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On October 14th, 2022, ESA South (ESA), was awarded a nearly $48 Million dollar construction contract for the project to replace two air handler units (AHUs) at the Malcom Randall Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida. Work at the facility began shortly thereafter.

The Malcom Randall hospital in Gainesville is one of the nation’s largest veteran’s hospitals with 289 staffed beds, two five story towers, and multiple ancillary structures. This hospital, together with the Lake City VA Medical Center and a network of smaller regional clinics, comprises the VA North Florida/South Georgia Veteran’s Health System. This system is the largest in the country, serving an estimated 130,000 veterans annually.

ESA is teaming with several very well-respected area subcontractors on this project currently, the largest of which is W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractor, Inc. W.W. Gay’s self-described commitment to safety and innovation resonates in their proposal documents where they state, “for nearly 60 years, we have provided innovative solutions for our clients -big and small-throughout Florida and the Southeast. We know that every job is unique, but our commitment to doing things right remains the same.”

Miller Electric, founded in 1928 and growing from a local electrical contractor to one of the largest in the industry with more than 3,000 employees, is also working on this large contract along with several smaller subcontractors who round out ESA’s Gainesville team.

Seven months into the project, a lot has transpired and much more work is yet to be completed.

According to ESA project superintendent Bill Krumholtz. “We’ve just completed a crane lift to locate temporary cooling and enable the installation of the temporary AHU’s. We will be starting them up in the next couple of days.” He continued, “We had to carefully lift the equipment over existing utilities at the site; we didn’t want to move heavy equipment over that area so the crane was the way we could safely move the temporary cooling equipment.”

“Once the permanent cooling equipment arrives on the job site, a total of eight more crane lifts will be necessary for this project,” according to Krumholtz.

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