Contractors recently broke ground on a historic renovation to Building One at the Bay Pines Veterans Administration Healthcare System, which was constructed in 1933.
Not only will the overhaul provide long-awaited upgrades and a facelift to the 88-year old Building One, but several military veterans are playing a key role in the construction. General contractor ECRMJV is overseeing the project, which is an Eamon Chase and Robins & Morton joint venture.
Over the next two years, workers will completely gut and renovate the interior of the second through fifth floors of Building One, while the first floor and attic level undergo a partial remodeling. The second through the fifth floor will change classifications from institutional, hospital occupancy to business occupancy. This reclassification allows for the transformation to primary care outpatient services.
“It’s a unique opportunity to be able to renovate a historic building that has helped to heal our service people for such a long time,” said Robins & Morton Senior Project Manager Michael Skrobis in a statement. “The ECRMJV team has a special connection to the building’s purpose as we are a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Mentor Protégé joint venture, and it’s a privilege to carefully restore this place for its new life.”
Building One served as the main hospital for the Veterans Administration Bay Pines Medical Campus following its construction in 1933. Following its completion, it was first called the “National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.” Building One was the main veterans’ hospital for 50 years, until a replacement was built in 1983.
Following the construction of the new hospital, Building One underwent its first restoration in 1987. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the original tile mosaic and decorative painting are still in place. The facility also houses the healthcare system’s Veterans Canteen Service, featuring a food court, retail store and barbershop.
The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is a Level 1a, highly specialized care facility situated on 337 acres and bordered by the Gulf of Mexico. Located eight miles northwest of downtown St. Petersburg, the campus is also the proud home of a National Cemetery and the VA Regional Office. Every year, the healthcare system serves more than 108,000 of the region’s veterans. The facility provides a wide range of medical, psychiatric, and extended care services through outpatient, inpatient, residential, nursing home and in-home settings.
Bay Pines is also one of the busiest VA healthcare systems in the U.S., ranking fourth in the country for the number of veterans it treats.
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of a project that will impact thousands of veterans and help provide them with quality healthcare for many years,” said Brett Sanborn, U.S. Army veteran and President of Eamon Chase. “As a veteran myself, I understand how important healthcare is to the men and women who served our great nation.
“A project of this magnitude helps ensure that veterans will continue to receive the healthcare that they have earned.”
In addition to the extensive remodeling of Building One, ECRMJV is also renovating the kitchen in Building 100. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2023.