Project featured in Biz New Orleans Magazine, March 2022
For DonahueFavret Contractors, constructing Thibodaux Regional Health System’s new state-of-the-art cancer center was a labor of love that ended up having a uniquely challenging delivery.
To begin with, the demolition of the current one-story center had to be conducted while the center’s two linear accelerators (large machines used to treat cancer with radiation) remained in operation.
“During the middle of the cancer center project, the hospital was anticipating a new wave of patients from COVID and told us they needed 30 new ICU beds to meet that demand built in 60 days,” Hodnett said. “That kind of project would typically take eight to nine months…We got the call from the CEO on a Thursday, met with our architecture partner, WHLC Architecture, on Friday and were given a preliminary floorplan. We worked through the weekend with the design team and our trade partners, met with the client on Monday to present the cost and schedule, and mobilized on Tuesday. We completed the project four days ahead of schedule by working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while still working on the ongoing cancer center project, and of course still battling supply chain issues.”
Then, just when the project was about 95% complete, Hurricane Ida hit, bringing extensive damage to the region.
“That was a really scary time, but we were very fortunate,” said Hodnett. “Aside from a couple of roof tiles, the building was unharmed. We were very impressed by how the building performed.”
Hodnett said the finished product features a level of attention to detail that makes him proud.
“It’s truly a one-of-a-kind building in terms of the materials and finishes and the use of natural light throughout is really breathtaking.”
He said that during an early project meeting the hospital’s CEO talked about his experience with a family member battling cancer and the effects that he saw natural light have on her healing process.
“At our jobsite meetings, the CEO would constantly bring up the importance that the project will have on the community and would reiterate the impact cancer can have on our friends and families. His vision was to ensure that the new cancer center was a beacon of hope to the community and to any cancer patients receiving treatment. Our entire project team, from the site managers down to the laborers, understood the importance, and it truly motivated the entire team. It drove us to complete the project on time, even with the global pandemic and devastating hurricane.”
DonahueFavret’s work with Thibodaux Regional has continued. As of early February, the company was wrapping up on the second phase of a sports-and-wellness complex for the health system and had broken ground on an expansion for an operating room.