Even though the recession has hurt the Texas health-care market, numerous jobs are moving forward.

“Texas is the best health-care market in the United States now,” says James King, director of health care for Turner Construction’s Texas Region in Dallas. “There are still large projects coming out, and several more will come out.”

Building With Care Texas’ Health Care Market Remains Vital

King attributes the progress to the state’s pro-business environment and to the fact that Texas does not require a certificate of need before a hospital proceeds with expansion plans. Turner is working on a $22-million, 65,000-sq-ft addition to Weatherford Regional Medical Center in Weatherford for Community Health Systems of Brentwood, Tenn. Turner also recently finished a 14,000-sq-ft renovation at Medical City Dallas and is completing an interior fit-out of a two-story, 40,000-sq-ft clinic for Cooper Clinic in McKinney.

On the design side, John Crane, CEO of FKP Architects in Houston, adds, “Texas is in better shape than a lot of states. I would rather be here than anywhere else in the country.”

He says owners have not abandoned any of the firm’s major Texas projects, although a couple of them have slowed down.

FKP continues working on design drawings for the $575-million, 700,000-sq-ft, 15-story Texas Children’s Maternity Center in Houston. W.S. Bellows Construction Corp. of Houston began construction on the concrete-frame structure in 2008. FKP also designed the $40-million renovation of a former patient-care facility at Texas Children’s into the Feigin Center, a research facility completing construction this fall.

Texas Children’s is in the midst of a $1.5-billion expansion program. In addition to these two projects, the health system is building the Texas Children’s West Campus, designed by PageSoutherlandPage of Houston. Tellepsen Builders of Houston is constructing the 294,000-sq-ft, 96-bed hospital and a 220,000-sq-ft ambulatory care and medical office building, set for completion in late 2010.

“I’m seeing [the health-care market] beginning to trend upwards, especially in Texas,” adds Allan Dedman, vice president of J.E. Dunn Construction Co. in Austin.

J.E. Dunn began a $27-million, 75-bed, two-story, 66,000-sq-ft project in January at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease. It’s renovating a radiology space and laboratory and constructing a central utility plant on the San Antonio campus for the Texas Department of Health Services.

The company also was recently awarded an expansion project by HCA in El Paso.

Meanwhile, private hospitals are in a wait-and-see mode, says John Castorina, senior vice president with RTKL in Dallas. “Their capital investment dollars have shrunk, and donations and philanthropy have decreased,” Castorina says.

He adds that institutional and government projects have increased.

RTKL and Overland Partners of San Antonio are working on the design for a $121-million clinical services building and renovation at the University Health Center – Downtown, which is part of University Health System of San Antonio’s $899.4-million Target 2012 capital improvement program.

“It’s the largest capital expenditure project in the history of Bexar County,” says Rick Archer, principal at Overland...