A Note from the President
As 2021 draws to a close, we at Saratoga Associates are grateful to come through another year healthy and successful. During the past year, we have all grown accustomed to the new normal in the marketplace that includes conducting business while navigating a worldwide pandemic. It’s been challenging, to the say the least. However, we have adapted well given these trying circumstances.
Some markets have slowed significantly while others have grown at rates that were previously unfathomable. The 2020-21 pandemic slowed construction on publicly funded projects, however it has enabled us to generate a backlog of “shovel ready” projects that will keep our engineers, architects and landscape architects busy for the foreseeable future.
The pandemic has forced us to rethink many things, including how traditional higher education campuses will function in a post-pandemic world. Commercial development has slowed significantly as residential development has grown at rates not seen for decades in Upstate New York.
Our climate crisis has created growth opportunities for our clients in the field of green energy technology. The recently approved federal infrastructure initiative has given our telecommunications clients the incentive to expand the reach of broadband internet access through our more rural areas within the next few years. Stimulus funding has enabled many of our sorely underserved municipalities the opportunity to fund innovative projects that will be transformative to their downtowns, parks and waterfronts.
These past two years have allowed us to redefine who we are as a firm and we are very excited about the future.
From all of us at Saratoga Associates, we wish you the happiest of Holidays and we look forward to working with you in the New Year.
Daniel M. Shearer, PE
President and CEO, Senior Principal
The Saratoga Team welcomed new members to the table this year, Controller Yasmine Wilson, Engineer in Training Jessica Gerber, and Landscape Designer Jared Malinoski. We celebrated the promotion of Dan Shearer, PE to Senior Principal; Emily Gardner, RLA to Director of Landscape Architecture; and Katie Treadwell, RA to Senior Associate. We’ve seen the commitment of our staff to not only better themselves, but also provide the firm with the necessary skills to complete our projects.
Notably, we’ve had one staff member successfully pass their registration boards and received their NYS license, one successfully pass their registration boards with pending licensure, two staff members seeking to complete their registration boards, and one staff member in the process of license reciprocity in NYS. In addition, we’ve seen junior and senior staff alike, developing new skills in 3D modeling, visual assessment techniques, photography, construction administration, and project management. Through education opportunities including lunch and learns, continuing education series, and webinars to hands-on mentoring, we know that our staff has the knowledge and experience to provide our clients and consultant with the very best services!
As always, we look forward to the opportunity to better serve you here at Saratoga Associates, wishing a great holiday, a wonderful break, and a productive new year.
Our Saratoga Springs office is a hub for production and development, as indicated in the Practice Area and Studio News. We are preparing for anticipated staff additions in the new year, as well as growing our skills and knowledge internally. With current mentorship and training efforts, the outlook is very positive for achieving our goals.
With the need to provide appropriate distancing and workspaces for our staff, we have rearranged and organized our office. We have grouped our studios to facilitate ease of communication, spaced individual workspaces to promote safe distancing, and moved office equipment to back of house to make room for a full production and technical staff “deck” that allows for collaboration and inter-disciplinary communication.
We’ve continued to follow health department guidelines, as well as asked all employees and visitors to wear face coverings while in the office. Additionally, we have increased cleaning protocols, including daily sanitizing of workspaces.
There is a lot happening in the office and we are looking forward to a busy and prosperous 2022.
Over the last few months Marketing has taken on several “new” roles and helped initiate several new processes. We are developing better tools to assist at all levels with the development of tracking prospects and projects. From a new tracking system from proposal development through project life, we are strengthening our oversight and management. This data is updated and distributed to principals and project managers monthly to not only provide better support in all our business development efforts but also improve our project efficiency.
Marketing initiatives have helped generate new opportunities and a new level of interactive participation. We are increasing our social media presence, updating our marketing materials, and developing strategies to promote our services and specialties.
Beyond self-promotion, we have participated in community stewardship opportunities. This past year, we have joined Parks & Trails NY for their annual I Love My Park Day, volunteered at various Capital Roots events, sponsored community and student events, and participated in various Franklin Community Center youth assistance programs.
We look forward to celebrating our communal success this new year!
We are committed to working with our employees this upcoming year through teamwork and strong communication.
Practice Areas & Studio News
Scenic Resource Management and Visual Impact Assessment
The SRM/VIA practice area and studio continues humming on 12 cylinders with the turbocharger on full open. Principal Matt Allen continues to lead our team through business development and project management.
In May, we celebrated the approval of the first offshore utility scale wind energy generating facility in the United States. The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind 1 is located in the Atlantic Ocean just over 14 miles off the coasts of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, MA. A Construction and Operations Plan (COP), prepared by Vineyard Wind’s lead environmental consultant Epsilon Associates, was submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in 2020. Saratoga Associates was an integral member of the environmental permitting team responsible for the preparation of the Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) for this first of its kind renewable energy project. Saratoga Associates continues to work closely with Vineyard Wind in the evaluation of potential visual impact associated with the development of the next phase of offshore wind energy development in this OCS lease area.
With the anticipated workload, we are in the process of searching for a Planner with experience in regulatory compliance.
Community Planning and Design
The Community Planning and Design Practice Area continues to pursue a diverse array of projects that allow our firm to guide communities from planning through design and construction. We look forward to developing new and fostering longstanding relationships with our municipal clients. We have been fortunate to have maintained relationships with many of our municipal clients for several years; some for decades. It is these relationships that enables us to manage our clients’ needs holistically, understanding how each project impacts their others as they strive to achieve the respective visions.
We are fortunate to have multiple waterfront and parks revitalization projects occurring with some of our most valued clients, including the cities of Amsterdam, Plattsburgh and Schenectady and the Town of Urbana.
Landscape Architecture and Planning Studio
The LA studio continues to be very busy working on some very interesting projects. We are working with Town of Cicero and the City of Syracuse on waterfront activation projects funded by NYS DOS and NYS DOT, respectively. We are excited that construction of improvements at Center Park in Dolgeville will begin in early 2022.
While wearing our planning hats, we have continued to lead the Town of Willsboro’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and the Town of Schroeppel’s Comprehensive Plan. Additionally, we completed the Betty Little Arts Park and continue to work with the City of Plattsburgh to revitalize their municipal beach, both for recreation and the environment.
The Landscape Architecture Studio met to discuss the current challenges, aspirations, and leadership of the group. The Studio sought to achieve higher levels of design, develop mentoring opportunities, foster creative interaction, and create meaningful professional development. As a result, the LA studio established a weekly meeting to further these goals.
Some other notable initiatives including the following:
- Emily Gardner led a blog series titled “Gardening with Gardner” from April to September that provided research, tips, and inspiration from Emily’s own garden. This series was hugely successful on social media and brought some great content to our website.
- Landscape Architecture Registration was completed by Emily Gardner, RLA.
- Landscape Architecture Registration is being pursued by Luis Morceia, and reciprocity is being pursued by Andrew Trodler, RLA (registered in North Carolina).
The Engineering Studio continues to support our LA, Architecture, and Planning Studios. With the addition of Jessica Gerber, we now have greater capacity in managing construction field operations and further expertise in the field of environmental permitting. We are optimistic that our staffing will further grow as multiple projects are scheduled to begin construction in early 2022.
Some other notable initiatives are slated for the upcoming months including the following:
- Professional Engineer licensure is being pursued by Jessica Gerber, EIT.
- Wetlands Delineation Certification is being pursued by Jessica Gerber, EIT.
Facility Design and Construction
The practice area continues to focus on achieving a better diversity of projects. Prospective new clients include corporate, developer and institutional clients. Thus far we have been successful in this endeavor.
Recent project additions include:
- Silver Therapeutics
- Berwick, ME Dispensary – Permitting and Concept Design
- Roslingdale, MA – Dispensary and Grow Facility
- Williamstown, MA – Dispensary Expansion
- New City Parks – Poughkeepsie, NY – Spratt and Pulaski Parks and Pools – Concept Designs
- Dolgeville New York – Center Park Rehabilitation
- Little Falls, NY – Downtown Canopy Restoration
- Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe – Hogansburg Art Park – Concept Design
- Keene, NY – NYS DOT Garage renovations
- Cooperstown, NY – Doubleday Field Third Base Building and Bleachers
The Architectural Studio continues working hard as new projects and work orders come in. Our projects are in various phases of production from concept work through Contract Administration. Supply chain issues are presenting challenges to construction project schedules.
Current projects include:
- Philipse Manor Hall – Historic renovation and addition to Manor House
- Walkway Over the Hudson – East Gate Plaza
- Shirley Chisholm State Park – Environmental Education Buildings
- Gideon Putnam Hotel – Convention Center Roof Replacement
- Peebles Island State Park – CCC Roof Replacement
- Staatsburgh State Historic Site – Installation of Storm Windows and Doors
- Various Residential Projects
Some other notable initiatives are slated for the upcoming months including the following:
- Architecture Registration is being pursued by Anthony Martini, who has successfully passed his exams.
Higher Education Planning and Design
Our projects with the City University of New York (CUNY) are again making progress. We are wrapping up the Design Development Phase for the York College project. And we are awaiting approval from CUNY to restart our Bronx Community College project.
We are just beginning a project with Colgate University to assist them with a Multi-Use Residential project in the heart of the commercial district in the Village of Hamilton.
Jared Malinoski joined our team in May as a Landscape Designer with experience in Campus Planning, Site Design, Visual Character Assessment and Wilderness Planning. He graduated in 2020 from SUNY ESF with a Master of Landscape Architecture. We look forward to all that Jared will do in his career and we are so excited to have him on our team!
Yasmine Wilson joined the Saratoga Springs office in July as a Controller with 24 years of experience in business management and accounting. Did you know? Yasmine has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Wellness, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance. Talk about a great combination to lead our team! Please welcome Yasmine to Saratoga Associates.
Jessica Gerber joined us at the end of July as a Civil and Environmental Engineer with 7 years of experience managing, designing, and inspecting a variety of building, highway, and utility projects. She is recognized for site design, storm/sanitary/water analysis and design, project oversight, and consulting services. Jessica is a great addition to our team and we are excited to see our engineering studio grow!
Dan Shearer, PE was elected to Senior Principal in November! Since 2010, Dan has served as our President and CEO. As Senior Principal, Dan will continue to push our organization to grow the firm in size and expand our professional services.
Emily Gardner, RLA received licensure as a landscape architect in New York State. Emily is our Director of Landscape Architecture and is newly promoted to Senior Associate. Emily will continue to lead our Community Planning and Design practice area, landscape architecture and planning studios.
Tony Martini passed the Architecture Registration Examination (ARE) this fall and his licensure is pending. Tony is currently an architectural designer who excels at construction administration and project management. We are excited for Tony to receive his registration number!
Events and Info
Currently being planned are the following perennial favorites events for 2022.
- Capital Roots Volunteering opportunities throughout the year
- I Love My Park Day the first week of May
- Annual Office Picnic event for the end of June
- Annual Disk Golf outing after Labor Day
- Student School Supply Drive
- Halloween Costume Drive
- Holiday Assistance Program
- Office Holiday Event
- A firm-wide get together at an undisclosed location
Emily Gardner has taken on the task of Informal Happy Hour Events Coordinator and has done an outstanding job!
Should any of you have ideas for other events to help know our team members better, please pass them on to email@example.com.
Happy Birthday to
Tony Martini – 4 Yrs.
Eric Whiting – 23 Yrs.
Dan Shearer – 13 Yrs.
Katie Tredwell – 8 Yrs.
Luis Mocreia – 2 Yrs.
Chris Smith – 17 Yrs.