Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center at Tyler Junior College – HGR General Contractors & Turner Construction Company
For many years Tyler Junior College (TJC) in Tyler, Texas, has been a medical hub for students seeking health care professions. Over the last three years the college has actively worked to ramp up its medical program offerings to the next level, spurred by the opening of the $46 million state-of-the-art Robert M. Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center. “We’ve been a medical destination for students and now we’re going to be a medical training destination,” said Dr. Mike Metke, president of TJC, at the grand opening of the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center.
The addition the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center will allow TJC to offer additional and expanded health care programs and the college projects that 50 percent more graduates will pursue medical degrees — up from 600 in 2013 to an expected 900 by the end of 2017. Students will receive more hands-on, real-world training with latest in medical technology and patient care services.
Leading hands-on experience
The new Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center will more than quadruple the classroom and laboratory space of TJC’s current programs and will add approximately 150,000 square feet of academic space in a multistory setting. Features include cutting-edge simulation laboratories, as well as technology-enhanced classrooms that will allow students to receive training on new equipment and have access to universal digital medical records and information.
In early 2013, TJC acquired the real estate for the new building just west of the main campus. The ideal location is included in the City of Tyler’s new medical district, situated directly between the college and Tyler’s two main hospitals; Trinity Mother Frances and East Texas Medical Center.
Assembling a tenured team
HGR General Contractors, a company that’s been a fixture of the TJC campus for nearly 15 years, partnered with Turner Construction Company in a joint venture as construction manager-at-risk to complete the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences facility on a fast-tracked 18-month schedule. “We’ve completed numerous projects for TJC,” says Randy Reynolds, vice president, partner and project executive for Tyler-based HGR. “A lot of our work is school construction; I’d say about 70 percent. We also do a lot of municipal and health care work.” HGR has deep roots in the East Texas community, including TJC’s extensive infrastructure initiative.
A major part of the unique team, Turner Construction Company is the leading builder of medical facilities in the nation. In 2011, Turner was responsible for the construction of 100 health care facilities that represented a volume of $1.7 billion. Turner has worked with a variety of medical facility types and built the original Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.
Another project partner is SmithGroupJJR. SmithGroupJJR has been employed as the lead architect and brings over 150 years of experience to the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center. SmithGroupJJR is renowned for its expertise in the planning and construction of hospitals and medical training facilities. This group is partnering with four local firms in the development and design of the new facility, including: Eubanks Harris Roberts Craig Architects Inc. and Brannon Corp. and David C. Scarborough Landscape Architecture.
Navigating site challenges
Well within the project team’s wheelhouse, the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center began to take shape in August 2013 and the building officially opened in January 2015. At three stories and 145,000 square feet, the facility is a sizable edition to the campus.
Laying the groundwork for a building of this size presented so3me initial challenges HGR+Turner had to work through with the project team. “The site was home to an old gas station on one side and on the other side there’s a creek, so a lot of site remediation had to take place in the beginning,” says Reynolds. “One corner of the building sits below grade level so we had to put in about 400 foundation piers for stability and build a massive retaining wall so this could take place.”
Once the walls were up, coordination inside was a dance of various trades. “The lighting alone was a massive effort,” details Reynolds. “The entire building includes LEDs and lighting automation and controls. Just the lighting portion was about $1.6 million.”
Despite initial setbacks and the coordination of a huge scope of trades, the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center came in $900,000 under budget. “I think the biggest success was managing trades effectively,” says Reynolds. “We made sure anyone we hired had the track record, could sustain the large project financially and had a solid project delivery history.”
Now up and running, the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center is attracting students from all over the country to Tyler Junior College in the hopes of finding a fulfilling medical career with the essential hands-on experience starting out.
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