Orlando Report: The Roller Coaster Ride Continues
... medical office building this fall.
Florida Hospital also hired Brasfield & Gorrie for the $21-million, 47,000-sq-ft expansion of its Winter Park Memorial Hospital. The project was designed by RLF and is scheduled to wrap up this year.
Brasfield & Gorrie recently started a $90-million, 250,000-sq-ft bed tower expansion at Florida Hospital’s facility in Celebration. At the same campus, the Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement announced a $35-million expansion.
Coming Down the Tracks Some of the biggest buzz surrounding Orlando’s construction future is coming from the announcement of two major rail projects: a $2.5-billion high-speed rail link connecting Tampa and Orlando and the $1-billion-plus development of a 61-mi commuter system known as SunRail.
President Barack Obama announced a $1.25-billion grant to the state of Florida to help build the Tampa-Orlando HSR system. Officials with the Florida Dept. of Transportation hope to solicit bids for the project by the end of 2010 or early 2011.
FDOT also is working with the federal government and local officials to develop the SunRail commuter system, which would extend from south of downtown Orlando to as far east as Volusia County. A team consisting of Archer Western Contractors of Atlanta and RailWorks Track Systems of New York hold a $615-million construction contract. FDOT anticipates a spring 2011 start for the first phase, which would run from DeBary to the Sand Lake Road Station south of downtown Orlando.
Then There’s Tourism While tourism has been on the downswing, some major projects have continued, and more are starting to move forward now. For example, construction is wrapping up at Universal Orlando Resorts’ 20-acre The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction. The New York Times reported it as a $265-million investment. Universal Orlando did not release the contractor’s name.
Barton Malow Co. of Orlando is in preconstruction on the Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, which the company stated is the largest expansion in the history of the Orlando park. Disney selected Hoar Construction of Orlando for another part of the project. Disney expects to break ground this year, with the project taking three years to complete.
Turner is working on preconstruction for a Four Seasons resort at Walt Disney World. Skidelsky does not expect construction to start until 2011.
Education Work is still happening in the local school systems, says J. David Torbert, a partner at SchenkelShultz Architects of Orlando. Orange County Public Schools has approximately $578 million in projects under construction or in renovation.
Skanska, in a joint venture with JCB Construction of Orlando, expects to complete the $91.9-million Apopka High School replacement this spring, with demolition of the existing gym and a new parking lot ready by summer.
W.G. Mills of Sarasota, Fla., is renovating Edgewater High School for OCPS. The $83-million project is scheduled for completion in October 2011.
SchenkelShultz is finishing the design on the $72.9-million Oak Ridge High replacement school and $73-million Evans High replacement school, both for OCPS. The firm is also working on design for a replacement school for Highlands Elementary in Osceola County, which is expected to start construction in May.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts www.orlandopac.org
Medical City at Lake Nona www.tavistock.com/?id=26
Nemours Childrens Hospital www.nemours.org/about/location/nchorlando.html
Orlando VA Medical Center www.orlando.va.gov/newmedcenter/orlmedcenternew.asp