Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Hospital Job Proceeding on Schedule

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Hospital Job Proceeding on Schedule

Article excerpt

Construction of the new bed tower at Sarasota Memorial Hospital continues behind the walls, but out of sight


FROM STREET LEVEL, THERE seems to be little work going on at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's new bed tower, especially compared with last summer, when about 500 workers a day were erecting the new building's superstructure and other projects on the campus.

But on any given day, about 250 construction workers still are there. Most are behind walls, doing complex interior work on the nine-story, $186 million Courtyard Tower, the area's biggest construction project of the past two years.

"Our milestone was in April," said Charlie Bauerlein, a project executive for Skanska USA Building, the project's contractor.

That was the month the building became completely enclosed, with power and air conditioning, allowing interior work to start.

There have been hiccups along the way, however. Most notably, there was the discovery -- after concrete had been poured -- that support rebar in some concrete slabs around building columns was missing.

The hospital says these supports, required after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing to minimize damage in a building collapse, were omitted from original architect/engineer drawings.

Despite repairs involving the application of carbon-fiber polymer to certain slabs, the building will still open on schedule in March, said Tom Perigo, the hospital's director of architecture and construction.

But even then, only the first floor lobby and admitting area will be open to the public. The rest of the building will be limited to employees preparing for patients, he said.

The balance of the tower will open late next year, capping a five- year, $250 million regeneration of the public hospital's campus.

While the bed tower is the final piece, the campus' renovation began with construction of a new energy plant toward the west end of the campus, and the demolition of the old power plant and another building along U. …

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