ACEC Florida President Tom Hayden, PE

To the ACEC Florida Community,

As I enter the last couple of months of my term as President of ACEC Florida, I have been reviewing my goals and initiatives for the year to ensure I have time to complete what I started before Andy Lauzier is sworn in as the new President at the July Annual Conference.

My first objective this year was to work with our staff to upgrade our membership database system with the new Your Membership software we purchased last July. Our headquarters staff has been diligently working on this assignment and has completed the integration of our database from our old system to our new system. Amanda Hudson was the leader of this integration effort, and she did a fantastic job completing the assignment on schedule despite a multitude of issues that required workarounds to complete the process.

Currently, the Member Services Committee and the Executive Committee are about to begin working on testing the individual member profile database internally before we open it up to our member firms. We are doing this exercise to hopefully work through all the kinks so that it will be an easy process when we open it up to members (of member firms) who want to set up their online ACEC Florida profile. The creation of these individual profiles will be critical to ACEC Florida moving forward, as it will allow us to keep track of the rosters on each of our essential committees and will allow us to reach out to individuals more easily when an ACEC Florida event occurs within their region. In addition, it will enable us to keep individuals apprised of any issues arising within their region that affect the engineering business. I genuinely want to take a moment to thank all the staff and all the members who helped make this database integration smooth and seamless, as it has been a significant undertaking.

My second objective this year was to serve as the Co-Chair of the ACEC Florida/FES Building Committee as we evaluate what to do with our existing headquarters building (and adjacent parking lot facility) in Tallahassee. The Building Committee was tasked to evaluate the existing condition of the two properties we own and summarize the repairs needed to rehabilitate the building back to its original condition. To quantify the repair costs needed, the Building Committee was tasked to hire architects, engineering firms, and contractors to prepare preliminary cost estimates of the improvements necessary at our existing properties. These estimates and quotes have been summarized in a White Paper that the Building Committee will submit to the Board of Directors of both Societies prior to our Annual Conference in July.

Upon investigation, it was determined that water is currently intruding into the building envelope from some of the existing window seals, as the window seals have exceeded their intended design life. This condition is causing water to work through the exterior masonry and leak into various offices within the building, causing water damage.

In addition, we were informed that our HVAC system and roof membrane will need a complete overhaul in a couple of years, which will be significant expenses that would need to be budgeted for in the future. Two of the three floors in our headquarters building, which are currently utilized by our staff, also need significant revitalization. It was recommended that these floors be completely renovated to bring them up to code, including improvements to the existing lighting, repairs to the existing drop ceiling, renovations to the existing bathrooms and break rooms, and replacement of the existing lighting system.

Finally, it has come to our attention that our parking facility located next to our headquarters building has an existing retaining wall that has fallen into disrepair, along with the building structure on that property. Based on discussions with experts, the preliminary recommendation would be to demolish the existing building structure on that site and develop a remedial repair to tie back the existing retaining wall to stabilize the slope.

Once the Building Committee completes the White Paper review of the existing conditions of the properties, it will be presented to both Society’s Board of Directors at the Annual Conference in July. At that time, both Boards will discuss the direction we should take moving forward.  We are evaluating all options regarding what to do, including the option to repair the properties, the option to sell the properties and rent space, and the option to sell the properties and purchase a different property that is in new condition.  No matter which option is ultimately chosen by both Society’s Board of Directors, our member firms can be assured that ACEC Florida will remain the preeminent organization in the State of Florida that represents and protects the business of engineering.

Should any of our member firms have thoughts on the matter, we very much welcome your feedback. I would love to hear from you, so feel free to call or email me with your thoughts, and I will ensure that your views are represented in future Board discussions on this matter.

Sincerely,

Tom Hayden, P.E.
Vice President / Senior Geotechnical Engineer
Environmental and Geotechnical Specialists (EGS)
Tom.Hayden@egs-us.com | www.egs-us.com

Published On: May 17th, 2024

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