Category: Preconstruction

Round Rock ISD Breaks Ground on Early College High School

Round Rock ISD, HPM, Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, O’Connell Robertson have announced the groundbreaking of a $31 million facility for Early College High School (ECHS), an existing high school with more than 500 students in Round Rock, Texas. HPM will serve as program manager for the project.

ECHS provides an advanced curriculum at both the high school and college levels, allowing students the unique opportunity to prepare for careers directly out of high school or advancing them in their college credits. Currently, ECHS operates out of 10 portable buildings on Austin Community College’s Round Rock campus. This project will consolidate the students, staff and faculty into one 46,500-square-foot facility.

The new building will include classrooms and science labs, student breakout spaces, a cafeteria and central common area to accommodate 150 students, a fitness center, an administration suite, outdoor dining facilities, and study spaces. The site will also be located on Austin Community College’s Round Rock Campus on College Park Drive, allowing students easy access to both campus facilities.

Round Rock

“We are pleased to continue our legacy of providing premier program management services on K-12 initiatives with this meaningful, game-changing project for Round Rock ISD,” said HPM President, Ryan Austin. “Soon, ECHS students and faculty will have a state-of-the-art facility to call home that provides the nurturing, modernized learning environment needed to continue achieving the level of education they deserve. We are excited to work alongside Round Rock ISD and additional partners and look forward to announcing future milestones as progress advances.”

HPM will offer project management, quality control and preconstruction services for the project, ensuring budget and compliance is adhered to throughout construction. Bartlett Cocke General Contractors serves as the Construction Manager at-Risk collaborating with O’Connell Robertson as the architect of record for the school facility.

Chambers County High School Breaks Ground Ending 50-Year Federal Order

Chambers County Schools, located in East Alabama held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new high school on Friday, February 23. The new facility merges Valley High School and Lafayette High School, creating the long-awaited Chambers County High School. The property is located on Ram Stadium Drive.

For 50 years, the county has been under a federal desegregation order. Superintendent, Casey Chambley has worked diligently to upend the order throughout his tenure. To move the district forward, the county’s school board procured HPM‘s planning department to develop a facilities master plan for a consolidated facility. HPM guided the district in terms of construction requirements, as well as the allocation of resources to ensure an optimal learning environment. The site selected by the board minimizes time spent on buses and maximizes instructional time.

As the process has evolved, HPM has managed the design, budget and preconstruction. The district hired Cooper Carry to serve as the architect of record for the school system.

Chambers County

Vice President of Business Development, Andi Sims joined city leaders to speak at the groundbreaking ceremony at the new property.

“I could not be any prouder to be on this journey with my friends –my people — as Chambers County looks toward a new history as the Fighting Falcons”, said Andi. “Thank you for bringing me and my HPM colleagues along for this exciting chapter in the life of our community.”

Chambers County

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

HPM Expands Preconstruction Department Hiring Chance Mitchell

HPM’s in-house preconstruction department continues to grow, most recently bringing Senior Preconstruction Manager, Chance Mitchell on board. Chance will work in the firm’s Huntsville office, serving clients in the North Alabama area and beyond. Chance joins HPM having worked in the industry for fifteen years, but his construction experience goes much deeper than what can be shown on a resume. Born into a family-owned construction business, Chance has been well-versed in the industry for as long as he can remember. He enjoys the fast-paced, people-oriented nature of the industry.

Career Path

Chance previously served as Preconstruction Manager at Doster Construction, providing detailed budget estimates while developing relationships with clients, architects, engineers, and subcontractors. Earlier in his career, he worked on the operations side, managing large-scale federal government projects from start to finish. No matter his role, Chance excels in delivering best-in-class client-centered service.

“As a creative problem-solver, the preconstruction phase is well-suited for my skillset”, said Chance. “I enjoy building relationships with owners in the early stages of a project to catch their vision and carve a path for bringing it to life.”

Using his vast experience, Chance will manage the entire preconstruction process from the initial concept to the final design and contractor selection. He will guide projects from early design until ground-breaking– maintaining the owner’s established budget while implementing phasing and contracting requirements to keep the design team on schedule.

Chance was drawn to the family-oriented culture at HPM, along with the extensive potential for growth. He looks forward to fostering relationships with clients and trade partners while laying strong foundations for projects to be built upon.

Preconstruction at HPM

For almost 30 years, HPM has delivered successful, measurable preconstruction services to projects across the United States. The HPM preconstruction team formulates construction cost data for budget development and verification based on the programmatic requirements. Information from historical cost databases, market surveys, cost verifications, comparative data on the project type and recent experience are utilized to develop a total program budget.

Program Management: An Essential Tool in Today’s Volatile Building Market

What to expect when embarking on a building project in 2024

There is no denying the volatility of the current building market. More than ever, project owners must be intentional in earning and maintaining the trust of their constituents and partners. Remaining informed of the most up-to-date trends is key – below are important considerations for owners as they continue to navigate inflation, supply chain shortages and staffing challenges this year.

It’s a Contractor’s World

In today’s excess of work and shortage of people, general contractors are positioned to be highly selective in the jobs they take on. Owners must make their projects attractive to procure desirable industry partners. Realistic budgets and tight schedules are paramount in doing so. Contractors are seeking practical clients who are confident in their needs and committed to the longevity of the process.

A Dwindling Labor Force

A large pool of skilled workers in trade industries are on the brink of retirement. Meanwhile, the number of younger workers going into trades continues to thin. This, combined with the stimulus money that must be spent in a specific timeframe, creates a unique conundrum in the construction labor market.

Budget, Budget, Budget Before Building

Numerous projects were put on pause last year due to supply and labor shortages and a surge in expenses. Prior to resuming building, owners should rework their budgets. Contractors typically do not guarantee prices beyond 30-60 days. Owners must communicate with their contractors and revisit their projected expenses.

Why Hire a Program Manager?

Without a partner offering extensive knowledge of market conditions and counseling them through the building process, owners are likely to have to go back and request additional funding. A lack of confidence in a project can cause doubt among stakeholders, which leads to difficult conversations down the road. HPM’s job is to lead the way, enabling owners to deliver on the projects they have promised their communities, by positioning them for success.

University of Alabama’s Randall Welcome Center Opens Doors

The Randall Welcome Center

The University of Alabama held a ceremony on Friday, January 19th to commemorate the opening of the Randall Welcome Center. Attendees included Governor Kay Ivey, former Senator Richard Shelby and many of the university’s most influential leaders and administrators. The 15,000-square-foot welcome center comprises the first level of the historic Peter Bryce Main facility and will serve as the “front door to campus” for all who visit. Inside the facility are numerous interactive elements designed to provide prospective students with a glimpse into campus life. From academics to athletics, guests are guaranteed to enjoy an immersive display of the UA culture.

 “This is where students and families will be introduced to the University of Alabama”, said University President, Dr. Stuart Bell.This is where they will begin to understand the University of Alabama and all that it has to offer.” 

HPM collaborated with UA to achieve their vision of a strategic restructuring of the historic facility, originally constructed in 1861. Seeking to preserve defining characteristics of the original architecture, HPM managed every detail with care. The project team provided comprehensive services ranging from preconstruction to move management, all with students in mind.

The Randall Family

The welcome center is aptly named in honor of Dr. Catherine J. Randall and her late husband, Pettus Randall. The Randall family is beloved among the University of Alabama community, known for their commitment to generous hospitality.  Catherine was delighted to share her enthusiasm for the project with the hundreds of UA alumni, students and faculty who gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  

“This welcome center is so state-of-the-art, so exciting, that I can hardly wait to see the faces of the students who are going to come here and get their first glimpse of what a difference can be made in their life by the University of Alabama. 

HPM and UA

HPM’s relationship with the University of Alabama began two decades ago in 2004. For 20 years, HPM has worked with the university on construction and renovations across campus. From residence halls to athletic complexes to academic facilities, HPM has an established history of managing capital projects on the Capstone’s behalf.

Demystifying Construction Progress Using Forensic Schedule Analysis

Odds are, if you have embarked on a construction project of any shape or size, you have heard the dreaded words, “There’s been a delay in the schedule.” Building in today’s climate has become almost synonymous with delays. Maybe your contractor insists that everything is on track, but you are observing consistent slippage in critical activities over time. The reality of construction in the K-12 industry is there is no time for hidden delays or surprises—the school calendar demands accuracy and completion with little room for schedule adjustments. If your instinct is telling you progress is behind, but you can’t quite prove it, HPM has the solution for you.

Half-Step Period Analysis

Half-Step Period Analysis can help reveal what is going on under the surface of a construction schedule. This method stores schedule updates and quantifies the impact, whether good or bad, of field progress on a schedule at large. Conveniently for the user, this approach collects the progress information from a new update to the schedule and applies only that piece of information to the prior schedule. The schedule is then recalculated and the impact on progress can be observed and analyzed. At this point, you will find answers to your most pressing questions: Did the end date move? Did the critical path change? How will our plans be impacted? Once this data is calculated, it can easily be mapped out in a visual format for further analysis.


What Next?

Now that we have proof that slippage has occurred, we can begin studying the updated critical path. Reviewing the schedule changes provides insight into how the lost time will be recovered. Studying these adjustments spelled out on paper enables you to see if the changes are reasonable. Armed with this information, you are then prepared to discuss a plan of action with the contractor that will allow the project to truly remain on track.

Is This a Recognized Method of Schedule Analysis?

A recent project utilized this method to encourage schedule transparency with a contractor. This case used modularized construction, an approach in which main portions of the facility were fabricated like building blocks. This method demands that stages of progress build upon one another in order to move on to the next phase. In this instance, production of these “blocks” slipped behind by four months with significant delays to production. In spite of an obvious delay, the contractor maintained the position that the project was on track to reach its original completion date.

By applying half-step period analysis, data came together to prove gaps in the unaffected schedule the contractor was promising. Identifying these issues early in the project allowed for impactful remediation plans to be implemented, as well as identifying staffing needs well in advance of their respective start dates. This knowledge on the front end proved critical in today’s market where manpower can be difficult to acquire.

The Power of Period Analysis

When implemented early on in construction, period analysis can detect impacts to schedule before they occur. This data provides actionable information and a path forward. Using this knowledge, project teams can implement recovery plans and avoid critical delays.

UNA and HPM Join Forces to Create Bank Independent Stadium

HPM was pleased to gather with leaders from University of North Alabama (UNA) for a press conference announcing our partnership in creating the upcoming Bank Independent Stadiuma state-of-the-art, multipurpose facility on UNA’s campus. The university also named Davis Architects the selected Architect of Record to carry out the design phase of the project. The design phase has officially commenced and the project is targeted for completion in the 2026-2027 academic year. HPM will serve as UNA’s owner’s representative, providing program management and preconstruction services.

A Word from Dr. Josh Looney

UNA Athletic Director, Dr. Josh Looney led the press conference held on December 15. Dr. Looney shared that the stadium will be thoughtfully designed for year-round utilization by UNA and the wider Shoals community. He proceeded to explain the venue will re-develop the campus space that currently houses the UNA turf field, Mike D. Lane Field and a grass practice field, incorporating UNA’s football, baseball and soccer teams into the re-imagined design. In addition to sporting events, Bank Independent Stadium will also enrich the community with concerts, live performances and more. The new facility will serve as the new home for the University of North Alabama Lions football team. For over 70 years, the Lions played football at Braly Municipal Stadium, an off-campus facility owned by Florence City Schools.

Ben Henson Discusses HPM’s Involvement

HPM’s Vice President of Program Development, Ben Henson discussed our involvement on the project. Ben explained that HPM will start with preconstruction, and continue to oversee budgeting and scheduling, design management, risk assessment and contract negotiation. Dr. Looney and Ben spoke to HPM’s experience and qualifications that position us as the ideal program management firm for the job. Specific acknowledgements were made highlighting our work on over two million square feet of athletic facility projects. Ben shared that a detailed plan for the stadium including more information about the scope, features and cost will be formulated after the design phase is complete.

Courtney Pittman Details Relationship Between Davis + HPM

To conclude the press conference, Courtney Pittman, Vice President of Davis Architects highlighted the firm’s unique qualifications for the job. Courtney listed a number of higher education projects on which Davis Architects and HPM have collaborated. Our long history of partnership has created a working dynamic built upon thorough communication and trust. This is sure to serve UNA well as the design phase is integrated with the project at large.

Exciting Days Ahead

HPM looks forward to leveraging our vast portfolio of stadium experience in partnership with the outstanding university as they realize a much-anticipated goal on behalf of students, athletes and the community at large!

HPM to Serve as Program Manager for University of North Alabama’s Bank Independent Stadium

Birmingham-based program management firm HPM will serve as program manager for University of North Alabama new Bank Independent Stadium. The firm will also provide owner’s representation and preconstruction services for the state-of-the-art, multipurpose facility on UNA’s campus. Davis Architects has been selected as the architect of record. The project is in the design phase with targeted completion during the 2026-27 academic year.

About the Facility

The multipurpose stadium will be thoughtfully designed for year-round utilization by UNA and the wider Shoals community. The venue will re-develop the campus space that currently houses the UNA turf field, Mike D. Lane Field and a grass practice field, incorporating UNA’s football, baseball and soccer teams into the re-imagined design. In addition to athletic practices and sporting events, Bank Independent Stadium will also enrich the community with concerts and live performances as well as other academic and community events. The new facility will serve as the new home for the University of North Alabama Lions football team. For over 70 years, the Lions played football at Braly Municipal Stadium, an off-campus facility owned by Florence City Schools.

“The forthcoming Bank Independent Stadium is an exciting addition to our extensive portfolio of sports and recreation projects across the country, and we have seen immense demand for these types of facilities in Alabama as our state’s population continues to grow,” said HPM Vice President of Program Development Ben Henson. “We’re looking forward to working alongside The University of North Alabama to deliver this highly anticipated multipurpose facility, which will serve as a transformative community venue and a catalyst for Florence’s burgeoning growth story.”

Services and Logistics

HPM will work closely with UNA to provide specialized services throughout the entirety of the project. Starting with preconstruction, HPM will oversee budgeting and scheduling, design management, risk assessment and contract negotiation. The program management firm, which has worked on over two million square feet of athletic facility projects, will use its more than 25 years of experience and industry connections in the Southeast to understand the university’s needs effectively and to serve as the official owner’s representative until the project’s completion. After the conclusion of the design phase, which is expected to conclude in 2024, a detailed plan for the stadium with more information about the scope, features and cost will be formulated.

“We are excited about this next step in the process of seeing the Bank Independent Stadium come to like at the University of North Alabama,” said Evan Thornton, UNA CFO and Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs. “HPM and Davis Architects will be tremendous assets to us as we embark on this historic project.”

Manor ISD’s Rise Academy Raises the Bar for Texas K12 Facilities

Grand Opening

Manor ISD’s best-in-class K-8 facility, Rise Academy, opened its doors to students for its inaugural school year in August. Acclaimed program management firm, HPM  provided quality control and preconstruction services and maintained schedule and budget compliance throughout construction.

About the Space

Manor ISD‘s $45 million Manor Rise Academy is a 116,000-square-foot school on a 40-acre campus on FM 973. State-of-the-art amenities and technology enhance the learning environment in every room. The school’s interior includes athletic facilities; a competition gym with seating for up to 500 people; a dedicated gymnasium for physical education classes; a large media center; two art rooms; three maker spaces; performing arts classrooms; and student collaboration areas. The campus will also house competition-level athletic fields, outdoor learning spaces and playgrounds.


“Education projects require strict scheduling oversight to ensure an on-track completion by the start of the school year, and I am proud of our team at HPM for its dedication to an on-time delivery for Manor ISD. We thank the school district for its invaluable support and collaboration during this project, and to our partners for ensuring success in the construction of these schools. As we move ahead on additional projects with the school district, we look forward to providing more quality program management services, expanding our footprint further into Manor.”

Ryan Austin, President, HPM



About Manor ISD

Manor ISD voters approved a $280 million bond package in November of 2019. The bond is focusing on projects to accommodate student growth. This includes addressing facility upgrades and improving transportation, security and technology within the district. It is one of the largest bond programs the district has initiated in its history. These increase capacity in the 9,500-student district, projected to grow by 2.5% to 5% annually for the next 10 years, according to district student enrollment projections. 

Greater Austin is one of the fastest-growing major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and was recently projected to surpass San Antonio in population size by 2040, according to the Texas Water Development Board. The population of Manor, located just 12 miles northeast of Austin, has grown by more than 160% since 2010. Manor ISD anticipates an additional 2,800 students over the next four years. A project of this scale required experienced and dedicated program manager to oversee the bond program.

Additional project partners for Rise Academy include ADM Architecture; Raba Kistner as geotechnical engineer; Civilitude as civil engineer; and Lee Lewis as the general contractor. 

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