With the Right Partner, Any Dream is Possible
Nestled in the quaint town of Florence in northeastern South Carolina, Francis Marion University (FMU) is home-away-from-home for more than 4,000 liberal arts students. As part of the University’s master plan, Balfour Beatty recently transformed the campus and students lives by constructing a new Health Sciences Complex- the first state-procured design-build project in South Carolina. FMU chose the design-build delivery method so that there would be a single point of responsibility for design and construction. It also allows concurrent design and construction activities. Little Diversified Architectural Consultants was the design partner for the transformative project.
FMU's Luther F. Carter Center for Health Sciences is a 52,000 square-foot, multi-level facility that accommodates a variety of the University’s Medical and Health Sciences programs including the Masters in Family Nurse Practitioner program, the Masters in Nurse Educator program, the Masters in Applied Psychology program and the Physician Assistant Program, which is currently pending approval by the Commission on Higher Education. In addition, the Center is home to the University of South Carolina's School of Medicine's third and fourth year Medical Student Program.
The facility includes a 150-seat auditorium, classrooms, labs, conference rooms, locker rooms and offices. Designed to prepare students for the healthcare workforce, the Center includes eight exam rooms which will be used for student instruction to simulate real-world healthcare situations.
Balfour Beatty has a motto: “Dream big and know the right partner can get you there,” and that is exactly what our team has achieved on the campus of FMU. When university President, Dr. Fred Carter, expressed his desire that an atrium with a grand staircase and a fountain to be included as part of the health sciences complex- details that weren’t part of the original design or budget- the design-build team got to work. By reconfiguring the interior design, eliminating some non-essential spaces and adjusting some of the original material selections, we were able to make room for the atrium, fountain, and grand stair. All of this was accomplished while maintaining the schedule and staying within the original budget.
The project was completed in the summer of 2016, providing the university adequate time for move-in before the fall semester. The university plans to seek LEED certification for the facility. Dr. Carter said that the Center makes possible the concept of training professionals in various medical fields using common areas. “Every medical professional I’ve spoken with expresses strong support for the idea. It cultivates and enhances each students appreciation for other specialties…We are proud of the building. We think it’s a unique and novel concept.”
Dr. Eddie Floyd, chairman of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, says “If we as a community can pull off what Dr. Carter’s vision is, it will be one of the greatest things that ever happened to downtown Florence.”
Balfour Beatty is more than happy to be part of the vision and execution of such wonderful dreams to advance the medical knowledge and education of hundreds of graduate students in South Carolina’s Pee Dee region and beyond.