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Health Care Market On Sound Ground

Mega health-care projects offer opportunities for local contractors

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Health care remains one the state’s stronger market segments, with several megajobs under way at urban hospital campuses or soon to break ground. A few other projects are moving forward.

Photo: Corgan Associates.
Corgan designed a renovation of the bone-marrow transplant unit at Medical City Dallas.
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“There are a lot of large projects starting to get going,” says Allan Dedman, vice president and regional director of health care for J.E. Dunn Construction Co. of Austin. “And I am starting to see some movement in rural hospitals.”

J.E. Dunn, for instance, recently received a contract to build the $17-million Golden Plains Community Hospital in Borger, Texas.

“It’s a pretty vibrant market,” adds Brian Freeman, executive vice president and general manager for Skanska USA Building’s Texas operations in San Antonio.

Skanska is completing $100 million in improvement projects at two campuses for the Harris County Hospital District in Houston. The company is about to start building out shelled space at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital in San Antonio, a new facility it completed about a year ago.

James A. Brownrigg, vice president and director of health care for Turner Healthcare Group in Brentwood, Tenn., calls the Texas market “extremely strong.”

Turner Construction Co. recently finished a $22-million, 65,000-sq-ft addition to Weatherford Regional Medical Center in Weatherford, Texas, for Community Health Systems of Brentwood, and it is working on some projects for the University of Texas Southwestern’s St. Paul replacement hospital in Dallas.

“Health care has held its own, but it’s not as robust as it has been in the past,” says Tina Larsen, a vice president at Corgan Associates in Dallas. “Many health systems have been waiting to see what health-care reform will do and the impact of that.”

Corgan is working with HDR of Dallas in designing the $1.27-billion Parkland Hospital replacement (see Parkland: A ‘Hospital for the Future’, page 34). The company also designed a renovation of the bone-marrow transplant units at Medical City Dallas.

Hank Adams, HDR project manager for the Parkland project and a vice president and health-care principal at the firm, says the federal and public sector health-care market has held strong, with some health systems, including Parkland, getting funding before the economic problems started.

“We’re seeing a pickup in health-care construction from a dip in 2009,” says Kenny Kwong, manager of market intelligence and strategic planning for Balfour Beatty Construction in Dallas, one of the four firms in the joint venture BARA, which is building the Parkland replacement.

“We see health care as a growing market because the population is growing, and with the aging of the baby boomers, the demand for health care will be going up.”

Even so, James A. Broaddus, president and CEO of Broaddus & Associates of Austin, says there is much uncertainty in the market.

“There seems to be a slowdown of projects in the pipeline,” he adds. “A lot of that has to do with health-care legislation. That has affected the privately constructed medical office buildings and surgery centers. The swing has been toward public construction.”

Broaddus-Muņoz, a joint venture between Broaddus & Associates and Kell Muņoz Architects of San Antonio, serves as project manager for the $778-million University Hospital addition for the University Health System of San Antonio, which is owned by the people of Bexar County.

The company also is providing program management at two projects: the $40-million, 240,000-sq-ft Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital East Tower Expansion in The Woodlands, being built by Manhattan Construction of Houston, and Texas Children’s Hospital Maternity and Pediatrics Center at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

Several projects started in prior years are wrapping up at TMC. McCarthy Building Cos. of Dallas is adding 12 stories to the Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The-$220 million, 500,000-sq-ft, design-build project includes a bed tower above the existing structure and a horizontal expansion in the front of the building.

McCarthy completed the base structure and is now building out three additional patient floors. HKS of Dallas designed the expansion. M.D. Anderson also awarded McCarthy the “Pavillion” expansion.


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