Dental Medical Facility Specialty Systems
The Rockbridge Area Health Center is an all-inclusive medical facility in Lexington, Virginia, providing their patients a variety of high quality medical and dental options. Their doctors offer family medicine, pediatrics, women’s health and family planning care, behavior health services and a full-service dentist office. The nonprofit company takes prides in supporting their community with affordable health coverage to the insured, underinsured and uninsured.
With patient numbers rising alongside the rate of doctors retiring, Rockbridge saw the need for expansion and broke ground on a 13,000 sq ft addition to their 9,000 sq ft building last year. The current facility remained open for business during renovation, which presented Thor Construction with plenty of obstacles. They trusted their mechanical and plumbing problems to Southern Air.
The expansion required an updated HVAC system, including 12 new rooftop units. Ten of those were Carrier cooling units and the other two were Lennox units with hot gas reheating capabilities. We installed four ductless splits as well. Due to the addition of new dental equipment and capabilities, the domestic water systems our plumbing crews installed will feed the new dental stations and lab areas. We also installed the medical gas supply systems throughout the building.
“It was neat configuring dental equipment we’re not typically exposed to,” says Brian Tonkin, SAI Foreman at Rockbridge. “It was pretty cool laying this job out in terms of installing dental chairs, getting vacuum lines to the stations, getting clean and compressed air to them. Rockbridge has been a really good job, the guys stayed positive and there was great teamwork each step of the way.”
The total team concept was a common theme propelling Southern Air’s success at Rockbridge. Recently promoted to Mechanical Project Manager, Mike Cox oversaw the job from start to finish. He brings first hand insight of the value of Southern Air’s resources and departments.
“We call this a Special Projects job but we had lots of help on site from the mechanical side and other departments,” says Cox. “We used the fab shop for our plumbing rough in and for most of our gas welded pipe. The length of time we had for welders on site was very short so we had to utilize the fab shop as much as we could for the welding on this job. All of the products came out looking great.”
The Southern Air team mentality showed in great force. Our commissioning department was heavily involved, sending Terry Moody, Conrod Mizzell, Chris Ramsey, John Poole and Mike Thomas to Lexington at one point or another.
The plumbing and sheet metal tradesmen who put their hands on Rockbridge included Mark Mawyer, Billy Donovan, Teddy Trent, Donald Atwell, Bradley Johnson, Terry Bateman, Chris Nuckles, Matt Rice, Jeremiah Houston, Mark Etheridge, Adrian Sales, Bobby Moore, Joe Meadows, Chris Pfau and James Thompson.
Mechanical construction joined the build by sending Steve Hudson, Mac Fitzgerald, Rafael Pantoja, John Dane, along with brothers Ryan and Tyler Jones to assist Southern Air Foreman, Brian Tonkin.
“Brian did a really good job as far as working with me and understanding what I was asking of him and what I needed for him to do,” says Cox. “He did an awesome job of keeping material stored in a good place and neatly! He stayed on top of the guys to meet deadlines and schedules a number of times, and was always ahead of time.”
Tyler Jones proved to be irreplaceable when Tonkin was occasionally pulled from Rockbridge to put his plumbing skillset to use at other jobsites. Whenever Cox and Tonkin began developing weekly game plans and schedules, they ensured Jones was involved. He did an exceptional job keeping everyone on task as a lead man when Tonkin was unavailable.
With so much movement as well as delays, it could be easy to force yourself to rush, take shortcuts and put safety in the back of your mind. But not for our Southern Air tradespeople!
“We didn’t have one single safety issue throughout the course of the job,” boasts Tonkin. “When the building inspector came by, he had more than 70 issues and not one of them was for Southern Air between both the plumbing and the duct work. To have it all come together like that was unbelievable. To knock out a job like that and not even have a punch list is awesome.”
Without such an efficient team, we wouldn’t have been able to overcome the obstacles every building renovation inevitably includes. At Rockbridge, our crews navigated around manpower shortages, finding approved locations to store materials off-site and a two-month delay from the steel subcontractor. Even still, Southern Air met our timeline about a month ahead of schedule, a true testament to how proficiently we work, and our value was noticed.
“Thor Construction couldn’t be happier with the professionalism and quality of work shown by Southern Air on the Rockbridge Area Health Center Project,” says Chad Beck, Thor Construction Project Manager. “Southern Air was a key component in completing the first phase of this project on time and their crews, both in the field and in the office, have been great to deal with. It is refreshing to work alongside others that take pride in their work.”
It’s delightful when others notice the excellent craftsmanship that has become the norm for our field crews. The level of craftsmanship, skill and integrity they integrate into every job bolsters the Southern Air name every time we walk away from another beautiful building we’ve had our hands on. It’s never lost on us how much we appreciate the hard work and effort of every Southern Air team member.
“When it comes to the pride I have in my guys and the work they did at Rockbridge, I don’t even know if I can put it into words,” says Cox. “When I think about quality going into a job, I couldn’t have asked for anything better than what the guys gave me at Rockbridge. We had a great group of guys working there.”