HCA Healthcare North FL Division – Interior Build-Out
When it came time for HCA Healthcare, one of the leading healthcare service providers in the country, to move their North Florida Division’s operations, they partnered with Ajax Building Company to bring the brand’s new and improved Tallahassee office to life… a project that earned an ABC North Florida Excellence in Construction Pyramid award.
Prior to the move, the healthcare giant had called North Monroe Street in Tallahassee home. But in 2021, HCA decided it was time to modernize their North Florida Division by moving to one of city’s most exciting redevelopments—Cascades. Comprised of the Millstream apartment building, the Merestone office building, and three land parcels prime for future development—not to mention, bordering the historic Cascades Park—Cascades is a leading-edge, mixed-use development that offers residents, office tenants, and the public plenty of amenities to explore and enjoy.
The 25,000sf workspace spans three levels in the building—floors 6, 7, and 8—and was designed to accommodate the HCA North Florida Division’s executive management team. Featuring brand-new offices, a massive conference room, and an interconnecting stair joining the sixth and seventh floors, HCA’s new North Florida office is the perfect space for collaboration.
Although this tenant fit-out might seem straightforward, the site’s location and the base building’s existing limitations created a few challenges for the construction team.
Site Logistics: The Merestone building is adjacent to the busy Cascades Park and Imagination Foundation. The 24-acre park is open to the public from sunrise to sunset and offers patrons a plethora of activities. From attending events at the iconic Adderley Amphitheater and enjoying the family-oriented playscape to taking advantage of the 2.3 miles of fitness trails, Cascades Park is always bustling with tourists and Tallahassee
residents alike. Building so close to such a popular park certainly had its challenges. Ajax carefully developed a site logistics strategy that prioritized the safety and
wellbeing of the park’s visitors.
Building Access: One of the more challenging aspects of fitting out the top three floors in the Merestone building was the lack access. The base building elevators were too small to fit construction materials, or even bring personnel up and down the building efficiently. The solution? Ajax thought outside of the box—literally. The team erected a material hoist assembly for personnel and materials on the exterior of the building, which involved removed the existing glass façade and creating a temporary, dried-in opening to gain access. At the end of the project, they put it all back together, making sure the façade was sealed.
Ajax has a very detailed and proven safety program, but on this project, they went above and beyond. They worked with the developer to schedule disruptive work for off-hours and made sure the site was completely secured from all angles. The project team held mandatory safety meetings each week where they discussed the hazards of upcoming tasks and how to complete each of those tasks as safely as possible.
In addition to keeping open lines of communication with those closest to the work, Ajax rewarded workers who exhibited exemplary safety habits to encourage everyone on site to take the extra steps and stay safe. From equipment usage to proper PPE, the project team was constantly observing and recognizing workers that stepped up and became safety leaders. Each month, the workers who stood out were treated to a lunch with Ajax’s director of safety and risk management. While these lunches were only a small token of appreciation, the positive reinforcement helped maintain a safe jobsite. From start to close-out, Ajax had zero significant incidents and zero lost hours on this project (including construction management team and all subcontractors).