The opening of the Billheimer Tower marks the second major construction milestone. The first was a four-story, 950-space parking garage and elevated pedestrian walkway from the garage to the tower that was completed in February 2019.

November 4, 2021

Extensive Hospital Project Culminates in Newly Opened Patient Tower

The project's master plan featured six meticulously sequenced phases that allowed the hospital to continue patient care throughout the pandemic.

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Through a truly collaborative effort that ultimately would span five years and six major phases, Haskell Healthcare recently closed out the majority of work on the expansive Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, Florida.

The most recently commissioned portion of the project was the crowning Billheimer Tower, a four-story, 150,000-square-foot patient-care tower that brought all critical care rooms together in one location, increasing the capacity from 26 to 34. In total, this project created 76 new licensed beds plus an additional 30 observation beds for patients needing extended examination before being discharged or admitted. The new tower created a new main entrance for the entire hospital and, in response to consumer demand, made 82% of Countryside’s patient rooms private, up from 31%.

The tower’s opening marks the second major construction milestone., The first was a four-story, 950-space parking garage and elevated pedestrian walkway from the garage to the tower completed in February 2019.

The master plan consisted of six sequenced phases. The first was construction of a temporary surface parking, which allowed the Haskell team to build the new garage with a pedestrian bridge and arrival structure. Subsequently (but not all built in order of phase numbering) came the renovation and relocation of the chemotherapy/infusion, with a compounding pharmacy, endoscopy renovation and relocation, cast-in-place bed tower addition and ancillary renovations of the existing hospital, including operating room build-outs, medical record relocation, relocation and build-out of a new main pharmacy, and additional egress stair tower to satisfy egress deficiencies. One last step, a four-story-high connector corridor, will be done in Summer 2022.

Responding to consumer demand, the new tower made 82% of Countryside’s patient rooms private, up from 31%.

“It was a wonderful project,” Haskell Senior Project Manager Lane Sutton said. “This is definitely a marquee project, and we should be proud of it. You would be hard pressed to find another type of project that matters more to the community it serves. The end product is a beautiful addition to the existing facility, it and will certainly afford the healthcare professionals a more comfortable and efficient space to better service the community with.”

Collaboration truly was vital to the project. In an engagement separate from the construction manager at-risk (CMAR) delivery, Haskell also was the architect for the project. The designers worked closely with hospital staff to ensure creation of a state-of-the-art facility.

“One thing I’m proud of with this project is that we’ve worked very closely with the architect to design a warmer and more friendly environment for our patients and for our visitors,” Mease Hospitals President Matt Novak said. “Historically, hospitals have been very stark and sterile in their design, and now, with this renovation, we’ve been able to really warm up the environment and make it much more pleasing.”

Extensive preconstruction services featured 3D scanning of existing conditions, which assisted the design team during development, ensured accurate phasing and logistics and, ultimately, resulted in significant savings.

Throughout the project, Haskell ensured that the active medical campus remained fully operational.

“There have been countless logistical sequence adjustments and shifts,” Sutton said. “What normally could be done in several years ends up taking five, because we are working within an active hospital campus, which must remain active in order to service the community.”

Of course, COVID-19 created its own challenges. Not only did the Haskell team implement rigid safety protocols, but it also had to adjust to design changes that came about in response to the pandemic. All were incorporated without delaying the committed opening.

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,000 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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