Press Releases

DPR Construction, University of Florida Team To Support Conservation and Mark World Sea Turtle Day

Sea Turtle Hospital at UF’s Whitney Laboratory project marries innovation, technology and education while supporting conservation efforts of endangered sea turtles.

St. Augustine, Fla., June 13, 2024 – In Advance of the June 16 World Sea Turtle Day, DPR Construction, one of the nation’s top technical builders, and the University of Florida’s Whitney Research Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine, Florida are working together to help protect these amazing creatures. The purpose-built Sea Turtle Hospital under construction is dedicated to the rehabilitation and conservation of endangered sea turtles. Overlooking the Matanzas Estuary, the new facility will expand the organization's capabilities, including multiple laboratories, education areas and a sea turtle research center and hospital.

“The addition of the Marine Research Institute Building and the Sea Turtle Research Center and Hospital represents a significant milestone for the University of Florida and our efforts in marine science education and conservation,” said Catherine Eastman, Sea Turtle Hospital Program Manager at Whitney Laboratory. “This facility will not only advance our research capabilities but also inspire the next generation of scientists and conservationists.”

The $41.2 million state-of-the-art complex will provide critical care and innovative research opportunities, reinforcing the Whitney Laboratory’s commitment to marine life preservation and environmental stewardship. Designed with innovation in mind, the facility boasts a 38,000-sq.-ft., two-story post-tension cast-in-place structure, featuring advanced self-performing concrete techniques.

“This new facility was ideated in collaboration with Whitney scientists to ensure that their workflow is prioritized in the space we build,” said Michael Boykin, a DPR project executive. “It’s an exciting project that not only takes sustainability into consideration during the building process but will contribute so much to the preservation of our iconic wildlife in Florida.”

Additionally, the Marine Research Institute Building will feature multiple laboratories and educational areas dedicated to fostering scientific discovery and learning including a marine research and conservation discovery entryway and a scientific education path, complemented by an outdoor classroom, facilitating interactive and immersive learning experiences for students and for visitors.

The building is being constructed to achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

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For more information, please contact [email protected].