Category: Municipalities

Oak Mountain State Park Completes Campground Renovation

Oak Mountain State Park held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 18, 2024, commemorating the completion of the newly renovated campground. The facilities will officially open to the public beginning Memorial Day Weekend. After closing for construction in August 2023, the re-opening is a highly anticipated kick-off to the summer season at one of Alabama’s most popular state parks.

Camping Reimagined at Oak Mountain State Park

The $13 million project includes a brand-new camp store, dog park, and Alabama State Park’s first National Demonstration Site (NDS) playground. Expanded, ADA-compliant tent and RV sites are also part of the renovation, broadening accessibility for all guests. Visitors will now have access to widened, modernized camping pads, high-speed Wi-Fi, and fully accessible family unit bathhouses, including laundry facilities with heating and air conditioning. All RV sites come with a grill, fire pit, lantern hook, and picnic table, making for a luxurious “glamping” experience. For the naturalists, tent sites have been equipped with new amenities as well.

“We truly believe the new campground will revolutionize the experience campers enjoy at Oak Mountain State Park”, said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of Conservation for the State of Alabama. “Everything is bigger and better than it was before, and we can’t wait for our loyal customers to get here and enjoy everything the park has to offer.”

Ensuring Excellence

HPM managed the Oak Mountain State Park renovation providing logistical support from preconstruction through closeout. A crucial component to achieving success was remaining on track with the project’s master schedule. An extensive list of materials with long lead-times required thorough planning and proactivity to circumvent supply chain issues. Proper procurement methods and meticulous schedule tracking allowed the team to complete construction on time. Each measure of diligence taken by the project team paved the way for the campground’s official opening date to be upheld.

Prior to undergoing renovations at Oak Mountain State Park, the Alabama Dept of Conservation & Natural Resources (ADCNR) called upon HPM to serve as program manager for a series of renovation projects at parks throughout the state. The three-year capital improvement program will benefit 14 state parks. HPM partnered with ADCNR to determine how to best schedule the projects and allocate resources to all corners of the state, and will continue to see the projects through to completion.

March Madness: Community Involvement Version

The month of March has been full of community involvement opportunities at HPM. We are grateful for the multitude of organizations that exist to better the communities in which we live and work. Whether rolling up our sleeves to cook chili, attending events or hitting the golf course, it has been a privilege to support outstanding causes as a team across our footprint. Take a moment to learn more about the dedicated organizations we partnered with this month!

It’s Better than Good… It’s Exceptional

HPM’s Birmingham office kicked off the month with a strong start at The Exceptional Foundation‘s 20th Annual Chili Cookoff. With over 70 participating teams, the event saw unprecedented involvement this year. On top of supporting a great cause, we were proud to take home third place for our “HPM’s Chili Madness” recipe. The Exceptional Foundation provides year-round social and recreational services for adults and children with special needs. Their programs provide unique opportunities to promote healthy living, strong social relationships and community involvement. Learn more about getting involved with this impactful organization in the Magic City.

community involvement

Beat Cancer, Eat Chili!

The following weekend, HPM’s Mobile team brought their chili game in support of the American Cancer Society. The group went all out for the theme, kept their eyes on the prize, and, most importantly, raised funds for a life-saving cause. As an added bonus, we defended our reigning champion status, taking home first place in our category. Thank you, ACS for allowing us to partner with you in your valiant effort to find a cure. Be sure to check out the organization’s volunteer opportunities.

community involvement

Tomorrow’s Construction Leaders

HPM team members, Melissa Bradley and Sara Chapman participated in Read Across Montgomery Public Schools Week. The district added an exciting twist, focusing on career exploration through reading. Melissa and Sara leveraged this occasion to teach first graders about the many job opportunities in the construction field. They read the children’s book “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site”, and conducted a coloring activity centered around hard hat safety. It was a privilege to spend time with the next generation of leaders. Thank you, Forest Avenue Magnet Elementary School for having us!

community involvement

Bold Futures

Next on the agenda was sponsoring and attending Girls Inc.‘s Bold Futures Breakfast. Participants in the program, ranging from fourth-grade to high-school seniors shared stories of the organization’s impact on their personal confidence, character and career goals. Girls Inc. equips girls and young women to reach their full potential while advocating with and for them to end inequity and discrimination. With a presence in more than 350 cities in the United States and Canada, there are endless ways to serve this world-changing organization. Find your affiliate and learn more about involvement opportunities.

community involvement

Shining Stars Gala

Our Texas team was pleased to support Round Rock ISD‘s 23rd annual Shining Stars Gala, “An Evening in Paradise!” Attendees gathered to celebrate the district’s successful growth strides while raising support for continued progress in the years to come. HPM considers it a great privilege to be a part of the vibrant, thriving community of Round Rock, TX.

community involvement

Leading with the Lions

Last, but certainly not least, our Huntsville team participated in UNA‘s North Alabama Football Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the event will benefit the university’s upcoming project, Bank Independent Stadium, for which HPM is providing program management and owners’ representation services. We look forward to continuing to interact with the Florence/Shoals community as this project is brought to life!

community involvement

Birmingham Named a Top City for Sports Events

Sports Business Journal recently named Birmingham a top city for sports events. Having managed the construction of Birmingham’s three largest and newest sports venues, HPM is remarkably proud of this recognition. Cities received credit for major events hosted, annual drafts, attendance, and that’s right, new or renovated venues.

A New Era in the Magic City

HPM served as the owner’s representative for the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center as they invested $330 million in transformative sports & entertainment projects. The scope included the construction of brand new, 45,000-seat Protective Stadium. This premier facility is home to the UAB Blazers, the Birmingham Stallions and Birmingham Legion. HPM served as the eyes and ears for ownership, continuing a distinguished track record of successful execution of high-profile capital projects across Alabama. Protective Stadium has positioned Birmingham as a top regional and national destination for meetings and conventions while also generating new opportunities to host a variety of top-tier sports and entertainment events.

A Landmark Revitalized

Furthermore, the BJCC called upon HPM to provide program management services on the holistic renovation of Legacy Arena. Home to Birmingham Squadron, this facility was constructed in 1976. Desperately in need of updates, HPM stepped in to oversee $102 million of improvements to the building’s interior and exterior. A glass-and-steel facade providing natural light and expanded space was added to the facility’s entrance. Landscaping and new paint colors gave the exterior the fresh look the owner was seeking. Inside, fans now enjoy club-level boxes, VIP suites, modern seating and enhanced concessions. These updates give Legacy Arena the capability to serve Birmingham’s residents, visitors and touring talent for decades to come.

An Economic Boom

Over a decade ago, HPM was sought out to manage the construction of a new home for the Birmingham Barons. This project was unique in that it was a strategic effort to catalyze economic revival in downtown Birmingham. Plans were drawn for the facility to include 8,500 seats, 26 luxury boxes, a picnic section, a children’s area and more. In spite of various hurdles, HPM kept work moving smoothly, allowing first pitch to happen right in time for opening day. In numerous ways, the city took a chance making a substantial investment in a luxury ballpark. Eleven years later, this recognition proves the success of the endeavor.

HPM to Manage $40 Million Recreation Center Project in Shelby County

The article below was written and shared by Birmingham Business Journal.

The city of Alabaster, AL is in the planning phases of bringing a $40 million recreation center to life over the next year.

The city has partnered with Birmingham-based HPM, a program management firm, to provide pre-construction and project management services for the construction of the city’s first comprehensive community recreation center.

The 118,000-square-foot recreation center will include an indoor facility with multiple meeting rooms, gyms, workout spaces and a walking trail. Outdoor facilities will feature two pools, renovated football and softball facilities, walking trails and a splash pad. Other components of the development include a new library that’s three to four times the size of the current facility and space for retail on the southern end of the project site.

Construction on the new development, which will be located at the intersection of Highway 119 and Thompson Road, is expected to start early 2025.

According to HPM’s vice president for the East region, Brooks Ballentine, the firm is starting the project with the end in mind while considering the most efficient and effective way to get there.

“It does take a lot of partners that HPM and the city are working with, from architects and engineers and other consultants,” said project manager Charles Phillips. “Really, HPM’s role as project managers and preconstruction managers is making sure that all parties are communicating effectively, and working and aligned to that same goal.”

Timing is critical for the project to stay on schedule and within budget. Delaying any project could cost an owner millions due to the cost and availability of materials and possibility of inflationary changes during the process. HPM monitors cost trends, inflation trends and makes recommendations for early procurement needs to project current construction costs and lock in a schedule.

Discussions are ongoing with the city of Alabaster and other project partners to factor in several considerations in terms of planning, such as relocating existing occupants ahead of work beginning, utilities services and potential future uses of the retail space, parking and access, topography challenges, and how the project will impact traffic and other nearby businesses and destinations.

“You’ve really got to look at it holistically,” Ballentine said. “You can’t really do any one piece by itself.”

HPM was selected as a partner on this project earlier this year and is actively moving forward, meeting with utilities providers and working with CMH Architects in the design phase.

“We came in at the right time and we’re super happy Alabaster trusted us to be part of this process, especially so early. That’s where we can provide the most value to owners — when they allow us to come in very early in the pre-planning and pre-construction design phase and really advise them and partner with all their community,” Phillips said.

‘The Land,’ Saraland’s $72 Million Sports Complex, Set to Open This Fall

The article below was published by the Lede, a subsidiary of al.com

This fall, the city of Saraland’s massive, $72 million sports complex called “The Land,” will open, and construction is underway now. Last week, the Saraland City Council awarded White-Spunner Construction in Mobile a $24.3 million contract to build the recreation center as well as some of the fields. And an official groundbreaking for The Land will be held next month, said Saraland Mayor Howard Rubenstein.

The 100-acre sports complex will consist of the outside complex and an indoor recreation center, featuring a number of different amenities, including:

  • Eight baseball and softball fields
  • Five fields that can be used for football, soccer, field hockey or lacrosse
  • Three tennis courts
  • Three beach volleyball courts, eight indoor volleyball courts
  • Six outdoor pickleball courts and 12 indoor pickleball courts
  • Four basketball courts
  • An outdoor track and an indoor track
  • Concession and ticketing stands

Rubenstein said the city obtained bond financing for the project. There will be some fees to use the facilities, he says, but the exact structure has not been determined. In any case, the fees will be discounted for Saraland residents, he says.

The outdoor fields are slated to open by November of this year, Rubenstein says, and the entire facility is supposed to be completed by June 2025.

Since the formation of Saraland City Schools in 2008, the school system has been the primary driver of the town’s growth, Rubenstein says. But sports facilities for the schools and the town’s recreational sports leagues have been lacking. The Land will be able to provide more recreational opportunities not just for youth sports, but for the whole family, he says.

“As we’re growing, we’re looking for quality growth, not just quantity growth, and improved recreational facilities was almost number one on everybody’s wish list, what we needed to continue to grow into the premier place to live, work and play, which is our mission statement,” Rubenstein said. “I think it’s just very logical that this would be the next step toward improving quality of life for the people who live here.”

Saraland resident Daniel Givens, who lives near the site is excited for The Land to open. As a coach in Saraland’s recreational youth sports leagues, he says recreational sports have struggled with the limited facilities the city has. The Land will give Saraland the opportunity to host tournaments and expand sports opportunities.

“It’s going to be interesting to watch it grow, and it will be used for exercise and entertainment,” Givens says. “I won’t be involved in youth sports forever, so it will be nice to watch sports there.”

The Land will have a design distinct from other sports complexes in the region because of the site’s unique topography, Preston York, a Project Manager with HPM says. The site where it’s being built is a former dirt pit carved into a hillside. The fields will all be at different elevations, and visitors will be able to walk to high points and look down at games going on at other fields.

“There’s nothing in south Alabama that has this kind of capability and capacity for any of these sports,” York says. “It’s a cool opportunity for all of south Alabama, including Baldwin County and Mobile, to utilize this facility moving forward in any of these sports leagues, including recreation and tournament play.”

The Land

Ashley Nichole Flowers, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Saraland, emphasizes that it’s more than just a youth sports center. It’s a “one-stop shop” for any recreational activities that residents may want.

“It’s open for all, it’s not just kids, it’s parents and grandparents, it’s intergenerational,” Flowers says. “I do not think our community knows what’s coming, it’s not just a sports complex, it’s a unique combination of everything you could want in a recreation facility.”

In addition to White-Spunner, the City of Saraland is working with HPM, a project management company based in Birmingham. Auburn-based Rabren Construction was awarded a $24.8 million contract for Phase I of the construction. A turfing company will be hired to turf all the fields, York says, though one has not been selected yet.

Last month, the city selected KemperSports Venues, a sports facilities management company based in Northbrook, Ill., to manage the facility once it is opened.

Givens says Saraland residents are excited about The Land. The forthcoming sports facility has driven more interest in the city’s recreational sports, he says.

“It’s huge. It’s been something that people in the area knew was coming, but they never thought it was going to happen,” Givens says. “People see the effort, and they want to come back [to recreational sports].”

HPM to Manage Construction of City of Alabaster’s Community Center

The City of Alabaster, a suburb of Birmingham, Ala. has announced plans to construct a large-scale community recreation center. The need for a facility of this nature has arisen from a considerable surge in the area’s population. Alabaster is home to about 35,000 residents. This will be the city’s first comprehensive community recreation center. As more families continue to flock to Alabaster, revitalization of the area’s amenities has become a top priority.

Partners for Success

HPM was selected by the City Council to partner with the City of Alabaster in this endeavor. The program management firm will provide preconstruction and project management services. The City of Alabaster will rely on HPM to provide guidance throughout the design phase and the construction phase, ensuring the protection of the project’s budget, schedule and quality. HPM’s vast experience in sports & recreation and municipal projects is sure to prove beneficial to city leaders.

A One-Stop Shop for the City of Alabaster

A true “one-stop-shop” for the community, the area will include indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, an aquatic center, a library and space for retail development. The 118,000-square-foot indoor facility will include multiple meeting rooms, gyms, workout spaces and an indoor walking trail. Outside, visitors can enjoy two pools, renovated football and softball facilities, walking trails and a long-awaited splash pad. Adequate parking is factored into the design plans.

Additionally, the new library will be 3-4 times the size of the city’s current facility. Community members who have grown accustomed to enjoying the events and programming put on by the local library are in for a treat, as events will continue on a larger scale.

City of Alabaster

Location, Location, Location

The plot of land purchased to house the complex is located on the corner of Highway 119 and Thompson Road. Adjacent to the location are the city’s brand-new police station, City Hall, and senior center. These amenities will allow city residents to eat, play and conduct business within the span of a few blocks.

“The City of Alabaster looks forward to offering residents a comprehensive city center downtown”, said Neal Wagner, Public Relations Manager for the City of Alabaster. “Our goal is to provide a place that will meet the needs of all community members, and city leaders are working diligently to make that goal a reality.”

The Land: A Symbol of Growth for the City of Saraland

The City of Saraland

Saraland, AL has experienced exponential growth in recent years. With a renowned school system, many young families have chosen to call the community home. The uptick in population, a hefty percentage of which is children, combined with the increased desire for community-oriented recreational facilities following the pandemic revealed a need within the city. Subsequently, the vision for The Land was born. Plans for the large-scale facility were approved in 2022, and the preparation process began.

City of Albertville

Collaborating with HPM

HPM is representing the City of Saraland from conception to completion. Our team began working on the project immediately upon hire, providing preconstruction services. The preconstruction team worked with city officials to optimize the selected 80-acre plot of land, while maximizing the impact of the allotted budget. After finalizing plans, construction officially got started towards the end of 2023, with the goal of opening the outdoor space in late 2024.

As construction continues, HPM is sitting at the helm providing project management services. Our Project Managers are diligently monitoring progress, ensuring milestones are met with quality. It is our job to protect the interest of the City of Saraland throughout all phases of the project’s lifespan.

City of Albertville

All About The Land

With a budget of $72 million the City of Saraland plans to pull out all the stops for its citizens. City leadership understands the need for a facility of this nature in their area, and they want to make sure to get it right. The outdoor portion of The Land offers youth-sized baseball/softball fields, multipurpose fields, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts and walking trails. Additionally, the indoor facility includes a fitness center, basketball courts, a climbing wall and meeting spaces. Undoubtedly, The Land has something for community members of all ages to enjoy. HPM is proud to serve as a trusted partner to the city, providing a beautiful and sustainable complex for many future generations to enjoy.

City of Albertville

City of Lewisville, TX Breaks Ground on New Fire Training Complex

Last week, the City of Lewisville, TX hosted a groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of construction on the John Ashman Fire Training Complex. The facility will include a commercial and residential training facility, located on a 1-acre site. The City of Lewisville will share the facility with Highland Village and Flower Mound. Here, firefighters from the three cities will receive access to hands-on training, equipping them to serve their communities.

Lewisville

 

HPM’s Role

HPM is providing project controls, ensuring that funding for the facility is maximized and spent with purpose and efficiency. Additionally, HPM will conduct regular schedule analyses, detecting and omitting potential delays before they occur. CORE Construction and Martinez Architects are serving as the design-build team on the project. Together this team will bring the vision of these cities to life.

John Ashman’s Legacy

The facility is named in honor of Lewisville’s former Division Chief of Training, John Ashman. John was a well-known figure in the community who served the city for 40 years before passing away in 2023.

“We’re incredibly proud of Mr. Ashman and what he gave the city,” said Lewisville Mayor TJ Gilmore. “He made so much impact within the region as far as being able to train. I don’t know a firefighter around that doesn’t have kind words to say about his competency and the tools that he gave them. I want to thank Lewisville as a whole for continuing the traditions of the fire department, including training at incredibly high levels. Whoever’s filling the shoes of Mr. Ashman has large ones to fill.”

 

HPM’s Capabilities

HPM partners with municipalities around the country, providing state-of-the-art facilities and dynamic user experiences. The services offered by HPM benefit athletes, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, and first responders. From sporting venues to entertainment districts, recreational facilities to critical public safety hubs, HPM excels in maximizing budget capabilities and streamlining schedules, providing peace of mind throughout the life cycle of a project.

HPM Johnson Brings Holistic Program Management Services to Georgia

HPM and Atlanta-based Johnson Construction Services have announced a structured joint venture as HPM Johnson. The strategic partnership delivers holistic and integrated program management, flexible and scalable owner’s representation, and a range of services across the construction lifecycle for new and ongoing projects throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

Dedicated to all aspects of program management, HPM Johnson provides assessment, planning, contracting and procurement, design and construction management, project controls and move and transition coordination — through to audit, occupancy and closeout. Its approach to program management incorporates a cyclical pattern of assessment and planning to bring about a more effective and efficient program management plan, and ultimately save time and money for its clients.

“Both individually and collectively, the team behind HPM Johnson already possesses a proven track record of program management triumphs within the Atlanta market,” said Johnson Construction Services President and CEO Artis Johnson, an Atlanta native. “Our advantage now lies in our partnership’s ability to execute projects of any size or complexity, while offering access to management and leadership only a firm our size can offer.”

 

Johnson continued, “Relationships are the driving force behind our business, and our purpose is to represent the interests of owners and bring home success for our clients.”

HPM Johnson brings a combined 55 years of program management experience to Metro Atlanta, having worked with several high-profile clients in the market. Johnson Construction Services was founded in Atlanta in 1993, with a portfolio of projects ranging from education facilities to historic preservation projects. HPM originated out of an 80-year-old Hoar Construction and began our owner’s representation services more than 25 years ago, serving K-12, higher education, local and municipal entities, industrial and manufacturing, and additional sectors throughout the Southeast. After connecting and discovering similarities in each company’s core values and business approaches, HPM President Ryan Austin and Johnson decided to merge services in the Atlanta area and began pursuing partnership opportunities in early 2022.

Should You Consider a Specialist for Your Construction Audit?

By Vinson Chapman, Vice President, Construction Audit & Advisory Services

Auditing construction contracts can be complex. The expertise involved is significantly different than typical audits performed by CPAs and involves evaluating subjective estimates, identifying ambiguous terms of the contract, and noting contractual incentives where the owner’s and the general contractor’s interests may not be aligned. A construction audit also requires obtaining and evaluating all the appropriate evidence to support the audit findings. This is not legal work or work performed by an architect.

A detailed analytical review of completed contracts and contracts in progress will provide meaningful information and focus on potential problem areas. Our Construction Audit & Advisory Services combine the skills of owner’s advocate, owner’s representative, program manager, and construction auditor.

Case Study Example

In the case of one independent K-12 school district in northeast Texas, the review of an extension of time by the general contractor/CM and a general financial audit required the expertise of HPM’s hybrid Contract Services, which included both project management and audit expertise.

When the GC/CM fell behind on schedule, their default was to request additional time through weather delays in order to avoid liquidated damages and redirect attention to the reality of the problem areas.

The project management audit review of the contract language and the potential weather impact on the critical path of the schedule resulted in the following:

  1. The contractor did not provide the required documentation during construction for their intent to make a claim for more time per the contract.
  2. The contractor did not provide evidence that there were abnormal (greater than average rain days) periods of weather. This data is measurable and a typical required deliverable in a change order request by the GC/CM.
  3. The contractor’s critical path schedule was not affected by any claimed abnormal weather after review of the installation of work.

Project management issues were the reason behind a significant portion of the Contract Services Audit resulting in a credit back to the school district from the General Contractor/CM. Additional monies were recovered from the financial audit resulting in a total of over 5% of the construction contract value being returned to the district.

This example is somewhat typical of our standard audit findings of between 1% and 5% of the contract value. Obviously, savings of this type are well in excess of the fee to perform these hybrid services. The expertise for these services was not available from the district’s attorney or architect, and without the added HPM support, the district couldn’t defend the GC/CM’s requests. Our specialized knowledge and experience made it possible.


HPM provides peace of mind and confidence you paid the right price for your construction spend.

HPM’s audit service professionals offer expertise to secure fair negotiation and billing for client contracts. We perform comprehensive reviews of job costs that often lead to a substantial net savings of project costs. As always, if we can be of service, please do not hesitate to reach out. Click the button below to be directed to our page.

 

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