Retirement: Gerald “Gerry” Kostyk, Professional Land Surveyor
BCA Announces Retirement of Gerald “Gerry” Kostyk, Professional Land Surveyor
If “mastery” means possessing authority, comprehensive knowledge and skill in a particular subject, Gerry Kostyk has mastered the art and science of land surveying. On December 31, 2018, BCA Architects & Engineers (BCA) bid a fond “Happy Retirement” to Gerry after over 40 years of dedicated service to the firm. But, if we know Gerry, retirement is just the latest plot point on his life’s remarkable map.
At his retirement, Gerald A. Kostyk, PLS, served as a Principal and Vice President of Land Surveying at BCA. His long and highly productive career as a surveyor spanned projects ranging from boundary surveys to housing developments to bridges to educational facilities, throughout the State of New York. Gerry is a 1973 graduate of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Ranger School at Wanakena which laid the foundation for his career.
“Ranger School was an intensive and respected program, with an emphasis on land and forestry surveying,” Gerry recalls. “It’s still a great program. And Wanakena is such a beautiful area.”
“I was hired to work in the Jefferson County Tax Mapping Department immediately after graduation. That was a terrific experience for a new surveyor. Early on I learned the importance of talking with property owners to get more in-depth information than you can learn by just reading the surveying instruments. That has helped me throughout my whole career.”
In 1976 Gerry was hired by the Watertown surveying firm of Bernier, Kitto, Peck & Gozalkowski – thus beginning his association with today’s BCA.
“Mike Peck, Leo Gozalkowski, and Jim Bernier were mentors to me,” Gerry says. “Between 1976 and 1983 I did a lot of field work with Leo and learned the finer points of surveying. Those years shaped my whole approach to the work.”
Gerry’s career evolved along with the firm. “By 1983 we were doing a lot of projects supporting the expansion of Fort Drum,” he remembers. “Housing expansion was very important as Fort Drum grew – so we grew along with it.” By 1990 the firm had grown to become Bernier, Carr & Associates. “At that time, I was doing less field work than office work,” says Gerry. “We became involved with projects that involved more field crews requiring more office coordination.”
BCA has continued to grow and, in recent years, Gerry’s time has been divided between fieldwork and office responsibilities. “Surveying has changed dramatically,” he relates. “I wasn’t so sure about GPS technology when it first became available – but it certainly has evolved to measure within very close tolerances. Modern equipment like the Robotic Total Station makes surveying far more efficient and less labor-intensive than ever. Much different than our traditional standard total station and prism days, which weren’t that long ago!”
Gerry retired comfortably in time to celebrate his 66th birthday. Now, he has begun tending to various projects around his properties in Dexter, New York and on Pillar Point. In addition, he and his wife Pam have turned their attention to a new discipline by learning about mushroom cultivation, once the retirement dust settles, planning more trips with their camper and trips to Crested Butte Colorado to visit their daughter Keitha. But just because he’s not in the office every day, don’t expect Gerry to abandon surveying; he plans to maintain his land surveyor’s registration to maintain his long-time membership in the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors which is linked to the Black River Valley Association of Professional Land Surveyors of which he is a Charter Member and Past President. He’ll also likely step up to help with projects near to his heart – as he did after an ice jam destroyed the Wanakena pedestrian footbridge over the Oswegatchie River at in January 2014. Wanakena Ranger School students had been crossing that bridge for generations; with Gerry’s help, the new bridge will accommodate generations more.
For more information please contact:Kelly E. Reinhardt, Director of Business DevelopmentBCA Architects & Engineers327 Mullin StreetWatertown, NY 13601(315) 782-8130 x231[email protected]