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McCarthy Building Completes $240M Houston Hospital Expansion

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The Texas regional office of McCarthy Building Cos. wraps up the $240-million M.D. Anderson expansion in Houston this summer and starts construction on the city of Frisco’s new municipal parking garage.

“Our emphasis on health care is a big part of the McCarthy culture,” McCarthy Vice President Chris Peck tells Texas Construction. “Because of our orientation toward diverse public sector opportunities, our work hasn’t had as much of a dip as maybe other companies.”

The UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital expansion in Houston began in January 2008. The design-build project - designed by Dallas-based HKS - adds 12 levels to an existing 12. Peck says it was challenging, calling it “probably the toughest health-care construction you can do. It was like pulling the lid off of it to add 12 more floors.” It is in the busy Texas Medical Center.

You’ve got cancer patients from all over the world, and a 24-7 operation,” Peck says “The staging is complex and there is little-lay down area. We added to our original scope by finishing out floors that were to be shell.”

The 500,000-sq-ft vertical expansion was done in multiple phases. The first prepared the existing hospital for the vertical expansion and included selective demolition, temporary waterproofing activities and the installation of a tower crane and a personnel/material hoist. The second involved the core and shell construction. The third phase included the construction of the first three inpatient floors. The final phase includes five additional patient floors, a mechanical floor and the renovation of several areas of the existing building, including level 12, with special air-filtering systems for patients with compromised immune systems.

Other health-care projects in McCarthy’s roster include United Regional Healthcare Systems in Wichita Falls, the Carillon Point Plaza in Lubbock, as well as numerous renovation and expansion projects at the Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco. Those include a $25-million hospital tower expansion, an addition of a 28,000-sq-ft emergency department, a conference center and a renovation of 14,000 sq ft of outpatient services.

McCarthy has $350 million in projects under way statewide. That includes the 192,000-sq-ft Frisco parking garage structure, designed by Carl Walker Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich. It is slated for completion in December.

“We’re excited that our geography in Texas is starting to expand. We’ve got new work for various clients, but we’re still more oriented to public sector,” Peck says. “The market is competitive, but I think we’re at the bottom of the cycle. It is a relatively slow, but steady exit from this depression. We’re bullish on DFW, Houston and other areas of Texas.”

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