | East
Improving the Accuracy of Conceptual & Model-Based Cost Estimating
ASPE Annual Meeting &
American Society of Professional Estimators Annual Meeting & Estimators. Yearly conference for the association that issues our CPE certification