Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed October 2005)

Chief administrator: Jim Pfeiffer, President and CEO, (727) 725-6222

Firm: Flad & Associates, (352) 377-6884

Design team: John E. Blassick, Principal-in-Charge/Project Manager; Yordys Hernandez, Project Architect; Tom Grove, Medical Planner; Cedric Christian, Design Architect (Flad & Associates); Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (Affiliated Engineers, Inc.); Phyllis Brumfield, Interior Designer (Design Partners)

Photography: ©2006 Scott McDonald, Hedrich Blessing; ©2006 Neil Rashba

Total building area (sq. ft.): 226,380 (new); 68,955 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $278 (new); $110 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $62,890,000 (new); $7,600,000 (renovation)

Located in West Central Florida, Mease Countryside Hospital found itself unable to meet increasing demand for its services. Countryside Hospital needed to double its service capacity and bed count; reestablish its women's services, obstetrics, and pediatrics departments; and expand its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and emergency department.

The new 32,000-sq.-ft. emergency department will handle 65,000 visits per year. The flexible design includes a continuous string of rooms that can accommodate rapid fluctuations in workload, as well as in the various types of care provided.

To carry the hospitality atmosphere into the emergency department, a dedicated, full-time receptionist rather than a nurse personally greets patients. The identifying emergency department shape has a large skylight over the waiting space with cluster seating supporting waiting family members and patients in a warm, secure environment.

Doubling the bed count also required adding diagnostic and support space, such as operating rooms, imaging, and food service. Mease Countryside Hospital has a reputation for quality healthcare delivered with individual attention to patients and families.

Additional project goals included establishing understandable wayfinding, convenient and comfortable public and patient spaces, and doubling the size of the hospital without interrupting daily operations or service to patients.

With these enhancements, the Countryside Hospital expansion and renovation project will allow the hospital to continue to provide “Circle of Life” care—from cradle to end of life—for the community it serves. The “Circle” theme is reflected throughout the design of the new hospital.

The new facility achieves all these goals. Jim Pfeiffer, president and CEO of Mease Countryside Hospital, says, “The architects deserve a lot of credit for designing a project that was absolutely transparent in its construction, so that our normal hospital routine could carry on every day without interruption.”