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Under Construction: Top Facility Projects of May 2024

May 30, 2024 | Public | 0 comments

Facilities Management Advisor’s “Under Construction” series highlights some of the latest, most interesting facility project announcements every month.

Biden-Backed Data Center

Companies like Amazon and Google recently announced major data center projects. Perhaps most notably, though, President Joe Biden touted a $3.3 billion data center investment in Racine County, Wis., from Microsoft. The project will be built at a site previously slated for a $10 billion manufacturing hub by Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, which former President Donald Trump announced as a huge victory for jobs and domestic manufacturing while in office. Ultimately, Foxconn’s $10 billion plans fell through. Biden claimed this was a Trump failure, saying, “My predecessor made promises, which he broke. … On my watch, we make promises and we keep promises.” Political posturing aside, Microsoft said its data center project will be a big boost for the local economy and artificial intelligence (AI).

Courtesy: @POTUS X account

Organization: Microsoft
Location: Mount Pleasant, Racine County, Wis.
Type of project: New build
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: $3.3 billion
Status: Announced May 8
Expected completion: End of 2026

Interesting tidbit: According to the White House, the project will create 2,300 union construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs. A recent report found that AI adoption has created “unprecedented demand” for data centers. Along with building the new facility, Microsoft is partnering with local schools to equip more than 100,000 Wisconsin residents with essential AI skills; train and certify students to work in the new data center and IT sector jobs; and establish the country’s first manufacturing-focused AI co-innovation lab on a university campus. With sustainability in mind, Microsoft is also partnering on a 250 MW solar project in the state, and the new data center will use recycled water by employing a closed-loop cooling system.

Quote: “Wisconsin has a rich and storied legacy of innovation and ingenuity in manufacturing,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft. “We will use the power of AI to help advance the next generation of manufacturing companies, skills, and jobs in Wisconsin and across the country.”

More details available here.

‘Hope’ During Mental Health Awareness Month

UF Health, a medical network associated with the University of Florida, broke ground at the future location of its new Florida Recovery Center (FRC) campus. Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the celebration marked the development of an expanded, upgraded facility to care for more patients struggling with addiction. According to UF Health, the new FRC represents “more than 47,000 square feet of hope and healing.”

Courtesy: UF Health

Organization: UF Health
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Type of project: New build
Size: 47,676 square feet
Estimated cost: N/A
Status: Ground broken May 9
Expected completion: Fall 2025

Interesting tidbit: The project will replace the current FRC, which is located nearby and was ranked the No. 1 addiction treatment center in Florida and No. 6 nationwide by Newsweek. The project will expand patient beds to 138 and include 47,676 square feet of residential and therapeutic spaces in three buildings—a single-story commons building and two three-story residential buildings. The campus will also feature updated amenities, including a pool, gym, outdoor recreation area, and pickleball court. An existing 18,700-square-foot administrative building will be renovated to house offices and other services.

Quote: “Addiction can affect anyone from any walk of life,” said Traci d’Auguste, chief operating officer of UF Health. “Since the UF Health Florida Recovery Center was founded in 1999, the University of Florida has shown they understand the complexities of the disease of addiction.”

More details available here.

$30M Restroom Makeover

Countless studies have shown that restroom conditions greatly impact visitors’ opinion of an establishment and whether they’d like to return. Therefore, when you spend big bucks on restroom renovations, you’re not flushing money down the toilet. Houston Airports, which manages George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, announced a $30 million project to overhaul outdated restrooms at both Houston facilities.

Courtesy: Houston Airports

Organization: Houston Airports
Location: Houston
Type of project: Renovation
Size: Dozens of restrooms
Estimated cost: $30 million
Status: Announced May 1
Expected completion: Up to 24 months

Interesting tidbit: With help from FAA funding, the phased project includes replacing flooring, walls, stalls, lighting, sinks, and counters; installing occupancy sensors above stalls and other tech to alert airport staff when soap and paper towels are low; strategically positioning custodial closets nearby; and making sure each restroom better meets ADA requirements.

Quote: Jim Szczesniak, director of aviation for Houston Airports, said, “This phased renovation will improve the airport guest experience, help us meet increasing passenger demand, and signal our commitment to investing in critical infrastructure.”

More details available here.

New FM Building

What facilities management team wouldn’t love a nice new facility of their own?! Cecil College in Maryland recently broke ground on a construction project that includes a second campus entrance and a new Facilities Management Building, which will help provide better maintenance services across the community college. The combined project has a price tag of $16.4 million.

Courtesy: Cecil College

Organization: Cecil College
Location: North East, Md.
Type of project: New build
Size: 16,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $16.4 million combined
Status: Ground broken April 29
Expected completion: May 2025

Interesting tidbit: The Facilities Management Building will be a 16,000-square-foot structure designed to achieve LEED Silver certification for sustainability. It will mostly be a pre-engineered metal building with concrete and brick elements. The architectural design combines high-bay open-ceiling shops and storage bays with an administrative core. The new structure will house the maintenance shop, grounds maintenance shop, custodial operations, auxiliary services, receiving/distribution, duplication, campus storage, and administrative operations.

Quote: College President Dr. Mary Way Bolt said, “As you can see when you came on campus today, our facilities and grounds are in excellent condition, and that is due to the pride and hard work of the men and women who serve on those teams.”

More details available here.

Airport Parking Expansion

Finding parking at major airports can be a pain in the butt. Future travelers at Miami International Airport (MIA) will be happy to learn the global hub is building a new 2,240-space, seven-level parking garage, though drivers may need to contend with some lane closures amid construction. The $136 million facility will be adjacent to MIA’s current Flamingo garage.

Courtesy: MIA

Organization: Miami International Airport
Location: Miami
Type of project: New build
Size: 2,240 spaces
Estimated cost: $136 million
Design-build team: Lemartec Corp.
Status: Ground broken Feb. 20
Expected completion: Summer 2026

Interesting tidbit: The new garage will include “future-ready features” such as 50 spaces for electric vehicle charging, energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures, and a Parksmart Silver Certification design for sustainability. The new garage is just one of the latest projects under MIA’s $7 billion Next Chapter capital improvement program, which is making airport-wide upgrades within the next 15 years.

Quote: Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, “This significant investment into the customer experience at MIA will make parking and entering the airport more convenient than ever before.”

More details available here.

Honorable Mentions

Do you have a major project announcement you’d like considered for the “Under Construction” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at [email protected].

The post Under Construction: Top Facility Projects of May 2024 appeared first on Facilities Management Advisor.

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