Category: Program Development

6 Steps to Ready Your Stadium for The Ultimate Fan Experience

In baseball, there’s only one opening day each year. There is no second chance for a do-over when you need to get your stadium ready for the players and the fans.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training Facility, Photo Credit: Atlanta Braves

While your team is prepping for the big game, HPM provides a whole continuum of program management services that includes everything from coordinating all your various stakeholders and funding options in the beginning stages to reigning in the beehive of activities necessary to ready the stadium for the first game. Through our decades of experience, we have become experts in stadiums, arenas, and athletic training facilities.

HPM partners with major league and minor league baseball organizations on stadium projects and many other signature athletic facilities on university campuses. So, we know a thing or two about getting your stadium fan-ready.

With costs in the millions, building or renovating a stadium is an expensive and labor-intensive endeavor that hinges on the coordination of many different people and organizations to complete your project on time and within budget. There are no excuses, and expectations are high.

Knock It Out of the Park with HPM

As one of the nation’s top program management firms, HPM’s program management services guide every facet of your project from beginning to end. Our dedicated full-time program managers maintain a singular focus – which leads to increased efficiency and complete accountability.

Is Your Stadium Ready for the Ultimate Fan Experience?

The HPM continuum of services includes six stages that build upon the knowledge gained in the previous step. Let’s take a look at how each of our steps and services can help you on your next project:

First Data Field
  1. Planning- Our team understands the importance of project definition and determining performance metrics that will keep your project on time and on budget. We sit down with stakeholders to determine needs versus wants and how to prioritize everything against when the facility should open and how much it should cost.
  2. Design- During this stage, we help our clients with design reviews and monthly preconstruction reports to ensure that your stadium will be completed before opening day. Plus, we work with the architects and engineers to deliver plans to the builder which maximize player development and fan experience simultaneously. For instance, the Atlanta Braves Spring Training field is the exact same dimensions as their regular season field. The sod is the exact same sod, and the infield mix is exactly the same. HPM understood the importance of the team practicing and training on a field that’s as identical to their home field as possible.
  3. Execution- HPM inserts our services at any point during the lifecycle of a facility, but our company was founded as construction managers. For example, the New York Mets hired us to manage the construction of a $55-million facility renovation to their Clover Park, formerly named First Data Field, in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
    Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
  4. Transition- Contract auditing is an important part of the transition stage. Many times, projects are over budget. Our experts review the job cost and often create cost savings in excess of 1-2% of project costs.
  5. Operations- The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is home to spring training for the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals in southern Florida. HPM helped fast-track the $150-million project by obtaining permits and repair-and-replace agreements. Working with the ballpark’s operations team, we applied extensive event management to get the facility up and running smoothly for spring training.
  6. Assessment- Construction projects have multiple layers and people. Our program managers can organize all the critical information into a single, web-based project management intelligence platform to ensure key stakeholders have access to schedules, expenses, agreements, licenses, and designs.

You get the team ready for opening day…we get your facilities ready.


Built to Lead: Denish Sonani

Whether we are managing an already-established capital program or overseeing a project from site selection through owner occupancy, our reason for being is to lead our clients to success. HPMers like Project Manager Denish Sonani are committed to the relentless pursuit of improvement in order to push our firm, our clients, and our industry to new standards of excellence. Denish is currently part of an HPM team that manages $280 million of the Manor ISD bond program where he is overseeing the construction of a new elementary school campus and three multipurpose indoor practice facilities. Continue reading to learn about his role at HPM, what leadership means to him, and more.

HPM: What does a typical day at HPM look like for you?

As a project manager, my key role is to manage day-to-day communication between various parties, including the architect, contractors, consultants, and the owner. Besides that, I spend a good amount of time managing the budget and schedule. In my opinion, an HPM project manager’s everyday job is to remove hurdles and clear a path well in advance so all parties can work effectively and efficiently.

HPM: What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is getting to know the project from a very early stage. I enjoy being there for the land acquisition, witnessing the programming and planning phases, getting in the mix with architects, consultants, and contractors, and seeing the building take shape. Finally, I enjoy closing out the project on a high note, followed by a long-awaited ribbon cutting. Basically, I get to know the project inside out.

HPM: Tell us about someone who inspires you. Why do you consider them to be a great leader?

My father inspires me more than anyone else because of his ethic, dedication, and ownership of the work. He works more than 80 hours a week as of today but I have never seen him tired. He always tells me that if you love what you do, you will never get tired but instead, you will get joy.

HPM: What does leadership mean to you?

To me, a great leader is one who believes in creating more leaders and not followers. Great leaders are more focused on the “process” to get the results, not just the results. Leading from the front is one of the main characteristics of a good leader because that is what inspires and motivates others.

Are you built to lead and interested in joining the HPM team? Check out our current job openings and apply today!

Saving Time and Money, Despite a Pandemic

It is no secret or surprise that construction projects around the world have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, it has caused delays and budget increases, setbacks that public-school districts typically cannot afford. At Round Rock ISD, however, we delivered over $75 million of work in a period of eight months.

“One of the great successes is that we have been able to accomplish an incredible amount of work in an amount of time that really would not have been possible if we didn’t have the assistance of HPM,” said Melanie Camarena, Round Rock ISD (RRISD) director of construction.

Despite any delays caused by the pandemic, all summer 2020 projects were completed successfully on time. The projects included miscellaneous HVAC, roofing, bleachers, kitchen, and flooring renovations. In addition, there were renovations completed on the PA system, fire alarm system, cafeteria stage, main distribution frame room, a track replacement, and a field turf replacement. Electrical renovations were also completed, including the replacement of panels and main switchgears.

In order to provide a successful completion on these projects, the team helped to redefine and implement schedules, document management, and control protocols. In addition to keeping projects on track, HPM saved the district approximately $1 million in the first year through Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) reviews and pre-audit work.

“From a K-12 district point of view, it’s very difficult to hire a project manager who has the experience to be working in 30 to $50 million dollar or larger projects,” said Terry Worcester, Round Rock ISD chief operating officer. “You really need someone with experience and the knowledge base to be able to work with designers and builders who are in that league, so we procured and were very delighted to have HPM join our team here as a partner, not necessarily just as a consultant, but as a partner to augment our staff and work with us directly.”

HPM is currently serving as the program manager for Round Rock Independent School District’s $500+ million capital bond program, which spans 199 individually approved bond projects. Our role includes the three-year management of the planning, design, and construction of several large projects, including a new elementary school, a new aquatics practice center, expansion of existing schools, modernization of two high schools, and more. This also includes technology, security, and ongoing maintenance. We provide program controls with a dedicated interface with the accounting and financial systems of the district and the development of the master schedule, including all procurement, design, construction, occupancy, and startup milestones.

HPM Bolsters Presence in Key Markets with Round of Strategic Hires

Following a year of growth, Antonio Fratangelo, Jake Ortego and Jalal Slade to significantly broaden the firm’s offerings across several service lines.

We are pleased to announce the hiring of industry veterans Antonio Fratangelo and Jake Ortego as principals in the audit and contract services division and Jalal Slade as director of program development. Working alongside HPM Vice President of Audit and Contract Services Vinson Chapman, Fratangelo and Ortego aim to expand the division’s capabilities and service offerings for clients while expanding the firm’s geographic reach. Slade works to broaden the firm’s presence in the Metro Atlanta market, providing strategic leadership while cultivating new client engagements and strengthening existing partnerships.

Jake Ortego, Principal, HPM Audit and Contract Services

Natives of Pittsburgh, Fratangelo and Ortego join the firm with a combined 45 years of experience in audit, engineering and construction project management. Throughout their careers, they have led both design and audit teams on real estate and construction projects totaling more than $2 billion. In 2014, they co-founded JA Cost Engineers and Advisors, an advisory agency providing construction auditing, management consulting, risk management and additional services for construction, development and capital improvement projects.

Antonio Fratangelo, Principal, HPM Audit and Contract Services

“Our combined passions for construction and backgrounds in engineering have equipped Antonio and me with the unique skill sets needed to assist clients along every step of a project timeline,” said Ortego. “Antonio and I have worked together for the majority of our professional careers, establishing a proven process that became the core of our firm. We look forward to bringing this shared expertise to HPM and expanding our abilities to offer a wider range of services on a larger scale.”

Fratangelo and Ortego will join the team led by Chapman, who began HPM’s audit and contract services division six years ago. Chapman previously worked with Fratangelo and Ortego on a high-profile project totaling $4B for a large tech company.

“When I knew the client needed our assistance with this massive project, Jake and Antonio are the experts I immediately turned to in order to help get the job done,” said Chapman. “They are well respected within the construction audit and cost control industry and possess a range of knowledge highly beneficial for program management. Their capabilities are exactly what HPM needs to round out our continuum of services from program development to project management and beyond.”

Jalal Slade, HPM Director of Program Development

The firm also hired Slade as director of program development in HPM’s Atlanta office, set to lead program and business development initiatives in the market. Slade has an extensive background in municipal and aviation projects within Atlanta, having previously served as assistant general manager of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where he oversaw the construction and delivery of an $8 billion capital improvement plan. He also worked as senior policy advisor for the Office of the Mayor, providing oversight and management for the city’s real estate asset holdings. He works to align HPM’s internal goals with its clients’ goals, offering leadership and expertise for project teams across all of the firm’s industry verticals. He also aims to build on HPM’s existing client relationships while forging new connections within the market.

“Heading into 2022, we look back on a year of immense growth for our firm,” said Ryan Austin, president of HPM. “With the additions of Jake, Antonio and Jalal, I am confident we are continuing this positive trajectory with the best possible team leading the way. This is an impressive group of people with a number of diverse, large-scale projects under their belts, and our firm is in good hands as we look to even more success in the new year.”

We’ve been named one of the Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work For in America by Great Places to Work multiple years running. Interested in joining our team? Learn more by clicking the button below.

HPM’s Brooks Ballentine Promoted to Vice President of the East Region

Brooks Ballentine has been known to say he values HPM’s family atmosphere and size—it is small enough to know everyone, yet large enough to provide opportunities for growth. He has spent nearly 14 years of his career growing with the company and has proven himself a dependable leader in every position he has served. For his immense dedication to our team and our clients, Brooks is being promoted from Director of the East Region to Vice President of the East Region.

“As a director, Brooks has worked tirelessly to improve his group’s organization, promote inclusion, and support his team in their programs and pursuits,” said Frank Marsac, HPM Vice President of Operations. 

Brooks does an excellent job of partnering both internally and externally. His team feels like he is fully supportive of them and their careers and that he works hard to not only ensure their success and HPM’s success but the client’s success, as well. 

“Brooks exemplifies the golden rule, whether that is with a client or his team, and they truly see him as a trusted advisor who is always seeking the best solution in every situation,” Marsac said. “He is always willing to step in and help whenever there is a need or challenge and is a true servant leader. He is optimistic and encouraging to his teams, which pushes them to higher levels of success in their roles.” 

Brooks began his career at HPM in 2007 as a Project Manager. He worked on the Regions Bank account in Birmingham before representing HPM as an indispensable leader for the University of Alabama (UA) account in Tuscaloosa. Brooks helped manage the UA program’s many projects and teams from 2008 to 2017. 

In 2018, Brooks took on the position of Program Executive for HPM. In this role, he managed multiple senior program managers who supervised numerous programs—such as UA, Regions, Homewood and Vestavia Hills City School districts, and the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center (BJCC) arena. Brooks displayed clear communication skills, strong leadership, and a determined work ethic. Because of these qualities, he was promoted to Director of the East Region, a position in which he has managed multiple program executives who are working on projects in HPM’s geographical East Region. 

We’ve been named one of the Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work For in America by Great Places to Work multiple years running. Interested in joining our team? Learn more by clicking the button below.

Built to Lead: Foster Veazey

At HPM, we are dedicated to being an advocate for our clients from start to finish. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service while providing unparalleled expertise in construction management. For the past three years, HPM Project Manager Foster Veazey has soared to new heights by leading successful aviation projects for HPM clients like Airbus and the Mobile Airport Authority. Keep reading to learn more about Foster’s role at HPM, his proudest accomplishment, and more.

HPM: What does a typical day at HPM look like for you?

One of the things that I enjoy the most about my job is that aside from my standard weekly meetings, most of my days are different and not a “standard” or “typical” day. Depending on the phase of the project, the overall schedule, risks, etc., the priorities for how my day is spent change constantly. This allows for constant engagement and excitement while preventing a sense of monotony while at work.

HPM: What is the best part of your job?

Without a doubt, the best part of my job is being able to work in close proximity with and collaborate with our HPM team. We have an extremely unique culture that fosters a collaborative spirit and team atmosphere in everything we do, which I have found to be very atypical compared to other organizations. Working with others who I consider friends and not just co-workers is a unique feature that sets HPM apart.

HPM: What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment was completing a full renovation of a 100+-year-old house amidst the COVID pandemic. I completely gutted the house down to the studs, moved walls, re-wired the entire house, laid new flooring, transformed the third bedroom into a master bathroom, and re-plumbed the house amidst 1,000+ other projects that I completed. I’d never done a project of this size by myself and was able to learn more than I ever thought was possible while restoring a beautiful home that my wife and I were able to sell. Lots of literal blood, sweat, and tears went into the renovation which took right around 13 months for me to complete by myself.

HPM: What are the characteristics of a great leader?

To me, a great leader is one who is able to inspire others to do things that they don’t want to or are unwilling to do on their own. Too often clichés that “everyone is a leader” are thrown around today, but this simply isn’t true. There are leaders and there are followers, but to truly be a leader you must inspire others to follow you. Personally, I feel that this is most easily accomplished by the leader having the humility to only ask of others what they are willing to do themselves.

Are you built to lead and interested in joining the HPM team? Check out our current job openings and apply today!

HPM’s Brian Morris Promoted to Senior Project Manager

When it comes to our industry, being a people person is a critical component of forging connections that will last long after a project is completed. Brian Morris is the perfect embodiment of this skill and exemplifies this quality in every facet of his career. His natural talent at building strong client relationships led him and his family from Tuscaloosa to Central Texas, where he is now helping to oversee HPM’s growing presence in the region. Brian’s ability to earn and maintain the trust and respect of clients is what led to his promotion to Senior Project Manager.

Before heading to Texas, Brian worked on our University of Alabama account, where he managed numerous renovations and quickly became an admired colleague among the entire UA team and campus partners. He relocated to Austin, where he now works on one of HPM’s major K-12 program in the Texas market. Since being in the Lone Star State, Brian has established himself as the project management leader in the Round Rock ISD facilities and construction department. He is a go-to resource for the district, providing consultation on a wide range of topics and offering his problem-solving skills when challenges arise. Brian’s current projects at Round Rock ISD (RRISD) include a $51 million program for McNeil High School, an $8.1 million Support Services building and a $2.4 million addition to the Chisholm Trail Athletic Facility.

“Brian has the natural ability to become close, like family, to anyone he meets out on the field,” said Ben Henson, HPM Program Executive. “He’s exactly the kind of person you want on your team. He works hard, but always finds a way to keep people laughing and engaged every step of the way during a project.”

In addition to his work in Round Rock, Brian has built a wide network of relationships throughout Central Texas with contractors, designers, representatives from various school districts in the region and other valuable partners. On top of the success he maintains for his ongoing projects, he is also constantly looking for opportunities to improve HPM’s brand recognition in the community and to spread the firm’s name across the state.

Terry Worcester, Chief Operating Officer at RRISD, recently said the following about Brian: “In the span of my many years of architectural practice and education administration, I have not had the extraordinary honor of working and collaborating with such a talented and capable colleague as Brian Morris. He is my go-to HPM ‘associate’ of client and project management within my many departments in the school district.”

We’ve been named one of the Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work For in America by Great Places to Work multiple years running. Interested in joining our team? Learn more by clicking the button below.

Home for the Holidays: Helping a Louisiana Resort Reopen on Time

At HPM, we’re dedicated to leading a project every step of the way—striving to ensure that the owner’s vision comes to life on time, within budget, and beyond expectations. For our clients in the hospitality industry, the pressure to complete projects on time is often intensified by peak seasons and holiday travel.

In 2020, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana came to us with a difficult timeline for the renovation of its Coushatta Casino Resort, which had suffered significant damage caused by Hurricane Laura that August. The Notah Begay III Junior Golf Championship was scheduled for the following November and Christmas season occupancy for the Seven Clans Hotel was also a top priority. The Coushatta Tribe initially hired a restoration contractor to do the work, and while the demolition and removal of wet and damaged materials progressed quickly, the restoration effort faltered, leaving no area of the hotel occupiable.

It quickly became evident to the tribe leadership that they were lacking the planning and organizational manpower needed to get the work completed on time, so they sought a program manager with the necessary experience to lead the way. HPM was hired to oversee the restoration of 160 guestrooms and other ancillary buildings.

Our services included:
• temporary furniture relocation
• identification of materials and furniture needed
• installation of new finishes and reinstallation of furniture
• coordination of contractor’s work activities with on-going hotel operations
• development of the construction schedule for restoration contractors
• tracking and reporting progress of rooms on each floor
• identification of temporary finish materials to overcome materials
procurement issues
• verification of work completion and acceptance
• coordination of the turnover of completed rooms floor by floor and wing by wing
• review of change orders and pay applications
• expedition of long-lead materials

HPM also coordinated the restoration and roof repairs of other buildings on the resort campus, including the golf clubhouse, restaurant and lounge, golf course comfort stations, human resources and training offices, and other miscellaneous buildings.

HPM’s efforts enabled the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to reopen its casino and resort facilities efficiently, host the Notah Begay III Junior Golf Championship as scheduled, and welcome guests back in time for the holidays.

Through effective project management, HPM leads construction projects to completion on time and within budget while maintaining safety, achieving quality, and maximizing our clients’ resources.

Image courtesy of

Project Success and School Spirit at Hyatt Place TCU

The new six-story Hyatt Place Fort Worth/TCU is the first and only hotel located directly adjacent to the Texas Christian University campus, making it a popular place for out-of-town fans and alumni to stay. Its unique location called for an equally unique design, one that is distinctly inspired by the university’s history, mascot, and colors. The 113,000 square-foot, $40 million hotel development includes 150 guestrooms, a 6th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant, Top Golf Swing Suites, an expanded lobby and first-floor bar, extensive meeting and ballroom spaces with catering kitchen, and an outdoor pool and gym.

Once the project came to fruition, a former TCU board member recognized the need for an experienced owner’s representative to oversee this unique and challenging project. As a trusted advisor to TCU, HPM was introduced and accepted the challenge.

HPM procured and managed the various team members including but not limited to the general contractor, architect, designers, operator, furniture, equipment, interior and exterior signage, security, audiovisual, food and beverage, acoustic consultant, envelope consultant, access control, technology, warehouse, moving, commissioning and final turn over.

We also coordinated and managed municipality efforts, compliance with TCU’s guidelines and design standards, cash flow, brand communication and approvals, bank inspectors and the model room process.

Having experience in leading hotel developments, HPM was able to provide solutions and value options when city codes and urban development requirements changed during design and planning. The project overcame additional planning approval time, budget and scope additions through HPM’s efficient and effective leadership.

In addition to the standard build-out procedures, special pre-planning for the design had to be implemented to accommodate changes in sanitary precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the dining area in the lobby of the building was originally designed to feature a buffet-style setup. In response to the challenges and lifestyle changes created by COVID-19, changes were made to install sneeze guards and other modifications to allow for prepackaged food service and to adhere to safety protocols related to self-served meals. HPM remained agile, ensuring that the project moved forward and delivered on schedule, despite the challenges of designing and constructing a hotel during a pandemic.

Through effective project management, HPM led Hyatt Place Fort Worth/TCU to completion on time and within budget, while maintaining safety, achieving quality, and maximizing our client’s resources.

HPM Selected as Program Manager for Manor Independent School District’s Capital Projects

We are proud to announce that Manor Independent School District (Manor ISD) has selected HPM to serve as program manager for its capital and facility-based projects. Representing $174 million in new development, these enhancements are the result of a $280 million school bond program approved by voters in Manor, Texas, in November 2019.

HPM will work alongside Manor ISD to provide project management and preconstruction services while ensuring schedule and budget compliance over the next three years. This includes several new classrooms, transportation, and multipurpose facilities.


“Manor has seen tremendous growth over the past decade, underscoring the need for improved educational infrastructure that can support a student body expected to exceed 12,000 students within the next few years,” said Greg Ellis, HPM’s Vice President of Program Development. “We look forward to seeing firsthand the positive impact that this investment will have on the community.”

Redbud Elementary- Round Rock ISD

The partnership is a continuation of HPM’s growth strategy in Central Texas, where it has already built an extensive program management portfolio for K-12 districts including Round Rock Independent School District, Belton Independent School District and Austin Independent School District. HPM’s success is largely attributed to the firm’s full range of services uniquely tailored to meet the demographic and socioeconomic needs of every community it serves.


“Our work is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and HPM is well known for the ability to cater our services to the specific needs of each school district we partner with,” said Derek McSween, Senior Program Development Manager at HPM. “HPM has the expertise to understand the nuances and challenges that come with working in K-12 facility planning and bond implementation, especially as the coronavirus continues to impact regulations. Our team is pleased to play a part in Manor ISD’s growth story by ensuring that its scholars are provided the highest quality academic and recreational facilities possible.”

Greater Austin is one of the fastest-growing major metropolitan areas in the U.S., having increased 34% in population size since 2010 and an impressive 3% in the last year alone. The population of Manor, located just 12 miles northeast of Austin, has grown by more than 160% since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We are grateful to the Manor ISD community for voting to pass the 2019 bond. As we continue to put scholars first, these new state-of-the-art educational facilities will address equity gaps, overcrowding and prepare for the continued population growth,” said Dr. Andre D. Spencer, Manor ISD Superintendent of Schools. “Most importantly, Manor ISD scholars are more than deserving of quality facilities that will enhance their learning environment. We are excited to work alongside HPM for this effort. HPM is truly a remarkable project management partner. It would be almost impossible to complete $280M worth of bond projects without their expertise and dedication to excellence in Manor ISD.”

Ready to discuss your next project?