Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee
Nov. 5, 2008Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
BE IT REMEMBERED, that heretofore on the 5th day of November, 2008, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex, to wit:
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
- John D. Parker, Lufkin, Texas, Committee Chairman
- Peter M. Holt, San Antonio, Texas, Chairman
- Mark E. Bivins, Amarillo, Texas
- J. Robert Brown, El Paso, Texas
- Ralph H. Duggins, Fort Worth, Texas
- Antonio Falcon, MD, Rio Grande City, Texas
- T. Dan Friedkin, Houston, Texas, Vice Chairman
- Karen J. Hixon, San Antonio, Texas
- Margaret Martin, Boerne, Texas
THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
- Carter P. Smith, Executive Director, and other personnel of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
P R O C E E D I N G S
COMMISSIONER HOLT: We'll go to Infrastructure with Commissioner John Parker.
COMMISSIONER PARKER: Are we ready? First order of business is the approval of the minutes from the previous committee meeting, which is — have already been distributed. Is there a motion for approval?
COMMISSIONER HOLT: So move.
COMMISSIONER BROWN: Second.
COMMISSIONER PARKER: All in favor say yes.
(A chorus of ayes.)
COMMISSIONER PARKER: Okay. Committee Item Number 1, Update on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan. Mr. Smith?
MR. SMITH: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, appreciate it. I guess just two items very, very quickly. I think as all of you are aware in late summer the Legislative Budget Board approved this suite of major capital repair projects that we had put forth for authorization.
The Infrastructure team has bundled about two-thirds of those into large geographic packages to comport with our three Infrastructure divisions. We put those out for bid for the design phase. The design consultants have been selected for each one of those, and that is moving ahead.
We have since followed up with putting those out for bid for the construction managers who would manage the construction manager at risk contracts for each one of those packages. And while we had a very large attendance and interest at the pre-bid conference for that ultimately we only ended up getting four bids for those three packages. And so our team is doing the due diligence on those firms right now and hopes to be making a decision on that so we can move ahead posthaste with those critically important repairs.
I see our old friend Steve Whiston out there in the audience. Steve, nice to see you again. And reminds me of the second item, which is we have to find a successor for Steve Whiston. And so Scott Boruff is working with our executive recruiter to recruit a new Director of Infrastructure. I think they're going to be conducting interviews in the next two weeks, and so hope to have somebody on board around Thanksgiving — or at least somebody selected around Thanksgiving or, certainly, before Christmas. So glad that that process is underway and more to report on that as it develops. So, Mr. Chairman, that's it for me. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER PARKER: Very good. Thank you. Scott will have an update on the status of our Texas Parks and Wildlife Capital Program and Capital Projects — area state parks. I would like to introduce to you — Mr. Scott Stover, who is working in Infrastructure now. Scott?
MR. BORUFF: I just wanted to take a moment, folks, number one, to just make sure the record is clear. We did get four responses to proposals. We put out a request for proposals for the construction of the packages and we got four construction outfits that responded to the request. We have yet to get bids from them. We are currently doing our due diligence to see whether their qualifications meet or not, so I just wanted to make sure the record is clear on that.
And then the reason I came up here — for the record, my name is Scott Boruff, and I'm still employed the same way I was earlier. The — Steve Whiston, as you may know, retired about a month ago — month-and-a-half ago. Prior to Steve coming on back in May we went out and looked for a Deputy Division Director. We were fortunate to find Mr. Scott Stover, and I thought I'd take just a minute to introduce Scott to you here before he takes his first bite at the apple in front of the Commission.
Scott came from San Antonio. He's a licensed landscape architect. He was with the City of San Antonio for 14 years there as their project — their capital project manager for lots of capital projects. In 14 years he got 14 awards there for design and construction innovation. So I guess about once a year he's taken down an award. I hope he keeps that up with us.
Most notably, he was responsible for a $7 million renovation to the San Pedro Springs Park, which is the second oldest public park in the country. And prior to his work with the City of San Antonio he was in the private sector for 13 years. So Scott has a lot of experience. We're really lucky to have him on board. He's been with us since May as the deputy director. And since Mr. Whiston's departure six or eight weeks ago he's been the acting Division Director for the Infrastructure Division.
So we'd like to welcome you here, Scott, and look forward to your presentation.
MR. STOVER: Thank you. Thank you, Scott. Wanted to start off and give you kind of an update. Usually you get an update on programs and specific projects, but I thought I would start off and just kind of show you what overall the division is doing and what projects we're working on.
As far as workload, we currently are overseeing about 202 projects, $121 million worth of work, not including the Battleship because we don't have the funds for that yet. But kind of gives you a perspective of the amount of projects that the agency is currently overseeing.
The '06 bonds — we've been giving you updates on those at every meeting because we're coming close to the end where we need to expend those funds. We have completed a few more projects since the last meeting and we are still on schedule for completing the last 24 projects by September of next year. So those are on schedule.
The '08-'09 — as Carter and Scott alluded to, we are well on our way with selection of design firms for the three packages. We also are on our way for the construction contracts as well. And, as far as — since your last meeting in September the bond proceeds became available. In October we received 23 responses to the A&E packages. We reviewed those, selected the three firms which we're negotiating with, and should have contracts for those this month. We also received the CMR — the construction packages as well. We hope to have those under contract by January.
MR. BORUFF: Scott, be sure you explain what these acronyms are to these folks.
MR. STOVER: Yes, sir. Construction manager at risk are the construction firms that we will hire on early on that will work with our consultants during the design process to help get a better design for the projects, recommend materials — that maybe they know some things that the A&E firms don't know as far as what may be priced lower or higher in certain instances. But they become part of the design team, just as the A&E and just as our staff so that everybody works as a team early on in the project. We don't wait to bid the project towards the end. They become part of the team early on.
We're looking at awarding those contracts in January and starting construction actually on some of the in-house projects — we've started six of those projects already with our in-house force account crew.
Projects under the CMR contractor will be later on beginning, probably next summer — construction completed — starting in November of '10 through November of '11 and our program completion by November of 2011.
This map shows the distribution of the projects in the '08-'09 packages. And they're pretty much spread out throughout the whole state. The different colors represent the three regions — or the three packages that those projects are divided up into.
We're going to go into now some of the specific projects — some of the major ones that we're currently working on. Texas Game Warden Academy Phase 1 — just this week we signed our guaranteed maximum price with the contractor for $7.5 million out of our $9.4 million budget. CMR proposal was received. He should start work by the end of this month on mobilizing on site and getting work ready. And Phase 1 construction will be completed by December of next year.
Battleship Texas — as you heard at the last meeting we did submit our plan to the LBB in July. We're waiting for approval of that plan so we can proceed to seek the funding. We hope to have that by November 24th so we can meet the Texas Public Finance Authority meeting in December, followed by the Bond Review Board in January, and then receiving those funds sometime in early February.
Taking that into account, we start the quest to hire a consultant in November of this year — actually this month — start the design in a federal resource clearance, which is environmental, archeological, historical type aspects — to begin all that work in March of next year, completing that in April of 2011 — starting construction that summer and complete it a year later in 2012.
MR. BORUFF: I'd like to interject here. That schedule is ambitious and subject to some significant risk for lots of different factors. I'm not going to keep you here long talking about them. I just want you to know this is what we hope would happen. There is some risk the schedule will be delayed for lots of reasons, number one being we haven't gotten the authority to issue the bonds, and we don't know that that will happen by November 24th, which is rapidly approaching. If we don't get the bonds until November 24th we're going to miss that cycle that would allow us to issue those bonds early next year. So that's the first big risk.
Second big risk is this is a unique project that takes unique resources that are not readily available around the country. And the third is there is a debate out there about whether the ship should stay where it is or go somewhere else or whatever. So there is — the schedule's at risk — make sure everybody understood that.
MR. STOVER: East Texas Fish Hatchery — started construction this summer. There was a groundbreaking in August, which many of you attended, including Commissioner Parker. We expect to have that construction completed in summer of 2010. Since July they finished about 20 percent of the site work for the buildings and for the ponds. And over 50 percent of the utility work to service those buildings and the ponds have been completed as well.
A new project that we've not reported on before is the new headquarters for coastal fisheries at Port O'Connor. They're currently in an old building that's kind of a World War II era facility. They've kind of outgrown those needs. This new building will be an 8,500 square foot two-story building which will be LEED — meeting LEED standards — or green building standards — but will not be certified. Has a $2.1 million budget overall. Design is 50 percent complete. Construction's starting next spring and finished in summer of 2010.
The last single project I'd like to report on is the Sheldon Lake Observation Tower. It's a 60-foot observation tower within the park. We're having a design charrette with the architects this week to start the design work on that. And the tower will be accessible to people in wheelchairs — there will be an elevator in it. And, again, we'll be using green building techniques to design and build that tower, including managed harvested wood for the lumber, solar power for the electrical systems, and using oil-fueled piping — be used for some of the structural components. That project will finish design in March, construction start in July, and construction complete in February of 2010.
At the same site there's a related project, Sheldon Visitor Learning Center. We're partnering with the Audubon Society on that project. Their board of directors approved last month to commit to raise $7.5 million to build this Visitor Learning Center. And we're working on a contract with them now which we hope to bring to the board at the January meeting.
We're going to be using the new Trinity Center, their Audubon Center up in Dallas, as a model for this project. And there will be a team of our staff going up next week to take a tour of that facility and see what that building was built like and what features are in that facility.
And that's the conclusion of the presentation. Be happy to answer any questions.
COMMISSIONER PARKER: Any discussion?
MR. BORUFF: We'll get you out of here five minutes before 5:00.
COMMISSIONER PARKER: Thank you for your presentation.
COMMISSIONER HOLT: Thank you. There's a lot there.
COMMISSIONER PARKER: No further action required.
COMMISSIONER HOLT: I think that we're declared adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 5:00 p.m., the Ad Hoc Infrastructure meeting was concluded.)
C E R T I F I C A T E
MEETING OF: Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
DATE: November 5, 2008
I do hereby certify that the foregoing pages, numbers 1 through 12, inclusive, are the true, accurate, and complete transcript prepared from the verbal recording made by electronic recording by Penny Bynum before the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.
On the Record Reporting
3307 Northland, Suite 315
Austin, Texas 78731