The Forsyth Medical Center Expansion and Renovation for Novant Health of Winston-Salem included five major projects totaling more than 1 million square feet. These were the North Pavilion, a new parking deck, an education and conference center, a central energy plant expansion and the Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center. Additionally, there were infrastructure improvements and a reroute of the primary road fronting the hospital.
This too was a joint venture. It paired Rodgers Builders of Charlotte with the Greensboro office of Rentenbach Constructors, based in Knoxville, TN.
â€œIt was a great relationship,â€ says David Craft, vice president of construction for Rodgers. â€œWe melded. We were one team. We never made a decision that was not in the best interest of the project.â€Â
Rentenbach reminds him of Rodgers, Craft says. Rather than concern themselves with formulas for the number of people involved from each company, Craft says, â€œWe just worried about whoâ€™s the best person to fill a particular position.â€
That brings to mind what Reid Linthicum, vice president of operations for Rentenbach, considers the best anecdote about team spirit.
â€œThe owner, Novant Health, on occasion confused which team member worked for which company,â€ says Linthicum. â€œThatâ€™s the ultimate compliment on how well the joint venture worked.â€
David Mauney of Pyramid Masonry Contractors also praises the cooperation and points to preplanning and the coordination of subcontractors it produced. That made a big difference for work that had to be accomplished while normal hospital activities continued uninterrupted, said Mauney, a regional vice president based in Charlotte.
Constructing a brick veneer, the 60-person Pyramid crew found themselves in tight conditions with limited access. Sometimes they toiled above roofs of existing structures.
Itâ€™s situations such as those, Mauney believes, where preparation by Rodgers/Rentenbach helped immensely.
â€œThe quality and workmanship our guys were able to achieve is there forever,â€ Mauney says.
Mauney also praises the attention to safety. â€œRodgers/Rentenbach made certain this was given the proper priority each and every day,â€ he says. The CAGC cites a .75 incidence rate for more that 900,000 hours on the job.
The four-year project presented many scope changes and challenges, including multiple phase renovations, infrastructure improvements and utility relocations.
For a sense of size as well as coordination issues, consider that the five-level visitor parking deck is 600,000 square feet of cast-in-place concrete. As the deck neared completion, the pours for the North Pavilion were in progress. Further, the North Pavilion opening had to coincide with West Tower renovations.
A four-level, two-truss connector was needed to link the hallways of floors five through nine from the North Pavilion to the General Tower, which dates to the 1960s. To accomplish this, a 2,400-square-foot roof had to be removed while lower floors were occupied.
â€œProbably the greatest challenge was tying in the existing building to the new building at the third and fourth floors,â€ says Craft.
Complications abounded. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was at a connection point, and a connection was impossible while the unit was occupied. But the NICU couldnâ€™t move until the North Pavilion was ready.
Craft and Linthicum thought ahead, and with the help of the full project team â€“ including representatives of architects FreemanWhite Inc. and Forsyth Medical Center â€“ found ways to overcome challenges with minimum disruptions. That anticipation prepared the team for when logistics puzzlers popped up, Craft says.
The CAGC praises completion â€œwell below budget, despite an unprecedented increase in market prices from initial budget through bidding to the end of the project.â€
Craft is proud the project was completed early. â€œAnd we didnâ€™t fail any inspections,â€ he adds.