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Rod Schaffer estimates CoxHealth completed $130 million in construction projects during the past two years. Completed in September, the $52 million emergency department is the most recent job.
Rod Schaffer estimates CoxHealth completed $130 million in construction projects during the past two years. Completed in September, the $52 million emergency department is the most recent job.

CoxHealth named Developer of the Year

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During a time when much of the local construction industry was at a standstill, CoxHealth was building.

In the past 24 months, the hospital system wrapped up an estimated $130 million in projects, and local contractors were used for the majority of that work. As a thank you from the industry, CoxHealth was named Developer of the Year by the Springfield Contractors Association.

CoxHealth received the recognition at the 26th annual Salute to Construction award ceremony, held Nov. 4 at Clarion Hotel, 3333 S. Glenstone Ave. The honor was given for the sheer number of projects during a two-year time frame – four major projects with construction costs ranging from $12 million to $52.2 million and several projects with smaller price tags – as well as the organization’s use of local companies and commitment to sustainability.

Many of the projects were part of a $120 million bond cycle, which helped cover the cost for the construction of the $52.2 million emergency department, $22 million surgery center, $24 million renovations to the Meyer Orthopedic Center, a $12 million parking garage expansion and $7.4 million in improvements to the Walnut Lawn and south campus central utility plants. Another $7 million was used to complete 14 smaller projects, such as the relocation of adult urgent care and signage improvements to the south campus, said Rod Schaffer, vice president of facilities management for CoxHealth.

A conscious decision was made to utilize local contractors whenever possible, Schaffer said. Dallas, Texas-based The Beck Group was brought on as architect for the larger projects because of the company’s acute care expertise, but in the instances where the company took on some general contracting responsibility, it partnered with local general contractors, including Walton Construction, Killian Construction, Carson-Mitchell and Emery Sapp and Sons.

“We’re part of this community, they’re part of this community, and we’re going to take advantage of all the local talent as much as possible,” Schaffer said.

As part of the communitywide Partnership for Sustainability, CoxHealth prioritizes environmentally friendly initiatives, Schaffer added, noting that the new projects are all designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.

While the 24 months of construction whirlwind may have come to a close, new projects are still on the horizon. In mid-October, CoxHealth broke ground on a $17 million addition of 24 critical care beds at Cox South, Schaffer said.

Project of the Year: Ollis Center
A $500,000 undertaking at Ollis & Co.’s Springfield headquarters earned the Project of the Year honors from SCA.

The vision for Ollis Center began primarily as a means to provide wellness resources and training to Ollis clients and employees, but the scope and curriculum grew as the 3,000-square-foot expansion continued, said President Richard Ollis.

The project had its share of challenges – the flooring, heating and air units, plumbing and parking lot all required some creative thinking during construction – but the end result is a nutrition center, yoga studio, fitness center, classroom and boardroom, serving area for breakfast and lunch, and an outdoor meeting and training space.

“The interior designer, contracting team and architect, they took our vision and created the reality for us,” Ollis said of the team of Interior Planning Consultants, Kenmar Construction, Buddy Webb & Co. and Olsson Associates.

More awards
The American Institute of Architects also extended recognition to players in the local construction scene.

Al Tipton of JB Millworks was named Craftsman of the Year for work on the Ferrell-Duncan Clinic and the Turner Center on the CoxHealth campus.

Another AIA honor went to Curtis Rice of RE Smith Construction Co., who was named Superintendent of the Year. Rice was nominated for his work on the $4.3 million Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center.

The National Association of Women in Construction’s 2010 honorees are Charlyce Ruth, operations manager at Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield, and Kristi Beattie, architect at Sapp Design Associates. Ruth received a Vesta Award, which recognizes women who have 10 or more years of industry experience under their belts. Beattie picked up the Rosebud Award, which is given to women who have less than a decade’s worth of industry experience.[[In-content Ad]]

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