Candid Discussion on 2017 Aquarius Construction Plans

Logo blue girlCandid Discussion on 2017 Aquarius Construction Plans

In the end of the month of October 2016 the following point and counterpoint occurred. It may be of informative value for the Aquarius Community to read it. Additional comments are welcome. Only with open, well intended dialog can the community advance on his desires and aspirations.



In all recently published documents (mostly, architectural) the assumption is that the existing deck will be so expensive to fix that it opens the door to consider various options for changes.

And then, it all focuses on the option selection, even voting. Nice exercise.

But the basic assumption – fixing what exists – needs to be well specified and realistically priced.  Only then owners may consider improvements and what we would additionally pay  for each.   And only then vote and select!



Samson Schmuter, Chairman of the Aquarius Information and Technology Committee

Dear Sam

Thank you for your note.

I believe this is exactly what the present Board is doing. We hire the best Engineering firm we could find –out of a pool of six and after publicizing our plans for Re Certification of the Building. Their work is being followed up pari passu. We have meetings with them and  they have participated and provided progress reports at  open meetings in the Construction Committee every Thursday at 10 AM.

More than a ton of mortar and concrete, that was dangerously hanging, was removed during the inspections of the East Deck/East side of the Garage and of the 130+ balconies inspected. Six concrete core tests were performed and another round of  20 concrete core tests are being done right now.

We have asked for proposal from 6 reputable Concrete Restoration firms. We expect the proposals to be presented mid November. The bid is open – the Board will be happy to consider firms that can meet the bond and insurance requirements. The proposal contemplate full replacement of the balconies or just repair. The Deck has been considered beyond repair and the decision of full replacement has been made. Only the beans and pillars will remain and repaired. With this we will have a East Deck able to –properly maintained and periodically waterproofed — for another 40 years. This will also allow to change the pool site. The pool relocation is going to be less expensive and with longer life than partial repair of pool concrete in a patch work that can not afford warranty and the peace of mind that we all desire for Aquarius.

Everything is being done with two major objectives: Low cost and shorter construction time. But we can not afford endless patch work that results in more aggravation, less safety, increased inconvenience and in the end abusive uncontrollable cost.

I believe the experience we had with the Valet Deck – although it could had been done in better ways – resulted in a work of 7 months the promised time and under the contracted cost. The idea is the same to have a single vendor (General Contractor in the process of selection as mentioned before) and the supervision of an Technical Supervision and Project Management — Hillman Engineering. Both of them under the permanent follow up of the Board of Directors, the Construction Committee and the Property Management Atlantic|Pacific firm.

Not only are we trying to rely in professional guidance all the time as we try to keep cost minimization and quality maximization as permanent guides. Every step is being taken to maintain competitive selection of the best help we can get without a retail piecemeal  procedures that have brought some much frustration, hesitation and little results from the investments made. The BOD, the Construction Committee has no licensed active GC’s registration. The BOD, the Construction Committee is a group of volunteers that prefers perform the role of policy making, good governance, participation with parallel agile decision making. Your participation is welcome.

I look forward to see you in December. There is much work to be done and all help is much needed.

Cecilio Augusto Berndsen, Board of Directors of the Aquarius Condominium Association

Thank you Cecilio,

It is the first reasonable reply to my questions and doubts, with explanation of the process and its progress from the various aspects.   Thank you again.

The previous answers were just referring to majority of votes and blaming “naysayers”.  Nothing to explain, just go to hell!

Keep up the good job!


Samson Schmuter, Chairman of the Aquarius Information and Technology Committee


About Cecilio Augusto Berndsen

Information Technology, Management, Project Management and Public Administration are areas I am familiar with. I am also interested in photography, wine, sailing, politics, economics, and economic development.
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