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Aging Facilities: How Agencies Assess, Prioritize and Maintain Their Aging Infrastructure

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The United States continues to face the problem of aging infrastructure on federal facilities and military installations. The overall levels of facility service, reliability and performance are decreasing and the specter of insufficient funding looms large in the decision-making process.

While government laboratories and installations are integral to the science and technology enterprise, in many cases, much-needed improvements have been delayed and the total cost of rehabilitation is expected to rise.

During this webinar, Carmelo Melendez, Senior Real Property Officer (SRPO) and director of asset management for the Department of Energy (DOE); Mike Seibert, Asset Management Branch chief for the National Park Service (NPS); and Dr. Ramesh Gulati, facilities director for the U.S. Air Force, will discuss the key issues at play and how other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), face the hard choices of prioritizing maintenance, repair and when to “abandon in place” to best fulfill missions. 

Carmelo Melendez

Melendez is the DOE’s SRPO, Head of Contracting Activity for real estate and the director of asset management within the Office of Management. His portfolio covers real property, fleet and personal/industrial property management. In this position, he is responsible for policy, guidance and oversight of DOE’s Real and Personal Property Management practices with emphasis in program management and life-cycle cost management of the department's $150 billion property portfolio. He is a career member of the Senior Executive Service, vice chairman of the National Academies’ Federal Facilities Council and a permanent member of the Office of Management and Budget's Real Property Advisory Council. 

Melendez retired as a commander in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps and has served in numerous positions in the Departments of Defense, Energy and State where he has held specializations in acquisition management, civil affairs, construction management, expeditionary engineering, facilities engineering and financial Management.

Melendez holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from University of Puerto Rico, Master of Business Administration in financial management from Southern New Hampshire University, Master of Engineering in civil engineering from the University of Florida, Engineering Doctorate in engineering management from George Washington University (GWU), and Executive Education from GWU’s Senior Leader Program and Keenan-Flagler School of Business Advanced Management Program. His qualifications include Registered Professional Engineer; Certified Project Management Professional; Certified Facilities Manager; Sustainability Facilities Professional; Certified Leadership in Environmental and Engineering Design Green Associate; member of DoD’s Acquisition Professional Community; Level III DAWIA Certified in Facilities Engineering and Contracting; and held an Unlimited Level III Contracting Officer Warrant for Design, Construction, Environmental Management, and Facilities Engineering. He led teams recognized with San Diego Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work,” Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Unit Commendation, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Chairman’s Award in Historic Preservation, and the Secretary of the Navy's Energy and Water Management Award. His recognitions include National Society of Professional Engineer’s Top Ten Federal Engineer of the Year, Department of the Navy’s Facilities Engineering Military Engineer of the Year, Department of State’s Superior and Meritorious Honor Medals, Department of the Navy’s Superior and Meritorious Civilian Service Medals, DOE’s Superior Service Award, and several Navy/Marine Corps military decorations.

Mike Seibert

In 1993, Seibert received a Bachelor of Arts degree in architectural history from the University of Maryland. Immediately following graduation, he took a summer position with the NPS’ Historic American Buildings Survey at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as an architectural technician producing measured drawings of the c. 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Century of Progress homes.

Shortly thereafter, he accepted a position at the Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC), serving as an architectural historian, a position he held from 1994 to 1997. While there, he co-authored numerous historic structure reports, the "Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook," and was a contributor to Preservation Brief #47 — "Maintenance of the Exteriors of Small and Medium Sized Historic Buildings." In 1997, he entered the exhibit specialist program at HPTC, where he was a project leader, executing preservation projects at a number of sites, including Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park, Battleground Cemetery in Rock Creek Park, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (NHP), Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Dry Tortugas National Park, United States Army Fort Monroe, and Grey Towers National Historical Site with the U.S. Forest Service.

In 2001 Seibert moved on to the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal NHP as an exhibits specialist, with duties focused on the development and management of a variety of preservation projects, architectural investigations of historic structures and the general stewardship of historic park resources. In 2010, he was selected for the chief of maintenance position at the park. During his tenure as chief of maintenance he was responsible for managing the maintenance operations of park facilities used by about four million visitors annually. He was accountable for the preservation of natural and cultural resources located within the park’s 20,000 acres, as well as the preservation of some 1,300 historic structures, nearly 5 percent of all the historic cultural resources in the National Park System. The diversity of his responsibilities is also evident in the unique characteristics of the C&O Canal, as the preservation and maintenance of park resources ranges from interpretive canal boat operations featuring mule drawn boats and functioning 19th century lift locks to miles and miles of rural, scenic landscape among the park’s western maintenance districts

In the spring of 2012, Seibert entered duty as the National Park Service’s Asset Management Program Branch chief. In this role he is responsible for providing overall direction, policy formulation, and general oversight and administrative management of the National Park Service’s Asset Management Program (AMP). He is responsible for keeping the AMP business plans and facility management IT systems current and insuring that data derived from the program is accurate, reliable and up-to-date. The AMP business plan includes the business process accounting practices, policies and procedures, and management controls for the over 75,000 constructed assets in the National Park Service’s real property asset portfolio.

Dr. Ramesh Gulati
Dr. Ramesh Gulati

Aging Facilities: How Agencies Assess, Prioritize and Maintain Their Aging Infrastructure

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