Robins & Morton is converting 250,000 square feet of the Miami Beach Convention Center into a 450-bed field hospital, including isolation rooms. The Army Corps of Engineers announced the project at a press conference Wednesday, joined by Gov. Ron DeSantis along with other state and local officials. The Miami Beach Convention Center retrofit is part of the Corps ongoing effort to convert convention centers, hotels and closed hospitals to alleviate pressure on local hospitals from the anticipated surges of COVID-19 patients.
The Army Corps of Engineers selected Robins & Morton to perform the $22.5 million contract, with the facility scheduled to be ready to receive patients on April 21 – giving the company two weeks to go from bare floors to working hospital.
“As we were wrapping up details of the contract, we were already working on the logistics and had our key project team members in place within 24 hours so that work could start the next day,” said Robins & Morton senior project manager Johnathan Peavy. “Turning an empty space into a hospital in such a short time is a huge undertaking, but everyone on the project is committed to working with the Army Corps of Engineers to get this done. We know how important this is to the State of the Florida and the Miami Beach Community during the public health emergency.”
As the project quickly ramps up, up to 250 people – including craft professionals and more than 40 members of the Robins & Morton team – will be working around the clock in two shifts. Robins & Morton quickly pulled together more than 20 contractors from South Florida to support the project. In addition to coordinating the work, Robins & Morton will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols and CDC guidelines to help protect everyone on the job.
“There’s a tremendous amount of logistical challenges we have to solve in the first few days,” said Peavy. “Fortunately, we have long-term relationships with a number of trade contractors and vendors who have worked with us on other healthcare projects.”
Robins & Morton has a long history of major healthcare construction in Miami and across Florida and has offices in Miami and Orlando, with corporate headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama.
“We understand the critical nature of these projects and their role in supporting vital healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. With that, we understand our role is to ensure that this project is backed by the full support of our company to usher it to completion in its short timeframe,” Robins & Morton President and COO, Robin Savage, said. “Projects like these are rewarding – the ones that really make a difference. They make being a builder so meaningful. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to preparation efforts in the community at this difficult time.”