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Health sciences site will soon 'look like an ant farm'

Some 400 workers will swarm the job site on Sixth Avenue at North Oak Street where the $32 million Health Sciences Building is going up. Some 400 workers will swarm the job site on Sixth Avenue at North Oak Street where the $32 million Health Sciences Building is going up.

Starting a yearlong sprint to complete the $32 million Health Sciences Building, construction workers will swarm the work site on Sixth Avenue at North Oak Street.


“It will look like an ant farm out there shortly,” Chad Roberson, the lead architect for the three-story 98,000-square-foot building, told Henderson County commissioners before they approved the final “guaranteed maximum price” for the project.
The health sciences building is the product of an unprecedented agreement among Henderson County, the city of Hendersonville, Wingate University, Blue Ridge Community College and Pardee for a shared facility that will include college classrooms and labs and Pardee’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The project is being managed by James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction under a legal agreement with Henderson County that makes the contractor, not the county, liable for cost and time overruns. The building has a construction deadline at the start of the 2016-17 academic year 13 months from now.
The Board of Commissioners approved the final “guaranteed maximum price” of $22.7 million, which includes $198,000 in site development, $2.9 million in glass work, $2 million in drywall assemblies, $2.8 million worth of heating and air conditioning work and $2.9 million in electrical work.
Now that the county has approved the final phase, the job site will soon be a hive of activity with 400 or more workers employed by the general contractor and 30 subcontractors, Roberson told the commissioners. Answering a commissioner’s question, he said many of them are expected to be hired locally.
The total cost rang up at $32,194,945.84 — $266 less than the amount the board appropriated for the building. “The long and short of it is the number we’re bringing you today is below the number you approved for the total project,” said John Mitchell, the county’s director of Business and Community Development. “We’re on time and we’re on target.”