Facilities: Rec Center
Blog: When Hiring Local Is Impossible, We Hire Regional
by Ralph Agostinelli August 2014
I have a question for operators of nonprofit recreation centers: Do you hire local? Your fitness director, your aquatics director, your front-desk staff, the people who handle your janitorial services — where do they live?
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:
- The Keys to a Smooth Construction Approval Process
- Contract at Your Own Risk
- Successful Project Design Borne of Strong Relationships
- During Construction It's Decision Time, Again and Again
Ralph J Agostinelli, PE (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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.
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.
College Rec Centers the Key to a Higher GPA?
by Michael Gaio July 2014
Add this to the long list of benefits provided by a campus rec center: it may help students achieve better grades.
New Projects: University of Colorado; Guilford High School; Fairfield University
by Emily Attwood July 2014
The University of Colorado (right) broke ground last month on $143 million in various athletic facility upgrades.
During Construction It’s Decision Time, Again and Again
by Ralph Agostinelli June 2014
The design is complete, the shovels are in the ground. How are you planning to spend the next 12 to 18 months, while your new building takes shape?
Ten Tips for Keeping Your Rec Center Looking Like New
by Erik Kocher and Diane Guse Dahlmann June 2014
After the long years of planning and construction, and shortly after the excitement of the grand opening, your brand new recreation facility will begin to age. This is a hard fact of life in the business of building and/or renovating popular places. That first cracked tile or tiny chip on the counter by the entrance is like the first scratch on a brand new car. It's only a matter of time before it happens.
AB's Architectural Showcase a Yearlong Affair
by Emily Attwood June 2014
The Architectural Showcase in June is the one issue of Athletic Business I look forward to most each year. It's also the issue I spend most of each year working on.