For over forty years, the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club has been making its way to the city of Dunedin, Florida, for spring training. Back in 2014, Dunedin and the Blue Jays began talks for a new Player Development Complex, and years of planning and hard work paid off when the finished complex was unveiled earlier this year. This was a massive undertaking that required a large, dedicated team of contractors, and APG was proud to play a part! Our experience on major stadium projects at Amalie Arena, Raymond James, USF, and the Atlanta Braves Spring Training complex gave us a proven record of success in sports and helped APG land this job. We provided BIM coordination, electrical, fire alarm, structured cabling, security, and audio/visual services.
Construction began in early 2019, when Gilbane Building Company broke ground on the ballpark and training center designed by Populous Architects. Plans included major upgrades throughout the existing facility and increasing the seating capacity from 5,500 to 8,500. More room to watch the games! Three new training fields, a new half field, 7-bay batting cages, and two mounds were added. The clubhouse and administration building totals 110,000 square feet, and is full of the latest in sports training technology. There’s a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy training area with a variable depth pool, a 10,000 square foot weight training and conditioning area, a pitching lab, training rooms, staff collaboration spaces, eight Major and Minor League locker rooms, and a barbershop. Three new steel buildings accommodate an agility field and multi-bay batting tunnels. Special features of the complex include two new pitching mounds fitted out with high-speed cameras to monitor pitches and analyze player technique.
The clubhouse is fed by a new 3000A service and backed up by a 150kW stand-by generator. Project Superintendent Augie Manfre Jr. and Project Foreman Dave Werner had the huge task of overseeing the installation of over 90,000 feet of conduit and 80 miles of wire. They also coordinated the work of our other groups, all of whom had substantial scope on the job. The Engineering Group kicked things off with advance 3D BIM coordination of the site. Our Voice Data Group installed a fiber backbone to 8 different buildings and terminated more than 1,200 drops of CAT-6 for data, phones, wireless access points, and security cameras. Our Audio Visual Group installed and commissioned equipment for a two-way divisible training room, a boardroom, and a Major League classroom conference space. More than fifty speakers connect the building and practice fields with a five-zone Public Address system for communications and background music, and a whopping 140 high-definition displays were installed throughout the facility. Our Security Group installed a major system that includes hundreds of devices for access control, intrusion detection, and video monitoring. To round out the installation with every service APG has to offer, our Life Safety Group provided a networked Fire Alarm System.
Throughout construction, Senior Project Manager Ted Maczuga and Project Manager Jack Chonsky kept the site humming with material and priced over 200 changes in scope. The end result is an incredible Player Development Complex that will be a Dunedin jewel for decades to come. APG is grateful to have been selected by Gilbane Building Company as a key partner in getting this facility functional, secure, and ready for the team. Batter up!
Our readers were introduced to the Tampa International Airport (TIA) Curbside Expansion project with Hensel Phelps in the last March issue of Pipeline. A full year has gone by and it’s time for an update!
The CUP (Central Utility Plant) /ESB (Electrical Service Building) portion of the project has recently made some major milestones. The concrete foundations were slow to get going, but this phase is now complete and it’s full speed ahead. The CUP switchgear was set up in just a few days, followed by pulling and terminating all utility and branch feeders. There was intense coordination for the delivery and installation of a 1.5MW diesel gas generator that was brought in after hours and set overnight. Our next major milestone for this portion of the project will be to energize the switchgear. Nash, the mechanical contractor, is currently setting and piping their equipment so that we can finalize the power connections. Reaching this milestone is critical, as it will allow the extensive commissioning process required at the utility plant to commence. Then we’ll get to do it all over again at the ESB, but this time with the addition of over 4,000 feet of bus duct!
The Blue Side Vertical Circulation Building (VCB) is also progressing quickly. The team has nearly completed rough-in on all three levels and is now focusing on the transfer level ceiling finishes before the scaffolding comes down. Over 6,000 feet of linear light fixtures are being installed in this space, and heavy coordination between our field technicians, our BIM group, and the ceiling installer have been crucial to a seamless installation.
While these projects were under construction, Hensel Phelps awarded additional projects to APG: Supplement B —Ceiling Replacement and Supplement C—Police and Maintenance/Loading Dock/Frontier Building. We are on track to complete these two new phases before the year is up.
The Ceiling Replacement project has us replacing all light fixtures along the Arrivals and Departures drop-off drive lanes for both the Blue and Red sides of the terminal. Like the Blue Side VCB, this project requires significant coordination between our field technicians and our BIM group to nail down the exact placement of nearly 8,000 feet of linear fixtures. Because of the busy nature of these traffic lanes, all our work is being done at night. Rough-in is now complete at all Arrivals areas and the fixture install is ongoing. The Police and Maintenance project is a new facility within the long-term parking garage adjacent to the Blue VCB project. The team recently completed the underground rough-in and is ready to start going overhead. The loading dock portion of the project will begin soon.
The airport is a big place, so manpower distribution and accurate scheduling have been especially important to keep all of these projects running smoothly. Project Superintendent Chris Gobright has done a phenomenal job of orchestrating the work and keeping our entire team on track. He’s supported by Field Superintendents Sergey Kharchenko and Augie Manfre Jr. On-site Project Manager Josh Smith has the enormous task of coordinating shipments to the site and completing paperwork specific to the airport while Project Manager Jonathan Henley assists with the tracking and pricing of scope changes. Behind the scenes, Project Administrator Meoi Plummer is an invaluable asset in filing and distributing a dizzying array of RFIs, Submittals, and Purchase Orders. And let’s not forget our other groups, APG Security and APG Technology! Their hard work has reinforced our brand as a one-stop-shop for a client’s electrical and technology needs.
Performing all of this major work at an active airport has been an immense challenge, especially as we’re reminded that TIA is an “airport first, construction site second.” The craftsmanship and professionalism of our field team has been crucial to earning more work on site, and we’re proud that Hensel Phelps continues to trust us with such complex projects. Now at the midpoint of the job, we look forward to sharing completion photos in a future update. To everyone supporting us at TIA: thank you and keep up the great work!
Everyone at APG is committed to working safely and it shows. Safe practices are taught and followed on our project sites, while driving our vehicles, and even while working from home. This is done because there is nothing more valuable than your health and life. Safety should never be sacrificed to save time or money, no matter what. It just isn’t worth it!
High-visibility vests, gloves, safety glasses, and hard hats are all part of our uniform, but as important as our PPE is, there is even more we can do to show how seriously we take safety. At every opportunity, apply the principles shown in the Hierarchy of Controls. These principles teach us to eliminate hazards and to use every available method to complete a task safely so that the least effective safety measure, personal protective equipment (PPE), is the last resort to protect ourselves from harm.
Having a dedicated team that focuses solely on our safety is just one element of the APG Safety Culture. Beyond the training and accountability that Sean and Dale provide, a Safety Committee made up of rotating members provides real-world feedback on job hazards, near misses, and innovative safety techniques. We reward our collective commitment to safety with gift cards, parties, and prizes. We also bolster our culture with classroom and field-based training, covering topics like OSHA 30, confined space entry, equipment operation, and fall protection. Everyone at APG takes accountability for themselves and has been empowered to work safely. And we’re getting great results!
After nearly fifty years in the industry and more than twenty with APG, Ron Mueller is retiring. Ron began his electrical career decades ago. He started in the trade as an apprentice in 1973 and earned his journeyman license four years later. After working as a state-licensed electrician in the field for years, Ron's many talents were recognized and he was moved into management. While working locally throughout Florida utilizing his state license, Ron accepted an opportunity to work as a Construction Manager in Mississippi. Soon after moving there in 1996, he became the VP of Operations for a local electrical contractor. In 1998, Ron moved back to Tampa and joined APG as a project manager. He didn't waste any time in making a name for himself or the APG team! His wealth of experience and knowledge instantly made him an asset. Ron holds a State of Florida Certified Electrical Contractor license and has served in nearly every facet of the industry.
As a senior project manager, Ron was adept at handling a project from start to finish. He has worked on some of our largest and most complicated jobs and has always achieved exceptional results. Some of the major projects he’s completed include St. Joseph's Hospital North, Tampa General Hospital, Brandon Regional Hospital, Florida Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Morton Plant Hospital, USF Visual & Performing Arts Center, Boca Ciega High School, Gulf Trace Elementary School, Pinellas County Jail, and Hernando County Emergency Operations Center. He’s been around a long time and does great work! His attention to detail and proactive approach have earned him numerous awards and accolades.
In October 2000, soon after coming to APG, Ron was presented with an "All-Star Award" from The Diaz/Fritz Group, Inc. for his exceptional effort on the Northbay Heart & Vascular project. In January 2007, we were pleased to select Ron as Employee of the Month to recognize his professionalism, determination, and reliability.
Ron has been a wonderful person to work with, and he’s quick to share his abundance of electrical knowledge with our younger generation of apprentices and project managers. Senior Project Manager Anthony Ciquera described his experience as a young apprentice being brought into the office: “Ron was extremely busy but he always took the time to make sure I understood the task and helped me along the way... I have gained a ton of knowledge from Ron over the years and I knew I could always turn to him when I had a question. We will all miss Ron a great deal, but the knowledge he has left with the younger project managers is invaluable.” Our Vice President of Construction Bill Lavelle added: "They say: ‘You can't teach an old dog new tricks.’ Well, Ron is a perfect example that no matter how long your career has been, if you work hard and are committed to excellence, you can master new challenges. You can't replace someone like Ron. They don't make them like him anymore."
Ron has left memorable moments in the lives of everyone who had the privilege of working with him, and he’ll be greatly missed here at APG. Project Manager Matt Mendrala had this to say: "I have always been impressed with Ronny's skill as a PM. Our personalities complemented each other so well that I can never remember an angry word passed between us. We were each other's support during hard times, and comic relief at the right time when we needed to de-stress. He was 'Maverick,' and I was 'Goose.' I'm happy for him as he goes into retirement and looking forward to staying in touch with him as my good friend. Happy trails, Ronny Boy!"
We owe you a huge debt of gratitude, Ron, for your 22 years of hard work and dedication. Your APG family wishes you a long and happy retirement!
To my APG family,
It has been many years since I’ve used Pipeline to convey a message to all of you. However, as 2020 draws to a close, I can’t think of a better time to reach out and remind you of what an amazing team we belong to. There are many reasons that we’ll never forget this year—civil unrest, hurricanes, political firsts, and, of course, COVID-19. I’m pleased to report that the year is almost over and that we made it, together! This simply wouldn’t have been possible without your hard work and dedication. I am truly proud of the astounding work we’ve done. So, what did we accomplish?
Some of the noteworthy healthcare projects completed by APG in 2020 include St. Joseph’s Hospital North Vertical Expansion, St. Joseph’s Hospital South ED and Patient Tower Expansion, AdventHealth Celebration Patient Tower and CEP, various projects at Morton Plant Hospital and Tampa General Hospital, and the Village on the Isle Skilled Nursing Facility. Beyond healthcare, other major projects include Amazon Regional Air Gateway at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, United Airways Hangar at Tampa International Airport, Toronto Blue Jays Player Development Complex, Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, P&J Office Complex, Ringling College of Art & Design, the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience, HCA Rocky Point Remodel, and Tech Data. We completed projects at ION Media, Moorings of Maximo, the Tampa Convention Center, Stratford Court, Raytheon, Catalent, Bardmoor Outpatient, South County Jail, Encompass Health—Sarasota, International Plaza Mall, Raymond James Financial…the list goes on and on!
An exciting development over the past year included a marked increase in significant projects being undertaken and completed by our Engineering Group. St. Joseph’s Hospital North Vertical Expansion, St. Joseph’s Hospital South ED and Patient Tower Expansions, Physicians Regional Medical Center—Pine Ridge Open Heart Cardiac Expansion, and BayCare Wesley Chapel Hospital are all major projects engineered right here at APG. Successfully designing and building such incredibly complex facilities shows just how talented each of you are, and contractors across the state have taken notice.
All of the projects I’ve mentioned are outstanding in themselves, but what stood out more than ever this year was how well everyone at APG worked with our partners for the common good of the community. There were times when things didn’t feel quite fair, quite right, or even seem to make sense, but we got up, put our boots on in the morning, and SAFELY did our jobs. As change after change came our way, we adopted a mission statement of sorts: “We will rigidly hold to our flexibility.” We adjusted company operations again and again in an ever-changing environment, and continued to provide the quality service we’re known for with our signature can-do attitude. As Executive Vice President Chris Johnson proudly commented: “This company never missed a beat!”
Congratulations to each and every one of you on a job well done during this most stressful year. While we should reflect on the past, which taught us unforgettable lessons about flexibility and teamwork, let’s focus on what lies ahead in 2021. As we continue to provide the very best of service not only to our clients, but also to each other, I want to personally thank you for making APG an amazing place to work. Congratulations on accomplishing so much during such an eventful year. Goodbye 2020 and hello 2021!
In September of 2019, APG was awarded a $1.7 million contract by The Haskell Company for the United TPA Line Maintenance Hangar project, comprising a scope of electrical construction and fire alarm. This project involved constructing a completely new hangar for United Airlines, consisting of an office area, a hangar, and a hazmat building. Project Foreman Billy Griffith, along with Milo Klaustermeier, Vincent Mannello, and their team, got to work on September 15th.
This hangar is a truly impressive building—able to house three planes at one time and reaching a height of about 80 feet. The door alone is 80 feet high and spans across the entire 300 foot length of the building. All of the conduits are placed 15 feet below the surface and are PVC coated rigid steel. Installing these conduits was very labor-intensive and proved challenging due to the various safety regulations which are unique to a project of this type.
The hangar contains a linear heat detection system with heat-sensitive cabling located just below the building's roof. Flame detectors were mounted at 15 feet and 30 feet with a foam fire prevention system. When this system is activated, it fills the entire building with 10 feet or more of fire retardant foam.
The hazmat building is a small, open-air structure used to store all flammable materials. Due to the dangers of such highly volatile substances, everything needed to be placed a minimum of 15 feet underground. Like the hangar, it required rigid and sealed off fittings, another very labor-intensive install. This project also included a spacious break room, workshop, and conference and classroom areas.
Later, APG was awarded the technology and security portions of the project, bringing our total contract to just over $2.8 million This work included structured cabling overseen by Voice Data Project Manager Kevin Runia and Foreman Tyler Johnson, CCTV and access control supervised by Security Senior Project Manager Eric Quinones and Service Technician Ed Casey, and audio visual managed by Audio Visual Project Managers Ryan Racioppi and Christian Schaefer, General Superintendent Denzil Randolph, and Foreman Henzell Goodison.
The project was brought to substantial completion after using nearly 14,000-manpower hours over the course of a year. This was a very unique and oftentimes challenging job, but it was nothing that our team couldn't handle! We completed it both on time and under budget.
We are happy to have been chosen by Haskell and are very proud of the hard work and dedication of Senior Estimator Jonathan Henley, Senior Project Manager Brian Stine, Project Manager Josh Smith, and our entire team on site, who made this job such a success!
In March of last year, APG was awarded the AdventHealth Tampa P4 Tower Expansion project by Robins & Morton. The nearly $12 million contract covers electrical construction for a brand new, 300,000 square foot patient tower on the Tampa campus. This project is expected to be complete in September of 2021.
While we can’t say what the future will bring, we do want to let our APG family know what we’re currently experiencing. As we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to provide a snapshot of the hard work that our HR and COVID Tracking teams are doing. We also want to thank our employees for their good attitude and to discuss important reminders as well as where we have room for improvement.
COVID-19 tracking is a monumental task for a company with 430 employees. Thank you to the HR, COVID Tracking, and Safety teams for the incredible work you are doing! Employee time away from work must be coded correctly and details about employee absences related to the virus must be collected in order to ensure that APG is reimbursed correctly for COVID-related paid time off. What can each employee do to make this process easier? First, if you have symptoms of the virus (fever, headache, body aches, tiredness, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, cough, chest pain or pressure), notify your jobsite supervisor IMMEDIATELY. Your supervisor will encourage you to seek a medical diagnosis from your doctor or telemedicine and will connect you with someone from the HR Team, who will guide you through the necessary steps to keep your family and coworkers healthy.
Telemedicine is a great first step if you are experiencing symptoms. Our APG health plan provides telemedicine options through Cigna, which are covered at 100% for those with COVID symptoms. If you are referred for testing, you may have to wait several days for the results. While you are waiting, follow CDC guidelines and observe quarantine procedures (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html). You may be tested and/or quarantined if you personally have symptoms or if you’ve been exposed to someone who does. Once you receive your test results, communicate them to your contact from the APG COVID team immediately so you can be cleared to return to work, or if you’re positive, so that future care plans can be discussed.
If someone on your jobsite tests positive, you may be sent home for quarantine and testing. Communicate with someone from the HR Team regarding the testing timeline or for recommendations on testing facilities. Please respond as quickly as possible to requests for information about your CV-19 absence. If you live with someone who tested positive or is exhibiting symptoms, please reach out to the HR Team so that they can advise you. They will need to collect information if you will be missing time at work to provide care. This information is necessary under IRS rules.
We appreciate the cooperation of those employees who have already experienced COVID-related absences, and many thanks to the supervisory team who is coordinating care and returns to work for those going through this process. Overall, the limited number of APG team members who have tested positive (13 as of printing) has been impressive considering the size of our company and the number of jobsites we work at every day. There have been relatively few shutdowns and we are confident that with the continued use of social distancing procedures, proper sanitation practices, and the wearing of masks, our incident rate will continue to decline.
While we’re in this unprecedented situation, it’s important to remember that we’re in it together. What you do at home has an impact on those you work with. We are seeing a trend of employees being exposed to the virus during their off hours. Please use your best judgement and follow CDC guidelines when engaging in social activities on your own time. Practice safety at home the same way you do at work. Please remember to wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, follow proper sanitation procedures, and maintain social distancing, no matter where you are.
Please let someone know, right away, if you are not feeling well. We want you to be safe and healthy whether at work or at home, and the precautionary steps you take may help us avoid jobsite shutdowns and serious illness. Thank you to each and every employee for your continued diligence in this effort, and please keep up the good work! We will get through this as a team.