Birmingham-based Doster Construction Co. finished the South Hillsborough VA Primary Care Clinic in Riverview, Florida, this past spring. The new, 65,000-square-foot facility was created to provide up to 10,000 veterans in Riverview and other area communities with medical services that previously required a drive to Tampa, says Doster Senior Project Manager Mitchell Jones.
Services provided by the clinic include primary care, home-based primary care, mental health, audiology, radiology, specialty care, physical therapy, pharmacy services and lab work.
“The community was tremendously interested in this project, and we were surprised to see the turnout at town hall meetings held in association with it,” he says. “It was rewarding for us to interact with the people who would be using the clinic, as you don’t get that opportunity on most projects.”
Designed by NIKA Architects, the facility includes a striking glass exterior. The clinic was designed to comply with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, which always serves as an additional challenge for builders. Application for LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council is in process.
Other construction challenges included meeting Florida’s strict hurricane code and wetland protection regulations. “The whole front of the building, which is quite attractive, is hurricane-resistant glass, which takes 20 weeks to manufacture,” Jones says. Plus the water table at the site was high. Water was found only 12 inches below the surface. “We had to do a lot of pumping to dewater the site,” he says.
Even with the challenges, Doster was able to complete the project four weeks ahead of schedule. “We were glad to be able to deliver it early because that meant thousands of veterans would be able to more easily access health care sooner,” Jones says.