Our readers were introduced to the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Facility in last April’s issue of Pipeline and we are excited to announce in this issue that this impressive project has reached substantial completion! The Braves finished spring training with a bang on March 24, winning their first game at the new facility, CoolToday Park. We are proud to have played a role in bringing this project to life.
This facility includes a brand-new stadium with 6,200 fixed seats and 1,000 berm seats, six full and two half practice fields, an agility field, batting cages, pitching mounds, parking facilities, a public plaza, and a 55,000 square foot clubhouse and office building. We were awarded an almost $5,000,000 contract for the electrical and life safety portion of the project in early 2018, while the technology and automation scope was written into a separate approximately $2,500,000 contract in September. As soon as we set foot on the job site, we were already behind with no time to prepare, and we had to meet the substantial completion “TCO” date of March 1, 2019. In spite of the challenge, ALL of the APG groups involved met this date!
In order to stay true to our reputation of finishing on time, we used nearly 70,000 man hours. In that time, we installed approximately 225,000 feet of conduit, 813,000 feet of wire, and 565,700 feet of cable—all together, enough to stretch from here to Savannah, GA. We installed all of the sound system speakers, security cameras, coaches’ cameras, access control, 175 televisions, and 175 wireless access points, along with patching in the Braves complete network infrastructure. Our Electrical and Life Safety groups estimated 150 potential change orders (PCO’s), which added $577,394 worth of work. Our Technology and Building Automation groups estimated 37 PCO’s, which added $376,729 worth of work.
This project presented many obstacles to overcome. We got off to a running start with the underground portion, during which we had to pump water out of the conduits daily. Another challenge was the distance. The distance from our office to the project location in North Port, Sarasota County, is about 85 miles. We were also tied to a tight timeline, which meant working many Saturdays and Sundays. From December through March, our team worked many 60+ hour weeks on top of a 3 hour commute each day. We really appreciate the entire field team whose contributions have made this project a success!
We also appreciate the exceptional coordination and organization of Barton Malow and Tandem Construction. Their management ability made this dream a reality, and we were honored that they chose to partner with us. In addition, our thanks go to Vaughn Orluski, Greg Spetrino, Ted Maczuga, Eric Isaksen, George Loop, George Lambert, Jack Chonsky, Eric Brockmeier, RJ Blake, Josh Falini, Henzell Goodison, Denzell Randolph, Tyler Johnson, Augustine Tapia, Eric Talatinian, Matt Diaz, Gene Wilkins, Eric Quinones, and every other employee who shared their skill, dedication, and hard work.
In March of 2017, APG was awarded the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) project by Gilbane Building Company. At nearly $5 million, this contract includes electrical construction, fire alarm, BIM, audio/visual, and voice/data services for a brand-new, five-story, 137,000 square foot building. The museum will include a 100-seat auditorium, a resource library, a children’s education center, an upscale restaurant, a café, a retail store, and event space. The impressive structure will showcase businessman Rudy Ciccarello’s extensive collection of furniture, pottery, tile, metalwork, lighting, photography and other decorative arts from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is expected to have a substantial economic impact on the city of St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay region, drawing locals and tourists alike to this unique collection and period of American history.
Alfonso Architects designed this one-of-a-kind building and has worked together with the owner to ensure that every level of construction is done to the highest standard. For instance, each device that we install (receptacles, light switches, fire alarm strobes, card readers, and light fixtures) must be in perfect alignment so as not to distract from the art on display. Another unique feature of the design is the curved, wood panel acoustical suspended ceiling which will support recessed lighting. A monumental, custom fabricated steel staircase, finished in plaster and housing several light fixtures, will be a focal point of the atrium. Our entire team has risen to the challenge by delivering an installation that accounts for the smallest of details, and we are proud to contribute to the aesthetic of this spectacular museum.
MAACM is expected to be completed later this year. All of us at APG were happy to earn this contract and we greatly appreciate having been selected by Gilbane as their electrical and low voltage contractor of choice. We are proud of the hard work of Senior Estimator Jonathan Henley, Project Manager Josh Smith, Project Superintendent Brent Thomasco, and the entire team on site. Keep up the great work!
Life Safety Special Projects General Superintendent Bruce Balcombe retired on February 1, after 35 years of dedicated service. He will be truly missed by his APG family!
He came to APG on August 6, 1984, the year we were founded, as a journeyman electrician. Though he was already experienced, he went back to school to expand his knowledge and efficiency. Throughout his time with us, he has continued to focus on improving his abilities. Bruce currently holds a Pro Board Fire Inspector and Plans Examiner certification and a NICET Level IV certification, both of which he plans to maintain.
Bruce was always happy to share the knowledge and experience he gained through the years. He enjoyed mentoring, teaching, and training up and coming apprentices, taking time out of his day to help those just starting out in the field. He spent 5 years as an instructor in the IEC apprenticeship program, teaching apprentices two nights a week after a full day’s work. He was also able to assist with the annual IEC Wire Off competition.
Bruce began as an electrician installing fire alarm and building management systems, but his responsibilities grew as APG expanded. With the formation of the Life Safety group, the company hired more employees and took on more challenging projects, which involved the installation of fire alarm, nurse call, and energy management systems. Through the years, Bruce has been involved with some of our largest projects, including St. Joseph’s Hospitals North and South, St. Joseph’s Hospital CEP, and Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. He was especially proud of his work at Islands of Adventure and rightfully so.
We owe you a huge debt of gratitude, Bruce, for 35 years of hard work and dedication. We wish you a long and happy retirement!
On January 23, 1984, APG opened its doors and began providing quality electrical installations in Tampa Bay. On that day thirty-five years ago, our staff consisted of only three people – John Kavula, his wife Pat, and Jerry Lightner. But by the end of that very first year, we had over 25 employees and more than $1,100,000 in sales! We continued to grow, becoming one of the most respected electrical contractors in the state with a reputation for exceptional service and quality.
In 1994, we expanded beyond basic electrical construction and service, adding electrical engineering and design as well as installation and service of low voltage systems such as fire alarm, voice/data/video, security, and building automation. Later, building information modeling and audio/visual systems were added. With all of these skills under one roof, we became a truly full-service electrical contractor, backed by a diverse team of professionals from across the industry.
While we continue our commitment to those principles, growth does inevitably bring change, and we’re constantly working to improve! Some of the positive changes that have been implemented in the past five years include expanding our engineering group to provide full mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology engineering services. Our commitment to safety was bolstered by bringing on Safety Director Sean Hendry, establishing a monthly safety awareness award, and launching our Safe Driving Program with the goal of eliminating accidents and injuries in both company and personal vehicles. We increased our focus on employee wellness by offering health insurance discounts to everyone actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle, introducing our APG Tobacco-Free Initiative, and providing a wholesome and inexpensive lunch in our APG Café.
To stay ahead of our growth and provide quality leadership at every level of the company, President Mike Henley and Executive Vice President Chris Johnson announced the appointment of seven new officers of APG. We now employ almost 450 people, over 100 more than just five years ago! As we’ve continued to scale up, we’ve needed more space for company functions like our annual Safety, Service & Apprenticeship Awards Party, which was held at Ruth Eckerd Hall for the first time last year. Our Clearwater headquarters needed to be expanded and renovated too, and we showcased the new offices in July at our Open House event. It was a big hit with architects, engineers, general contractors, and our industry partners from all over Tampa Bay.
Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction have earned us the continued trust of our customers. Repeat business is the greatest compliment we can receive, so we were truly honored to be awarded full engineering and construction contracts for the expansion projects taking place at St. Joseph’s Hospital North and St. Joseph’s Hospital South. The original construction of these two hospitals remain the largest projects in our company’s history and we’re proud to contribute to their success.
In January 2018, Moss Construction awarded APG a $2.2 million contract for the core and shell electrical and fire alarm portions of the Nova Southeastern University—Dr. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine in Clearwater. Tampa Bay cardiologist, entrepreneur, community leader and philanthropist Dr. Kiran C. Patel provided the gifts and financial commitments to make this project a reality. The mission of the college is to provide learner-centered education for osteopathic medical students, post-graduate trainees, physicians, and other professionals. It will prepare competent and compassionate lifelong learners, support research, scholarly activity, and community service, and advocate for the health and welfare of the community, including the medically underserved.
Our portion of the project has since expanded to a more than $13 million contract, including security, voice/data and BIM services. This job has presented unique challenges. One is the location near the Courtney Campbell Causeway, close to the water. Due to the low elevation and proximity to the bay, the entire site had to be built up. The marshy surroundings also mean that working during dawn or dusk involves battling mosquitoes. The compressed schedule has also been a difficulty, as the building is 225,000 square feet. Thanks to the hard work and skill of our team, we are overcoming these challenges, and we are grateful for their dedication.
This design-assist project has also offered many opportunities for us to use our talents and abilities. We were brought into the process while the project was still in design development. We then collaborated with Moss Construction, Dr. Patel’s team, NSU, ACAI Associates, Baker Barrios Architects and RDG Consulting Engineers to produce the construction documents, all while the building is being constructed, saving time and increasing efficiencies and quality. We are able to draw on our many years in the industry, specifically our experience with design-assist, to ensure that we deliver a quality product, on time and in budget. This results in a project that the entire team can be proud of.
Project Superintendent DJ Hall and his large crew of field technicians have been going above and beyond to keep the project on track and in budget. We are confident that this complex project will be complete in June 2019 in order to be open for students in the fall semester next year. We are happy to play a role in bringing this college to life, as we know that it will continue to have a positive impact on the Tampa Bay area.
All of us at APG were excited to earn this contract and we greatly appreciate having been selected by Moss Construction as their electrical contractor of choice. We are proud of the hard work of Terry Ryan, preconstruction special projects, Austin Buxton, senior project manager, DJ Hall, project superintendent, and the entire team on site. Keep up the great work!
Every year, APG sends a group of employees to the Florida Healthcare Engineering Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show. For the past several years, the FHEA has held their trade show in conjunction with the annual seminar put on by the Office of Plans and Construction in the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). These two events combined draw thousands of professionals in the healthcare facilities industry from all over the state, and this year was no exception!
This year the conference returned to the Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando on October 8 and 9, with the theme: “Back to the Basics of Health Care Design and Construction.” APG was well represented by members from all over the company. Our booth at the trade show was a major hit and hundreds of visitors stopped by to discuss trends in construction, upcoming projects, and where the industry is headed. A television screen scrolled through pictures of our many completed and ongoing healthcare projects, and several people stopped by just to marvel at the work on display. We are incredibly proud of the work of our field technicians and this booth gave us a chance to show everyone why.
While our estimators, project managers, and business developers visited with general contractors, product vendors, and healthcare facilities professionals at the trade show, our engineers attended seminars on designing and building the best health care environments, getting back to the basics of doing things right the first time, something our company takes very seriously. Various break-away sessions gave them an opportunity to network with other designers from all over Florida and to explain why the APG engineering model is proving so successful. When one company is able to provide full MEPT engineering services and then actually install the electrical and low voltage systems themselves, the owner wins.
APG was excited to get started on this project and quickly assembled a talented team. Led by Project Superintendent Chris Gobright and Project Manager Brian Stine, our field technicians have been going above and beyond to keep this complex job on track and in budget. We are especially proud of how they reacted to and overcame a recent challenge. For reasons beyond our control, we were left with only 30 days to meet the scheduled permanent power date, which was a daunting task considering the amount of work left to be done. For many contractors, that deadline simply wouldn’t have been met. But thanks to our constantly growing workforce, APG had the manpower to make it happen. Several of our project superintendents and their crews rallied together, working 10 hour days and weekends to meet this extremely aggressive schedule. Brian Stine reported that an astounding 4,700 hours of overtime were worked in this 30-day period alone. True to our reputation, APG did everything it took to meet the deadline! This is all the more impressive considering that we’ve installed nearly 53 miles of conduit, 198 miles of wire, and three paralleled 1,500kW emergency generators. Our Technology Group will be installing seventeen fully integrated audio visual conference rooms, six video walls that have the ability to display all traffic cameras in St. Petersburg and 122 TV monitors with IPTV capability throughout the facility.
Ensuring that more than $70 million of active projects are equipped with the right tools, materials, and storage trailers, while also maintaining our 50,000 square foot headquarters, is no easy feat. Luckily for us, we have Warehouse Manager Bruce Lyle and his team of Ralph Cordasco, Mick Mitchell, and John Kadlec to keep our ship sailing smoothly.
With over $3 million worth of tools in our inventory, including power tools, ladders, material carts, safety gear, and more, the warehouse team is kept busy moving these between projects, and doing maintenance and inspections when these tools return to the shop. Currently, we are replacing hundreds of our older power tools with new, standardized Milwaukee brand tools. The team has also been preparing a new mobile prefabrication shop, which will be stationed on large projects to help speed up production. This trailer will house a smart bender, table bender, band saw, heat boxes, a threader, and a shearing machine.
Around our property, the warehouse team completes important maintenance tasks throughout the day to keep everything in order. They empty the trash, ensure the restrooms have paper products and soap, change lightbulbs and ballasts, move furniture, setup and breakdown for special events, deliver packages, and oversee renovation and other maintenance contractors. Their work is often behind the scenes but it doesn’t go unnoticed.
A big thank you to the Warehouse team for your daily hard work and dedication!