On May 23, Skanska topped out the $180-million Integrative Sciences Building at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, a molecular sciences research and teaching facility that will be home to the university’s Integrative Science Initiative program, aimed at transforming the teaching, research and discovery of chemistry and other STEM fields at NCSU. Skanska began construction on the 165,947-sq-ft building in May 2023. It features cutting-edge classrooms, teaching labs, core research facilities, collaboration and study spaces as well as office areas and a café. It required more than 134,000 cu ft of concrete, more than 1,000 tons of structural steel for the skeleton frame, 128 fume hoods for transformative research and an air handler unit capacity of more than 190,000 cu ft per minute. Skanska is aiming for a fall 2026 completion on the six-story facility set to be the centerpiece of NC State’s main campus.

Gloria Drummond Patient Tower at Boca Raton Regional Hospital

Rendering courtesy Robins & Morton

Robins & Morton and Baptist Health South Florida topped out the Gloria Drummond Patient Tower at Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Boca Raton, Fla., on April 26, marking the structural completion of the nine-story building, which is scheduled for a full completion in 2025. The HKS-designed facility will feature all private patient rooms, surgical suites and critical care units. It will house the Michelle and Michael Hagerty Center for Graduate Medical Education and more than double the hospital’s educational space, helping to recruit and retain top medical school graduates. The 427,000-sq-ft expansion, which will bring the hospital to a total of more than 1.08 million sq ft, will include 20 new operating rooms, two hybrid operating rooms with ceiling mounted IMRIS, one hybrid MRI, a radiology suite, public bistro, dining area for doctors, a pharmacy, intensive care unit, medical-surgical beds and a grand entrance with large canopy, skylights and fountains. Pursuing both a LEED certification and WELL certification, the hospital plans to be one of the first in Florida to receive the latter, a performance-based global standard for certifying health and well-being in the built environment. Robins & Morton is also constructing as part of the project a 39,000-sq-ft central energy plant to support campuswide expansions and renovations.

North Okaloosa Medical Center groundbreaking

Photo courtesy Doster Construction Co.

Work began May 6 on the $15-million expansion to North Okaloosa Medical Center’s emergency department in Crestview, Fla., a Doster Construction Co. effort to expand the existing department to a capacity of 25 beds. Planned to enhance the resources for the hospital’s clinical team, investments are also being made in new technology and equipment, including diagnostic imaging to deliver critical data to clinicians. Anticipating an early 2025 completion, patients will enter the emergency department through a new entrance, and ambulances will bring patients into a new ambulance bay. The project will also prepare the facility for more growth in the future, readying the cardiac cath lab department for further expansion. North Okaloosa Medical Center says that more than 39,000 patients sought emergency medical care at the hospital in 2023, a 30% increase over 2020.

Wannemacher Jensen Architects

Photo courtesy WJ Architects

WJ Architects, also known as Wannemacher Jensen Architects, has opened its newest office in Ybor City, in the heart of Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District, an expansion that the firm says underscores its commitment to enhancing services and fostering talent growth in the Tampa Bay community. Jason Jensen, WJA president, says Tampa was the natural next step for the firm, while its public safety director and Tampa director Jeff McDowell says the location will allow the firm to harness a diverse talent pool thriving in the historic district. The office is the firm’s sixth in the state. The firm is actively recruiting across all locations, with a particular focus on the Tampa office, which is projected to house a team of 20 and bring its workforce to nearly 100. WJA’s Tampa portfolio includes notable projects like the ConnectWise Office Headquarters, the Tampa Fire and Police Training Complex Modernization project, Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, RYDE It Cycle Studio in Midtown, Academy of Holy Names School, North Tampa Christian Academy and HART Operations Center.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has awarded Poettker Construction a National Safety Merit Award due to its continuous commitment to safety on the job. Presented at the 34th annual Excellence in Construction Awards during the ABC Convention 2024 in Orlando, the award was given to just 45 contractors nationwide, selected from ABC member firms that achieved Diamond, Platinum or Gold status in its STEP Safety Management System in 2023, reflective of the firms’ 2022 safety performance data. During selection, contractors were judged on self-evaluated scores, lost workday case rates, total recordable incident rates, leading indicator use, process and program innovations and interviews conducted by ABC’s National Health and Safety Committee.