Hickory Bond Program Honored by ACEC-NC

Kevin Johnson

The City of Hickory Bond Program received an Honor Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina (ACEC-NC) 2017 Engineering Excellence Awards. It is our first project award in North Carolina and our first as the primary consultant for a program management project.

ACEC NC award ceremony for Hickory

Pictured at the awards banquet are FNI Account Director Charles Archer, Hickory Interim City Manager Andrea Surratt, FNI Assistant Project Manager Morgan McIlwain, Hickory Public Services Director Chuck Hansen, and FNI Project Manager Mike Wayts.

After a $40 million bond program passed with 60 percent of the vote in November 2014, the challenge for the City of Hickory was moving from planning to program implementation. The Freese and Nichols team guided the City toward their vision by working alongside City staff, elected officials and a Bond Commission of 42 citizens. The team took the general concepts in the master plan and deployed a carefully selected set of decision-making tools to evaluate, select, prioritize and schedule nine major projects.

The program married the disparate worlds of project development — including developing essentials such as scopes, cost estimates, timeline and staffing — with the approaches and techniques of urban planning. This combination is unusual in the engineering profession, demonstrating an expanded role for public involvement within the realm of public infrastructure.