Highlands Oncology Group – Baxter Regional Medical Center
Mountain Home, AR
It can be easy sometimes to get so focused on the nuts and bolts of a construction project that you forget to reflect on the facility’s true meaning and purpose. We could describe the new Highlands Oncology Group clinic in Mountain Home, Arkansas as a 37,000 square foot facility with a $14 million budget. We could talk about the beauty of its design. The features, the finishes. Really, though, this project was much more than any spec sheet could describe. This facility was not built with just metal and bricks. It was built with compassion, with warm hearts. It was built with the best of humanity.
Highlands Oncology Group already had multiple clinics in the Northwest Arkansas region, which is about 3 hours away from Mountain Home. But medical needs are the same whether you live in a large urban area or a small town. So two of the state’s medical pillars came together to give Mountain Home residents a chance at the highest quality of cancer care.
Baxter Regional Medical Center and Highlands Oncology partnered on this endeavor for the sole purpose of providing care to those who need it. Crossland was proud to be chosen to help them deliver on that promise.
The first thing that likely stands out about this clinic is how it looks. The owners wanted the building to be artistic. There are no photographs or art pieces inside the clinic, which features a full service pharmacy. The clinic is the art.
This project offered a few unique challenges for Crossland, starting with the location. Because of the distance from Crossland’s NWA offices, we worked with all new subcontractors from the Mountain Home area. Communication was very important while we all got to know each other and how to work together.
Another unique challenge was extremely long material lead times, particularly for electrical equipment and roofing materials. To overcome this particular challenge, we ordered materials as soon as we could and, while waiting, worked on other aspects of the project. We also prepared for the materials that were delayed so once they were received we could immediately install them.
We sourced the roofing and electrical materials from different suppliers, as MDP and TPO which were all delayed over 3 months. We worked with our electrical subcontractors and the area utility provider to build a feed key to bypass while we waited to keep the project moving forward. Another challenge was the project’s proximity to the area hospital. Crossland worked hard to be aware of the public traffic around the site and to keep the area clear and safe.
Crossland self-performed the linear accelerator vault and cancer treatment rooms with three-feet-thick concrete walls and six-feet-thick ceilings. The rooms are essentially concrete boxes to keep radiation inside the rooms. The equipment rooms required lead-lined walls and equipment footprints to be laid out before flooring was put in. Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used to keep everything in order. These rooms also came with their own project manager from the architect due the specificity of the needs in the room.
The site concrete in the scope was not originally self-perform, but Crossland was able to pull from area crews and subs to get the concrete poured on time for the schedule. Crossland also took on the mill work and some carpentry to finish the project on time.
Several innovative programs and methods were used to help keep the project on time and on budget. We used our own self-perform work and trusted contractors to ensure proper coordination and personnel management. For quality control, we hired a third party envelope inspector. Asta Powerproject was used to ensure we delivered the project on time, despite challenges with lead times. For value analysis, we provided many options and alternative plans when issues arose. We never made the “best guess” for ourselves and always took the issue directly to the owner.
From the distance from our offices to working with new contractors, this project brought with it a variety of unique challenges. It also provided a series of important learning opportunities.
We learned how to work with the architect for medical equipment rooms’ own project managers and how to pull resources and build new relationships with subcontractors and suppliers from three hours away from the job site.
Perhaps most important, we were reminded just how much can be accomplished when working together. Much like the partnership between Baxter Regional and Highlands Oncology, this project was a team effort from start to finish.
Industry Sector: Healthcare
Size: 33,765 SF
Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build / Hard Bid
Self-Perform: Steel Erection, Concrete
Owner: Highlands Oncology Group
Architect: Core Architecture
Engineer: HP Engineering, INc.
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