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Issue 08

A publication of Goodwyn Mills Cawood

Building Communities A closer look at GMC’s growing Environmental team Celebrating women in the architecture & engineering industry

And the award goes to… GMC’s Day of Service, project updates and more


We believe in community, collaboration and using the power of creativity and hard work to make a difference - in our hearts, homes, city, nation and world. We believe in hope, progress, beauty, and big ideas. We believe that people like us, need us. We are not just an engineering firm. We are not just architects. We are artists, designers, thinkers, doers, makers, and storytellers GMC Manifesto dedicated to doing great work, for good. We partner with passionate and like-minded individuals, businesses, organizations, and causes that have aggressive hopes and goals for tomorrow and beyond. Dreaming big is the only way to make big dreams come true, and we know that our solutions can only be as great as the people we serve. Communities are built by people, not companies. And it is that foundational concept that drives how we approach every project, big or small. Because it’s the passion and drive of individuals that feeds the growth and development of what’s next. Together, we will be smart. We will be relevant. We will be meaningful. We will be kind, supportive, enthusiastic and – at the very least – the very best we can be. We are – and will continue to be – a collaborative organization driven by the power of building better, happier, healthier, thriving communities. And we are committed to working with folks who share our vision for realizing their full potential, because we know that great engineering and architecture helps make communities better, for everyone. We believe in community, collaboration and using the power of creativity and hard work to make a difference - in our hearts, homes, city, nation and world. We believe in hope, progress, beauty, and big ideas. We believe that people like us, need us. We are not just an engineering firm. We are not just architects. We are artists, designers, thinkers, doers, makers, and storytellers dedicated to doing great work, for good. We partner with passionate and like-minded individuals, businesses, organizations, and causes that have aggressive hopes and goals for tomorrow and beyond. Dreaming big is the only way to make big dreams come true, and we know that our solutions can only be as great as the people we serve. Communities are built by people, not companies. And it is that foundational concept that drives how we approach every project, big or small. Because it’s the passion and drive of individuals that feeds the growth and development of what’s next. Together, we will be smart. We will be relevant. We will be meaningful. We will be kind, supportive, enthusiastic and – at the very least – the very best we can be. We are – and will continue to be – a collaborative organization driven by the power of building better, 2 SCHEMA happier, healthier, thriving communities. And we are committed to working with folks who share our vision for realizing their full potential, because we


ON THE COVER Tiawasee Creek stream restoration project in Daphne, Alabama

CONTENTS Schema is a publication of GMC designed to keep clients, business partners, employees and others informed on company news and to provide insight on industry trends and issues. Don’t miss an issue! Subscribe at www.gmcnetwork.com

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A PATTERN OF GROWTH

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AND THE AWARD GOES TO…

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION

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CELEBRATING WOMEN IN THE AE INDUSTRY

PROJECT UPDATES

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POARCH BAND OF CREEK INDIANS BUILDING 100 AND 200

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AROUND THE NETWORK

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A Pattern of Growth GMC’s Environmental Group Expands MultiDisciplinary Toolbox across the Southeast

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oodwyn, Mills and Cawood (GMC) is proactively expanding its evolving Environmental Group and tapping into a growing need for multi-disciplinary services across the Southeast. Key acquisitions in Georgia and Alabama over the last few years, along

with some strategic hires and promotions, have given the “onestop-shop” design firm an unparalleled assortment of services. It has been an exercise in synergy, as the assimilation of the various offices into a single cohesive unit has already produced a profusion of cross collaboration and knowledge sharing. Led by Executive Vice President Jof Mehaffey, GMC’s Environmental Group is spread throughout the Southeast, with team members located in Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta, Brunswick and Savannah, Ga.; Greenville, S.C.; and Nashville, Tenn. The Environmental team’s range of services is extensive, including environmental site assessments; wetland delineations, permitting and mitigation; constructed wetland design; stream restoration design and construction; endangered and threatened species surveys; floodplain studies; stormwater management, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling; watershed management planning; GIS; mitigation banking; brownfield

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projects; air permitting; and landfill design and permitting, among others. With the addition of Ecological Planning Group in Savannah, Ga., in late 2018, the environmental team appreciably expanded its services to include, stormwater management planning, green infrastructure, in-depth floodplain modeling and stormwater utility development. The acquisition also represents a significant expansion of GMC’s geographic footprint and provides the firm with a unique opportunity to enhance the company’s portfolio. “We’re able to train our staff and further develop their expertise to expand our services to various regions. For example, one of our former EPG engineers spent time in our Birmingham office to learn about stream restoration, and one of our Atlanta team members is currently working in Montgomery to learn from our engineers there,” Mehaffey says. “This enables them to take that suite of services back to their respective regions and help us grow that part of our business.” With its five-year growth plan still in development, GMC’s Environmental Group offers clients a more comprehensive way to approach projects that require multiple engineers,


consultants and subconsultants. Most recently, team members from multiple offices within the Environmental Group were awarded floodplain modeling in Columbus, a watershed management plan in Birmingham, and GIS infrastructure mapping near Greenville – showcasing their ability to work together across regional and state lines.

Walters’ office leans heavily on the expertise of GMC’s vast network, “pulling in folks in from Nashville, Greenville, Birmingham, Montgomery and others,” he says. “Our expertise is so much deeper now.” He also plans to leverage the recent acquisition of HMR Engineers in Daphne, Ala. – a surveying and civil engineering firm – to land additional work, as it further enhances GMC’s portfolio.

A Regional Perspective GMC’s Environmental Group has divided its territory into three regions – Mehaffey is over the North Region, including Birmingham and Nashville; Courtney Reich (former owner of EPG) heads the East Region, including Atlanta, Brunswick, Greenville and Savannah; and Lee Walters heads the South Region, including Mobile and Montgomery. Walters, a 20-year GMC veteran, assists with several multidisciplinary projects and also sits on GMC’s board of directors. “There aren’t many firms that do all of the things we do,” he says. “We provide our clients with more control over the entire process – the planning, surveying, engineering, environmental, landscape architecture, etc., all working together.”

Collaboration among the firm’s various environmental regions is key to their success. The Mobile office is developing a watershed management plan for the western shore of Mobile Bay in conjunction with the Savannah office, which they collaboratively pursued together. The 15-month project kicked off in late spring, and marks the third project completed for the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. The Mobile Bay NEP has been a key partner in the South Region, as it oversees restoration dollars coming into Mobile and Baldwin counties. “We’ve been fortunate to work with them on various watershed management plans, studying critical issues and developing restoration projects,” Walters says. “In the process, we’ll seek to understand the problems through meetings with the community, as well as perform GMC 5


We are not only environmental engineers; we are ecologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, planners, and survey specialists, giving us a unique, interdisciplinary perspective.

data reviews and characterizations to understand the critical areas and issues. We want to identify those areas of focus for the watershed.” Also in collaboration with the East Region, Walters’ office is assisting Mobile County in the establishment of a CRS (Community Rating System) that will enable it to obtain credits for stormwater management through the implementation of educational programs. “By having a CRS, residents could ultimately experience a 5 to 25 percent decrease in their flood insurance.” The East Region has its own unique skillset, specializing in stormwater master planning, watershed modeling and assisting local governments with stormwater regulatory compliance, along with a host of other services. The region’s expertise in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has been particularly useful. Used extensively in the development of watershed plans, GIS offers mapping capabilities that can be used across all GMC divisions. Further differentiating the region is its background in green infrastructure and low-impact developments, led by water resources engineer Rob Brown, PhD, PE.

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The East Region also specializes in floodplain management for communities in the National Flood Insurance Program, which requires local governments to administer those programs and adopt ordinances and implement educational programs. The office’s portfolio of projects is extensive – including the development of a Carrying Capacity Study for the City of Tybee Island, Ga.; master plan and zoning ordinance updates for the City of St. Mary's, Ga.; and a stormwater utility and stormwater master plan for the City of Statesboro, Ga. Looking ahead, Mehaffey is excited about the department’s continued collaboration and ongoing development of their team members. These expanded capabilities can only serve to further differentiate the Environmental group. “We can provide a multitude of services because of our team’s diverse training and capabilities. We are not only environmental engineers; we are ecologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, planners, and survey specialists, giving us a unique, interdisciplinary perspective,” he adds. “We’ve grown stronger over the last couple years through expansion and acquisition of staff and facilities, and we foresee many more opportunities for growth ahead.”


Sustainable Solution:

(L to R) Galen Thackston of GMC, Adam Rhodes of ADEM and Jason Montgomery of the Montgomery YMCA stand on a rubber pad made of recycled scrap tire material in front of one of the player benches.

ADEM Scrap Tire Program tackles issue at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex

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he Montgomery Area YMCA Emory Folmar Soccer Complex in Montgomery, Alabama, is one of the state’s premier soccer complexes, comprising ten regulation soccer fields, including a two-field stadium with seating capacity for 4,000. The stateof-the-art facility has served as the host venue for the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship, Southern States Athletic Conference Championship, Alabama State Soccer Association Final Four and Governor’s Cup, among others. As a result of constant utilization for games, tournaments, practices and other events throughout the year, the complex undergoes a lot of wear and tear. One of the major problem areas was the space in front of the player benches in the stadium. This area receives a lot of foot traffic, making it almost impossible for grass to grow and often turning it into a mud pit. The YMCA needed a solution that would be safe for players, porous and durable, in addition to cost effective. In 2004, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) launched its Scrap Tire Program, following the passage of the Alabama Scrap Tire Environmental Quality Act in 2003. This Act was designed to comprehensively regulate scrap tire accumulations and provide for cleanup and remediation of illegal scrap tire piles. The Act also placed a $1 per tire fee on all replacement tires sold to establish a scrap tire fund, which funds efforts for remediation of scrap tire sites and disposal and reuse of scrap tires. Scrap tire material can be repurposed to serve as an alternative to traditional materials used for energy, manufacturing and engineering projects. In the YMCA’s case, the recycled material would be used to provide rubber padding around and between the player benches, alleviating the issues with these areas and creating a more aesthetic and sustainable facility. GMC engineers worked with the YMCA to submit a grant application to ADEM to fund the project through the Scrap Tire Marketing Fund. Each of the four player benches sits on an approximately 5-by-17-foot concrete pad. The YMCA requested funding for a recycled rubber pad around each of the concrete pads, extending 6 feet in front and 6 feet on either side of the bench, in addition to a 5-foot sidewalk between the benches on each field. ADEM awarded the grant to the YMCA in 2017, making it

possible for the project to move forward. “Alabama generates more than five million scrap tires each year, many of them destined for disposal. ADEM is working to reduce the number of tires that are sent to landfills. This effort extends the life of existing landfills, conserves natural resources and provides economic benefits by enhancing the use of recycled materials,” said Adam Rhodes of the ADEM Land Division’s Materials Management Section. “The material used at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex is an example of the many uses for recycled tire material.” In addition to assisting with the grant application, GMC donated its services to design the project and provide construction oversight. The sidelines were regraded, and concrete pads and a swale were created so water would run off the field toward the benches. The porosity of the recycled material allows water to move through the surface to the concrete below, where it is then carried to the onsite stormwater drainage system. The City of Montgomery also played a key role in bringing the project to fruition. City crews assisted with construction and maintain the fields to ensure they are “competition ready” – a much easier task upon completion of the scrap tire project. The innovative utilization of a recycled product gives participants in the soccer program, as well as spectators, the opportunity to learn about repurposed materials. The YMCA has mounted educational signage near the pads recognizing ADEM for contributing the recycled tire pads to enhance the facility and raising awareness of the recycled tire program among the estimated 100,000+ annual visitors to the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex. This project serves as a prime example of a sustainable and cost-effective solution that could be replicated at athletic complexes throughout the region. GMC 7


And the award goes to… Congratulations to the project teams on these recent achievements!

The Grand Hotel Renovation Best of Hospitality, IIDA Alabama IDIE Awards Merit Award, AIA Montgomery Design Awards The International Interior Design Association – Alabama Chapter (IIDA-AL) presented the Best of Hospitality Award to GMC for The Grand Hotel renovation at the 2019 IDIE Awards. GMC served as the architect, interior designer and landscape architect for the transformational project, converting The Grand Hotel to an Autograph Collection Hotel and capturing the timeless essence of the storied and historic “Queen of Southern Resorts.” Upgraded guestrooms, fully-renovated conference center and spa, and reinvented restaurant and bar venues bring a refreshing, yet classic, sense of place to the beloved Alabama resort. The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) charged the design team with protecting The Grand’s legacy and commemorating its rich history, while rehabilitating the property to assure a wonderful guest experience. The more than 30-acre property, heavily populated with majestic Live Oaks, encompasses 405 guest rooms and more than 400,000 square feet spread across a dozen buildings ranging from 25 to 100+ years old. c The design celebrates the variety

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of styles each building presents, but it is the outdoor spaces, landscape and vistas across Mobile Bay that tie it all together. The Historic Main Building features the Grand Central reception desk, historic Hearth Room with its revered hexagonal twostory fireplace, Bucky’s Bar & Lounge, The Grand Hall, Oak + Azalea Gift Shop, new 1847 Bar and two new restaurants delivering locally-inspired, fresh and creative dining offerings. The Historic Main Building guestrooms are inspired by The Grand’s military past; the Bay and Marina House guestrooms provide a contextual mid-century aesthetic with nods to important nautical history; and the Spa Building guestrooms and suites reflect a modern-day Fairhope residence. New outdoor amenities include poolside cabanas, a distinctive waterfront entrance pavilion into the pool area and the trellised chef’s garden.


Pelham Park Middle School Merit Award, AIA Birmingham Design Awards  labama Concrete Industries Association Top Block A Award, AIA Alabama  chool Library of the Year, Alabama School Library S Association Since opening for the 2018-19 school year, Pelham Park Middle School has been recognized with several awards and honors receiving AIA Birmingham Design Awards 2019 Merit Award, Alabama Concrete Industries Association Top Block Award and Alabama School Library Association’s Library of the Year. Magic City Design Awards jurors praised the design, citing “an open light filled quality to the space that seems both respectful of the civil nature of the school program, but that also creates playful space appropriate for a middle school.” Designed for 800 students, grades 6-8, Pelham Park Middle resembles a park-like setting with natural materials, honest forms and modern touches. The school consists of two stories of classrooms followed by a connector that separates the two courtyards and connects the school to the cafeteria and gym. The main feature of the building is its atrium, featuring a structural system that adds to the purity of the design and creates another layer of visual interest to the space. At night, the atrium becomes a focal point, with its internal light illuminating the space from all sides as well as lighting up the unique structure. The building contributes to the educational aspect of the school by incorporating a series of educational graphics that are inset into the polished concrete floor and closely located to their corresponding subjects. Careful attention was paid to the curriculum model to ensure the information was relevant, with

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visuals such as the solar system, a compass, musical scales and a world map, that students and teachers can interact with on a daily basis. The exterior greenspace is marked by two secure courtyards separated by a light-filled connector which links the classrooms to the cafeteria and gym. In keeping with its connection to the outdoors, the connector’s structural outriggers direct water to concrete catch-basins, creating a series of waterfalls which empty into a landscaped bio-swale. Throughout the building, traditional elements and materials were pushed to perform in both an innovative and modern way. In many cases, brick appears to be suspended above corners of glass, while other parts of the façade begin to test textures and organizational patterns within the brick. The natural elements incorporated into the school worked their way into the furniture and other interior elements.

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Birmingham Zoo Arrival Experience and Welcome Plaza 2019 Building Birmingham Award Honoree The Birmingham Zoo was recognized as an honoree at the inaugural Building Birmingham Awards. The Zoo opened the new Arrival Experience and Welcome Plaza in June, completing Phase 2 of its $18.6 million Renew the Zoo Capital Campaign. The Arrival Experience features a new two-story building, restrooms, two plazas, an outdoor classroom, natural play areas and an event lawn. The existing entry was repurposed for group entry with a separate gathering zone. The new front entry plaza allows room for queuing and ticketing before passing through the entry gates under the large canopy of the new main building which includes a gift shop, administrative offices and education center. Past the gates, the large plaza provides plenty of gathering space for families and groups, with seating walls and a view into the zoo exhibits from the elevated plaza. The event lawn and green park area replaced two ponds and former fish hatcheries near the front entrance and provides a venue for Zoo events, as well as gatherings for festivals, performances and celebrations. The parking area was also expanded and enhanced with a natural visitor experience that preserved 70% of the existing trees and created an entrance path underneath a shaded tree canopy where visitors begin their zoo excursions. All of these enhancements were designed to create a better visitor experience, accommodate more guests, provide greater accessibility and advance the Zoo’s educational programs.

Other Recent Awards

Clearview Elementary School

 Outstanding Project Award, Learning By Design Spring 2019 Architectural Portfolio Coppinville Junior High School  Outstanding Project Award, Learning By Design Spring 2019 Architectural Portfolio Hanceville Wastewater Treatment Plant Solar Energy System  Award of Excellence, Engineering Design, ABC North Alabama Excellence in Construction Awards The Finley Center  Merit Award, AIA Montgomery Design Awards UAB Football Operations Center and Legacy Pavilion Athletic Business 2019 Architectural Showcase

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Project Updates A snapshot of a few projects recently completed and currently underway

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Clemson University Softball Complex

McMinn Center of Higher Education

Clemson, South Carolina

Athens, Tennessee

Clemson University’s first-ever softball team began play in January 2020 with a new softball complex to call home. The stadium features 1,000 fixed chairback seats, in addition to berm seating. The facility also includes a team clubhouse with more than 12,000 square feet of conditioned space that houses a team lounge, locker room, sports medicine room, equipment room, and coaches’ offices, in addition to locker rooms for the coaches, umpires and visiting team. The complex includes an indoor player development hitting facility spanning more than 6,000 square feet. Additional accommodations of the stadium include a press box with three broadcast booths and a videoboard. GMC designed the facility, with DPR Construction as the contractor.

The McMinn Center of Higher Education will allow collaboration between the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Athens, Cleveland State Community College, University of Tennessee Extension, Adult Education, and local industry. The new 51,500-squarefoot, two-story academic facility sits on a 9.52-acre site and includes classrooms, laboratories, high-bay vocational labs, administrative offices, a multipurpose meeting space with demonstration kitchen, and support spaces. New parking, site development, landscaping and utility infrastructure are also part of the project, which is being designed to meet the state’s High-Performance Building Requirements (HPBr). GMC is providing civil engineering, architecture, interior design and construction administration services for the project, which broke ground in September and is slated for completion in October 2020.

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Preliminary conceptual design

Health First Health and Wellness Villages

Fayetteville City Hall and City Center Park

Merritt Island, Palm Bay and Melbourne, Florida

Fayetteville, Georgia

Two years ago, GMC began working with Health First on a system-wide master plan. GMC was initially asked to design a replacement for its hospital in Cape Canaveral, Fla.; however, the community healthcare system ultimately developed a broader solution that involved moving the hospital from Cape Canaveral to Merritt Island and building two health and wellness villages in Palm Bay and Melbourne, Fla. These new healthcare developments will include medical office space for outpatient services, retail space, and greenspace, providing an enhanced customer healthcare experience. This approach to placemaking champions the idea of integrating health into everyday life by offering a variety of spaces for community involvement and healthy activity. GMC’s numerous inhouse disciplines and broad range of experience including healthcare and retail architecture, mixed-use development, master planning, landscape architecture, trail design and more, made the firm a clear partner to help Health First achieve its vision for these unique projects.

The City of Fayetteville retained GMC to design a new multi-story City Hall, along with a 10-acre park that will serve as a destination spot for residents and visitors alike. GMC’s architects and landscape architects have worked closely with the City to develop the building and site to create a vibrant and engaging space for the entire community. The building will house city government offices, with public access to each of the departments on the ground level, including economic development, community development, finance, water and sewer and occupational tax. The second floor will be home to the city manager, mayor and department directors as well as the city council chambers, and will overlook the park with a large upper level plaza for afterhours events. The building will also contain leasable space for local businesses. In addition to the new two-story city hall building and garden plaza, the development will feature a multi-acre park with walking trails, water features, a picnic pavilion, grand lawn with performance facilities, children’s splash pad, dog park and more.

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Celebrating Women

in the AE Industry

We interviewed some of the women at GMC about their career experience in the architecture and engineering field, including challenges, opportunities, industry insights and advice for others entering a historically male-dominated industry. Here’s what some of them had to say. Stacey Bennett

Marketing & Business Development in Nashville, Tennessee 15 years of experience | 2 with GMC

What challenges, if any, do you feel women face in the architecture and engineering industry? Have there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome? If so, how did you address it? I think women have made tremendous strides in what has traditionally been a male-dominant industry. However, with the advantage of technology and the greater exposure of the industry to young women as a viable career path, we are well on our way to having a more balanced workforce. I’ve seen a lot of very talented women succeed in the AEC industry, and I fully expect that trend to continue. I feel fortunate to work for a company that values women in the workplace. We have a very balanced mix of male/female employees, and that trend can be seen from the very top of our corporate structure. What has helped you most in your career so far? Relationships. Each achieved milestone in my career has been the result of a good relationship – someone backing me, supporting me, rooting for me, giving me advice and believing in me. It started with my dad believing in me 15 years ago, and I have now built trusting relationships with so many people along the way. What do you enjoy most about what you do? I enjoy the details that go into my work and into every aspect of the AEC industry. The specifics matter, and I try to bring that attitude to work each and every day. Quality work is important to me, and I enjoy a clean, final product. It’s a representation of not only myself, but my employer as well.

Lizz Bragg, PE

Project Engineer in Birmingham, Alabama 5 years of experience | 3 with GMC

Why did you choose to go into your current field? I have been fascinated by construction since I was really little. In fact, I have a picture of 7-year-old me hand-mixing concrete in a sundress and Birkenstocks (safety first). Civil engineering felt like a natural choice. What opportunities do you see for women in the industry? Tons! Technical skill and knowledge are fundamental to career success, of course, but soft skills and emotional intelligence, which women historically possess, can be a major competitive advantage for women in the industry.

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Carla Percival Young, AIA Senior Architect in Dallas, Texas 37 years of experience | 14+ with GMC

Why did you choose to go into ­­your current field? Two common family events had an influence on my decision to be an architect. One, my family often took Sunday afternoon drives into new sub divisions being built around our town. I would listen to my parents discuss the effect these had on our town such as traffic, urban spread, and loss of open lands. They would discuss whether what was being built added to or took away from the beauty of where we lived. Often, we would go explore the buildings as they were being built and my father would point out the good and the bad construction practices. He was an aerospace engineer and a builder at heart. Secondly, we toured many historic sites and buildings during summer vacations, all the while being introduced to the value of protecting what was historical and learning what had endured the test of time. Both of the activities sparked my interest in the built environment, and I wanted to be a part of it. I still love the smell of fresh cut lumber and old libraries. What has helped you most in your career so far? Listening to my clients, those in my office with more experience, and those fresh out of college. And not thinking I know all the answers.

Mary Whitney Evins Interior Designer in Birmingham, Alabama 4 years of experience | 4 with GMC

What opportunities do you see for women in the industry? We should have every opportunity in the industry. If you fight for it hard and long enough, you can do anything.

Denise King, PE

Engineering Project Manager in Mobile, Alabama 10 years of experience | 10 with GMC

What has helped you most in your career so far? People. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by peers at GMC who have supported and mentored me into the project manager I am today. I would not have been successful if these people had not poured into me the knowledge, experience and time that they so graciously gave. I also am fortunate to have chosen a field that really suits my personal strengths. I am organized, a good communicator, enjoy being with people, and very detail oriented, all of which make me a better project manager. What do you enjoy most about what you do? I really enjoy working with municipal clients (cities, counties, and utility boards) to help alleviate problems they encounter and provide a better quality of life for their citizens/customers. I get to spend my time in an office with a group of people that I really enjoy both personally and professionally, and I spend the rest of my time out in the community. This balance between office/ field work is a real benefit.

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Kyonta Smith, AIA, NCARB Architecture Project Manager in Birmingham, Alabama 15 years of experience | 15 with GMC

What challenges, if any, do you feel women face in the architecture and engineering industry? Have there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome? If so, how did you address it? Being younger, female, and a minority has had its challenges. This is especially true in the field of construction where it is very rare to see those traits in tandem. To overcome issues that have arisen over my career, I have always endeavored to be competent and confident in my work. I strive to make myself as prepared as I can be and try to help others in situations where I can impart my knowledge. I look for opportunities to bring awareness or enlightenment to a situation so everyone can use the experience to grow. What do you enjoy most about what you do? Architecture is one of the few professions where an abstract concept can be formed into a tangible entity. What’s most enjoyable and rewarding about what we do is seeing the effect it has on the people we work for and the greater populous who also use and experience our work. Probably 99% of the people who ultimately engage with our projects will never know who we are, or what it really took to get a project realized, but knowing the positive impact our work has in their lives and their communities is enough. What opportunities do you see for women in the industry? The exact same opportunities there are for men.

Jane Reed Ross, PLA, ASLA Senior Landscape Architect in Birmingham, Alabama 37 years of experience | 12 with GMC

What do you enjoy most about what you do? I enjoy getting into the creative zone when collaborating with others and talking about the design potential of a project. The question of how to capture the essence of a place and the culture of the people using the space are ideas I love to explore. It is very rewarding to learn with time how important our work is not only to people’s mental well-being and to enhancing our environment, but for the economic development of our community and overall quality of life. What challenges, if any, do you feel women face in the architecture and engineering industry? Have there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome? If so, how did you address it? Traditionally, the architecture and engineering fields were predominately male. I was the first woman ever hired in my first job as a summer intern in Washington DC for the Veterans Administration Site Planning Department in 1980. The men in that office were not happy that I had been hired and protested and demanded a reversal before even meeting me. The head of the department ignored their concerns and stayed the course with my hire. It was an important experience for us all. By the end of the second summer, the men had learned it was not the end of the world to work with a woman. I learned that I might not be welcomed through every door immediately, but I could work with people to make a better situation and gain understanding. Over the years, I stayed in contact with those landscape architects and maintaining some of those relationships helped in future endeavors. Eventually I had my own business and was able to win a federal contract with the Veterans Administration. What opportunities do you see for women in the industry? I think the old limitations have softened considerably and should not hold anyone back. Women can tackle any of their heart’s desires within pursuance of work. In my early years people had reservations about women in the workforce because it was unusual to see them in different fields. Women are now present everywhere and the comfort level of seeing women in different positions has increased. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but it is much better.

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Judy Jones, SR/WA Right of Way Manager in Montgomery, Alabama International Secretary, International Right of Way Association 33 years of experience | 31 with GMC

What opportunities do you see for women in the industry? Opportunities are a woman’s to make. When you feel defeated and want to quit because of unfairly given obstacles, don’t stop. Hold your head high and keep doing what you are doing and persevere. A woman should always accept the fact she is just as good as a man, and sometimes better, and keep proving you can do anything laid before you. What has helped you most in your career so far? I never would be where I am today if not for the strong support given to me from the beginning by individuals at GMC like George Goodwyn, David Reed and Derril Strickland. I was given an opportunity to create an area of expertise few engineering companies have, that being right-ofway acquisition services. In fact, we sometimes have clients that have another engineering firm designing their project that will utilize GMC to provide right-of-way services. I’ve also found great support from the International Right of Way Association (IRWA). I joined more than 15 years ago and became very active in the Alabama chapter, serving on numerous committees and also on the Board elected to serve in all offices. I continued on with my leadership, serving at the regional level for six years with the past two years as the Chair of Region 6, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Last year, I was elected at the international level to serve on the International Executive Committee as International Secretary. Up until my election, an executive committee member had not served since 1996. With approximately 10,000 members, I have unlimited resources through IRWA. What do you enjoy most about what you do? Everything! Especially when you have a project that involves relocating someone in unsanitary conditions to a safe and sanitary home. Those projects are priceless.

Mary George Engineering/Architecture Administrator in Greenville, South Carolina 1.5 years of experience | 1.5 with GMC

What challenges, if any, do you feel women face in the architecture and engineering industry? Have there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome? If so, how did you address it? The assumed stigma of being a female in a male-dominated industry is a huge detriment to success and a slippery slope. By viewing colleagues as partners instead of superiors/subordinates, males/ females, architects/engineers, young/old, it’s easy to shift from an attitude of entitlement and defense to one of respect and collaboration. A rising tide lifts all boats – be the tide! What advice do you have for those just beginning their careers or aspiring to work in the architecture and engineering field? Have a positive attitude and don’t be afraid to work hard. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

Melanie Lang, IIDA Senior Interior Designer in Montgomery, Alabama 30 years of experience | 12 with GMC

Why did you choose to go into your current field? As a child I would build floorplans out of Lincoln Logs and take furniture from Fisher Price Little People, placing it through out each space. Little did I know at age 8, I would make a profession out of it. It was a field I always loved doing. My father is also an electrical engineer, and I was always very curious watching him draw and design. What opportunities do you see for women in the industry? I think with this generation, the opportunities are endless. If a woman wants it, she can achieve it.

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Project Profile

Poarch Band of Creek Indians Building 100 and 200

F

or the past several years, GMC has been working with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PBCI) to develop a new Tribal Council Chamber and Multi-Story Administration Building as part of an expansion of facilities on their campus in Atmore, Alabama.

In addition to architectural work, the project has included an overall hydrology study and master plan for the growing campus. Many of GMC’s disciplines from multiple offices have provided services for the project, such as hydrology, civil engineering and landscape design. This collaboration has led to a distinguished final design that will enhance the campus and working environment for PBCI. Project design began in February 2016 and was completed in the fall of 2018. While the process and project trajectory has been complex, it has provided exceptional results for the client and allowed GMC to utilize the strong multi-disciplined, multi-office approach that sets the firm apart. The new single-story Tribal Council Chamber encompasses approximately 17,000 square feet, with a state-of-the-art, 100-seat Council Chamber auditorium, new offices and a private Council Chamber conference area. This building is strategically located as the focal point of the site, and is surrounded by lighted walkways and the new threestory office building. Each floor of the office building is 16 SCHEMA


RENDERINGS Top: Building 100 Entry Lobby Lower Left: Auditorium Lower Right: Executive Council Chamber

approximately 24,000 square feet, with the third serving as a “shell� for future growth. The master plan of the site has been designed to provide a mirror image of this building as the owner develops additional needs for expansion. The overall design of the buildings takes cues from the existing campus architecture, with familiar materials and feature elements such as heavy timber framed port cocheres, exposed roof brackets and others that complement the surrounding buildings. Large covered walkways tie the buildings together and provide protection from natural elements from parking areas into the main buildings. Other key elements include a fountain nestled into a paved covered entrance, giving the complex a significant focal point. The new buildings will be tied to a chilled water system which will have expansion for future buildings, and will be provided throughout with energy efficient LED lighting systems and controls. M/W Davis Dumas & Associates has designed the mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems in conjunction with Jackson Renfro & Associates electrical engineers. The design of each building also included extensive evaluation of the building envelope. Construction is underway and expected to take 18 to 24 months. GMC 17


AROUND THE NETWORK Andalusia Full Gospel Tabernacle Shoe Drive Andalusia, Alabama

Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc., Youth Drop-in Center Columbia, South Carolina

Downtown Huntsville Library Huntsville, Alabama

SAIL (State of Alabama Independent Living) Greenville, Alabama

18 SCHEMA

Open Hand Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia

Prodisee Pantry Spanish Fort, Alabama

Alabama Baptist Children's Home Mobile, Alabama

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center Nashville, Tennessee

Auburn Salvation Army Store Auburn, Alabama

Fairview Park Eufaula, Alabama

AHERO (America's Heroes Enjoying Recreation Outdoors) Shorter, Alabama

Brantwood Childre Montgomery, Alab

Sacred Heart Miracle Camp Pensacola, Florida


Alabama Baptist Children's Home Birmingham, Alabama

Harvest Hope Food Bank Greenville, South Carolina

en’s Home bama

Common Ground Montgomery Montgomery, Alabama

Garden City Community Housing Team Savannah, Georgia

Jones Valley Trail Cleanup Birmingham, Alabama

Rebuild Upstate Greenville, South Carolina

Kindred Hospice Montgomery, Alabama

Restoration Academy Birmingham, Alabama

Sterling Community Center Greenville, South Carolina

MANE (Montgomery Area Non-Traditional Equestrians) Montgomery, Alabama

Sulligent School Vernon, Alabama

On Friday, Nov. 22, GMC held its second annual Building Communities Day of Service. All of our employees in offices across five states partnered with local organizations to serve in various ways in the community. Each office chose a service project, or projects, to take on that afternoon, providing a great opportunity to work together outside our day-to-day activities and give back to our communities in a tangible way. GMC 19


GMCNETWORK.COM

GMC OFFICES

MONTGOMERY

AUGUSTA

2660 EastChase Lane, Suite 200

1450 Greene Street, Suite 505

ALABAMA

Montgomery, AL 36117

Augusta, GA 30901

ANDALUSIA

T (334) 271-3200

T (706) 251-9099

Andalusia, AL 36420

VERNON

BRUNSWICK (New Office!)

T (334) 222-2699

44750 Highway 17

1612 Newcastle Street, Suite 218

Vernon, AL 35592

Brunswick, GA 31520

T (205) 695-9137

T (912) 226-4612

FLORIDA

SAVANNAH (We've Moved!)

207 Church Street

AUBURN 2178 Moores Mill Road Auburn, AL 36830 T (334) 364-0057 BIRMINGHAM 2701 1st Avenue South, Suite 100 Birmingham, AL 35233 T (205) 879-4462 DAPHNE 2039 Main Street Daphne, AL 36526 T (251) 626-2626

PENSACOLA (New Office!)

7 East Congress Street, Suite 504

720 Bayfront Parkway, Suite 200

Savannah, GA 31401

Pensacola, FL 32502

T (912) 226-1667

T (850) 432-0706 SOUTH CAROLINA SARASOTA

COLUMBIA

2650 Bahia Vista Street, Suite 302

1219 Wayne Street

Sarasota, FL 34239

Columbia, SC 29201

T (941) 312-5523

T (803) 766-1235

TAMPA (New Office!)

GREENVILLE (We've Moved!)

1120 East Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 225

617 East McBee Avenue, Suite 200

Tampa, FL 33602

Greenville, SC 29601

T (813) 678-2420

T (864) 527-0460

T (334) 687-7441

GEORGIA

TENNESSEE

HUNTSVILLE

ALBANY

NASHVILLE

2547 Lafayette Plaza Drive, Suite E

3310 West End Avenue, Suite 420

Albany, GA 31707

Nashville, TN 37203

T (229) 883-0332

T (615) 333-7200

EUFAULA 211 North Eufaula Avenue Eufaula, AL 36027

7 Town Center Drive, Suite 201 Huntsville, AL 35806 T (256) 539-3431 MOBILE 11 North Water Street, Suite 15250 Mobile, AL 36602 T (251) 460-4006

ATLANTA 6120 Powers Ferry Road NW, Suite 350 Atlanta, GA 30339 T (770) 952-2481

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GMC Schema | Issue 08  

In this issue: a closer look at GMC’s growing Environmental team, celebrating women in the architecture & engineering industry, award-winnin...

GMC Schema | Issue 08  

In this issue: a closer look at GMC’s growing Environmental team, celebrating women in the architecture & engineering industry, award-winnin...