a self-regulating organization empowered by the provincial
Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, APEGGA
maintains a close relationship with the Alberta Government.
It stands to reason, then, that the Association's head office
is in the capital city, near the Alberta Legislature and many
of the various government departments and organizations staff
regularly deal with.
Yet it's been obvious for some time that APEGGA needs more
and improved office space in Calgary. Serving and working
with members is a huge part of APEGGA's role.
And in the eight-plus decades of the Association's existence,
Calgary has entrenched itself as the province's corporate
That means much of APEGGA's membership growth has centred
in and around Calgary. Today, more members live and work there
than anywhere else.
With the office lease at Life Plaza coming due in early 2003,
APEGGA's Executive Committee and Council decided it was time
to give the Association
the Calgary profile it deserves - and in a more functional
and prestigious space. An impending move to the Scotia Centre,
APEGGA leaders and managers say, will accomplish that and
Says Ginny Nicholson, manager of Corporate and Member Services:
"We've designed and built the space based on customer
service. Customer service is good now, the staff in Calgary
do a wonderful job. But there are space limitations. We needed
more and better space for serving our members and the public."
After the move to the 22nd floor of the Scotia Centre, which
will likely take place Dec. 13, members will notice a better
reception area and a new feature - private areas for working
individually with members. Upgraded phones will mean better
voice mail, fewer busy signals and less time on hold.
More staff will now work from the Calgary office. Council
has approved a new position, director of geosciences, to reflect
and better serve the concentration of professional geologists
and geophysicists in Calgary. Recently, APEGGA added a full-time
Outreach coordinator to the Calgary staff complement, to better
develop and promote science and math, in grade schools and
Edmonton directors will have more space to operate from when
they visit. APEGGA's new Calgary home will have an office
for use by the APEGGA executive director and other visiting
The roles of governance - and all committees - receive a
major boost. No more will Council and committees gather
for their meetings in Calgary hotels. A new, 4,150-sq.-ft.
conference centre, equipped for video conferencing, will save
operating costs and generate revenue from other associations
that might rent it.
APEGGA designed the space with flexibility in mind. From the
conference centre itself, users will be able to break into
a 25-person meeting room. This room can be blocked off to
become separate and independent of the conference centre,
while being served fully by the office area. Also in the works
is a boardroom to seat up to 12, similar to the one in Edmonton.
"We've tried to learn from the Edmonton conference centre,"
says Ms. Nicholson. Designs and plans incorporate better acoustics,
better microphones (for hands-off and hands-on use), even
better blinds. Microphone wiring will be more flexible and
Net annual cost will be about $250,000, including lease and
operating costs, compared with about $102,000 a year for less
than a third of the space at the current location.
The selection of Scotia Centre concludes an exhaustive search,
says Ms. Nicholson. "Our mandate was to pick not the
very top end of the market, but something of good quality
and well-located - downtown, near major hotels, and near C-Train
connections. I feel we've accomplished that."