Tarlton Corp., a St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, received a 2020 Award of Merit in the Best Projects category from ENR Midwest for completion of a COVID-19 Alternate Care Facility in Florissant, Missouri, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Tarlton Corp. assisted USACE and coordinated with multiple government and health agencies to transform the Quality Inn at 55 Dunn Road into an alternate healthcare facility for patients referred by St. Louis-area hospitals for non-acute COVID-19 treatment. The conversion was completed April 11 – less than 80 hours after construction work began. After opening several days later, the facility was staffed by members of the U.S. National Guard.
Tarlton led the design-build team in this unprecedented fast-track project, building in two shifts around the clock with more than 100 employees from four firms. Design-build partners were Ross & Baruzzini, which provided architectural and engineering services, Rock Hill Mechanical Corp. and Guarantee Electrical Co. Subcontractors included C&R Mechanical’s Plumbing Division, Collins & Hermann, Dynamic Air Solutions, Flooring Systems Inc., Jos. Ward Painting Co., Midwest Elevator, Stanley Steemer, Tech Electronics, Waterhout Construction and Woodard Cleaning and Restoration.
“I’m proud of the quick and thorough response our team put together and executed on this project,” said Tracy Hart, president of Tarlton. “We feel honored to be trusted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for this mission-critical project for our community.”
The project yielded more than 100 patient rooms on the four floors of the 130-room hotel. Scope included stripping down and deep-cleaning individual rooms and placing extra beds and furniture in storage; changing door hardware for rooms and bathrooms to disable locking mechanisms; cleaning carpet throughout; removing and replacing carpet in specific areas; repainting certain walls and ceilings; building a nurse station and storage area on each floor; and converting the phone system into a nurse call system. In each room, the PTAC (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner) unit was inspected and repaired or replaced as necessary.
The team took steps to ensure the improved ventilation required for a patient care facility, inspecting and cleaning HVAC units; relocating exhaust fans within 25 feet of HVAC intakes; extending plumbing vents within 25 feet of HVAC intakes; and constructing isolation barriers in the corridors (three per floor) to separate the elevator/nurse station areas from the three patient wings.
The project was particularly poignant for Tarlton principals and employees, as the April 7 work assignment from USACE came only a few hours after the loss of Robert P. Elsperman, former longtime Tarlton president, industry stalwart and father to Tracy Hart and Tarlton Chief Operating Officer Dirk Elsperman. Robert Elsperman, 83, died of COVID-19 complications.
“Accepting the mission of the project and knowing its critical importance to the community became therapeutic for the entire Tarlton family and team,” said Dirk Elsperman. “Dad would have loved this project because of the teamwork and camaraderie.”
Tarlton’s award is one of only two projects selected from St. Louis, with 32 Best Projects selected from a slate of 112 entries received this year by ENR Midwest, which covers an 11-state region. The 2020 award-winning projects and firms will be featured in the November edition of ENR Midwest, with a virtual awards presentation scheduled for Dec. 3. ENR Midwest’s parent magazine, Engineering News-Record, is widely regarded as one of the construction industry’s most authoritative publications providing news, analysis, data and opinion for the construction industry worldwide.