Exterior shot of cancer center.

Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center

Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center | Jacksonville, FL

An integrated, innovative, and collaborative design and construction team joined forces on the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center in Jacksonville, FL, delivering a state-of-the-art facility that offers a new model of cancer care in the Southeast. The facility was a joint product of healthcare owner Baptist Health and MD Anderson, a global leader in cancer care. Together, they sought to create a cancer program in North Florida that serves the full continuum of cancer care needs, from screening and diagnosis to treatment and survivorship.

In partnership with Perry-McCall Construction, DPR was selected to build the nine-story, 330,000-sq.-ft freestanding cancer treatment facility and 250,000-sq.-ft. parking deck, working alongside architect HKS/Freeman-White and other partners.

Exterior shot of cancer center.

Cutting-Edge Spaces

The project’s unique, highly collaborative consortium of architects, planners, designers and contractors embraced integrated project delivery to successfully meet the fast track, 18-month construction schedule. Co-locating together in a big room environment, they employed a 5-D building information model-based system which allowed the team to provide real time cost and schedule feedback. DPR leveraged its self-perform capabilities and tools including laser scanning and prefabrication, to meet the schedule and quality goals on the new Cancer Center, which welcomed its first patients in September of 2018.

The center includes cutting-edge radiation oncology space with three linear accelerators, infusion therapy, diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology, minor procedure rooms, faculty and administrative support space, clinical support space, an elevated pedestrian bridge and 500-space parking deck.

The team’s constant focus on the life-saving purpose of the facility and the patients who would use it helped drive the project’s success, according to Keith Tickell, Vice President of Strategic Assets and Real Estate, Baptist Health. “To create a truly responsive cancer care environment, we made sure the team focused on the individuals who inhabit it – patients, caregivers and team members,” he said.



A highly accelerated, 18-month construction schedule and myriad of technical challenges elevated the degree of difficulty facing the team that designed and constructed the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center project.

One challenge related to the area’s geography; building on top of a swamp presented difficulties that required innovative ground stabilization measures. Crews punched over 2,000 22-ft.-wide holes every 10 feet, which were then filled with concrete to stabilize the ground.

A significant technical challenge on the project was connecting the existing patient tower to the new cancer center by way of a 150-ton glass and steel enclosed pedestrian skybridge. Erection of the prefabricated bridge required meticulous planning for nearly a year prior to the installation. Spanning 124 feet across one of Jacksonville’s most traveled local thoroughfares, San Marco Boulevard, the bridge had to be installed with no disruption to patients, visitors and the public or to Baptist Health’s existing emergency department.



Collaborative problem solving and use of an array of advanced tools and technologies were key to the project’s success.

The Integrated Project Delivery approach helped DPR understand the owner’s needs and build trust and rapport with all project stakeholders. To meet the fast-tracked schedule, construction got underway even before the design was fully complete. All partners collectively used a co-located “Big Room” as a hub for operations. After Hurricane Irma destroyed the co-location site in August 2017, within weeks the team had created a new and improved Big Room with a renewed synergy and sense of purpose.

Advanced 5-D building information modeling (BIM) allowed the team to perform real time pricing and cost feedback. DPR affiliate, vConstruct, assisted in keeping the project management going 22 hours a day, processing modeling work each night.

The highly detailed BIM model facilitated offsite prefabrication of many electrical, plumbing and mechanical components, another critical time-saving solution. One pivotal use of prefabrication on this project involved the entire portion of the pedestrian bridge spanning San Marco Boulevard, including prefabricating the structural steel trusses, slab on deck, roofing, glazing, framing and more. This work was done to the side of the road adjacent to the new building. The fully built bridge, weighing approximately 150 tons, was then transferred into place using two 450-ton cranes working in tandem – effectively eliminating all work over the active roadway along with the associated safety hazards.

Laser scanning was another important tool. During the process of tying the pedestrian bridge to the old building, crews used laser scans to verify the site grade. This approach saved time and improved efficiency by eliminating the need for surveyors.

DPR’s self-perform work on this project was another key solution that helped drive the schedule and improve quality. That self-perform work totaled over $20 million in trade work, including concrete, doorframes, hardware and acoustical ceilings. Tapping the knowledge and skills of craftworkers from its nationwide network of projects, DPR sourced self-perform craftspeople from multiple states, including California, Texas and North Carolina as well as locally.



Three years of dreaming, planning and building concluded on September 4, 2018, when the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center opened its doors. The successful, on-time completion of the $184 million, 580,000-sq.-ft. outpatient facility and parking structure was the result of a highly integrated team focused on meeting the owner’s goals and delivering a facility focused on providing a new standard for patient-centered cancer care.

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