Located in West Central Florida, Mease Countryside Hospital found itself unable to meet increasing demand for its services. With this area's growing population, 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).

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

Doubling the bed count required adding diagnostic and support space, such as operating rooms, imaging, an emergency department, and food service. Quality healthcare, delivered with individual attention to patients and families, is the reputation of Mease Countryside Hospital. From the beginning, the goal of the hospital and design team was to double the building size while maintaining the hospital's reputation for quality care and individual attention.

Project category: Project in progress (October 2005)

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

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

Design team: John Blassick, Principal-in-Charge, Project Manager; Yordys Hernandez, Project Architect; Tom Grove, Medical Planner (Flad & Associates); MEP Engineering (Affiliated Engineers, Inc.); Phyllis Brumfield, Interior Designer (Design Partners)

Photography: ©2005 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)

Additional project goals included: establishing understandable wayfinding, convenient and comfortable public and patient spaces, and current-practice regional hospital service areas, as well as doubling the size of the hospital without interrupting daily operations and, more importantly, without interrupting service to patients during the expansion.

The new facility achieves all these goals. Jim Pfeiffer, administrator 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.”