RECENT ARTICLES
  • Ohio State Rec Center's Rooftop 'O' Draws Solar Power

    by Liz Young, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH August 2014

    AEP Energy has begun installing a solar array on the roof of Ohio State's Recreation & Physical Activity Center, the latest in a series of projects around the country that use "green" energy on college campuses.

  • Bankrupt YMCA of Milwaukee Offered $9M for Properties

    by GEORGIA PABST, gpabst@journalsentinel.com Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel August 2014

    The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, which has filed for bankruptcy protection because of its heavy debt, said Friday it had received formal offers to purchase four of its suburban Y's for a proposed total of more than $9 million. The Y also said it had received a letter of intent from Risen Savior Lutheran School to rent and operate part of its school at the nearby John C. Cudahy YMCA, which now runs summer adaptive programs, including the Miracle League of Milwaukee.

  • How Facility Location Impacts the Building Process

    by Ralph Agostinelli July 2014

    I’m heading down to Nantucket next week. That’s not unusual. I head down to Nantucket every week, since we’re building a Boys & Girls Club addition there. But doing business on Nantucket is very unusual — and it drives home the message of how construction projects play out in different locations.

    Prospective building owners often assume that you can take a $10 million rec center in one location, plop it down in another location, and it’ll still be a $10 million rec center. Many of them are surprised to hear that a 14-month construction schedule in one place might — with the same program, square footage and materials — be a 16-month job in another. Nantucket is the proof that there is no “normal.”

    The nature of working on an island is that everything costs more and takes longer. This can also be true of other more-remote, rural locations. But Nantucket has other issues, too. Tourism is its primary source of revenue, and it’s seasonal revenue. To protect its tourism interests, there’s a local statute that bars construction within the downtown commercial district during the summer. This not only shortens the construction season to eight and a half months in that area, it eliminates the prime construction season.

    RELATED: Understanding Bids and Specs: Get the Best Value When Building

    The year-round population has doubled since 1980, to around 10,000. The summertime population is 55,000. If you are in an area where construction can proceed during the summer, as our project is, that means transportation snags and bottlenecks, and inevitably higher prices on goods and services. In the winter, weather can wreak its own havoc on transportation, and the availability of on-island labor can drop in sync with the seasonal population drop.

    When we estimate costs on a proposed project, we take all of these things into account — the distance that labor and materials must travel to reach the job site, expected weather patterns, local laws that might impinge on the project, costs associated with different trades or unions, and many other seemingly minor aspects of management. It’s particularly helpful when prospective building owners have an understanding of the local political culture and an awareness of regional differences that could account for variances in cost. We cover this early and often, describing what we see as the unique local variables that go with each project — the kinds of things that owners might not, but should, think about.

    More from Ralph Agostinelli:


    Ralph J Agostinelli, PE (ragostinelli@stanmar-inc.com) is senior project manager at Stanmar Inc., a Wayland, Mass., design-build firm specializing in athletic and recreation facilities.

  • New Projects: UNO Arena | Falcon Center | Virginia Tech Training Facility

    by Emily Attwood July 2014

    Breaking Ground

    The UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA OMAHA recently broke ground on a new $62 million arena (pictured). The 220,000-square-foot facility, designed by Lempka Edson Architects of Lenexa, Kan., in collaboration with HDR Inc. of Omaha, will provide a home arena for the university's hockey, basketball and volleyball programs, but will also host a variety of community activities. Seating in the main arena will be split between an upper and lower bowl designed to hold 7,500 hockey spectators or 8,700 basketball or volleyball fans. Club seating and suites will be included, as well. A smaller, community ice rink will offer 200 seats and eight community locker rooms. Also included will be a full hockey team suite, locker facilities for basketball and volleyball and strength training facilities for student-athletes. The project is expected to open in 2015.

  • Park District Mulls $4.75M Expansion of Rec Center

    by Russell Lissau, rlissau@dailyherald.com July 2014

    The Wauconda Park District's proposal calls for a 10,000-square-foot addition to the 21-year-old building in Cook Park. Highlights could include an expanded fitness area, group fitness classrooms, an expanded dance room and an early-childhood classroom. The facility today features a fitness center, a gymnasium, one preschool room and four multipurpose rooms.

  • Ithaca College Tower Serves as Natural Air Exchanger

    by Paul Steinbach July 2014

    Opened in the fall of 2011, the Ithaca College Athletics and Events Center combines an iconic campus presence with an innovative sustainability strategy in one monumental design element.

  • Planning and Prioritizing Renovations for Rec Centers

    by Zach Bisek July 2014

    Many communities across the country are emerging from the recession with new energy, new life and new ideas for their future. While budgets are loosening, recreation organizations are still limited when it comes to undertaking new projects. Construction of a new recreation center is still out of reach for many organizations, but long-desired renovations of an existing facility might be feasible — at least some of them.

  • Ice Hockey, Gymnastics to Share New $16M Facility

    by STEVE METSCH July 2014

    Molly Ross is looking forward to taking gymnastics lessons a little closer to home. And the 7-year-old's mother, Erin, is grateful she will be able to stay near home in Chicago's 19th Ward rather than driving to Oak Lawn for those lessons.

  • New CEO Taking Second Look at Three-Year-Old Y Plans

    by DANIEL HARTILL, Staff Writer July 2014

    Three-year-old plans for a new $15 million Auburn- Lewiston YMCA -- including a new campus on 93 acres overlooking the Androscoggin River -- still have a place in the office of the nonprofit's chief executive officer.

  • Troubled YMCA Closing, Fitness Alternatives in Works

    by BRANDON SHULLEETA July 2014

    After announcing Sunday that the Atlee Station Family YMCA will close in October because of financial struggles, the YMCA and the company that owns the building are working to offer residents other fitness options.