February 4, 2003
Web site aids in construction of one-of-a-kind building
By Collin Johnson
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—In the past, if Bobby Stigler wanted to check on the progress of the construction he’s overseeing, he’d have had to drive to the Flowood site and direct various contractors from there. But when overseeing construction isn’t your only responsibility, you find ways to do it more efficiently and creatively.
During the building of the Methodist Specialty Care Center, of which Stigler is the project director, contractors and builders are using Internet message boards to coordinate with each other.
It means faster, more efficient building and fewer headaches for Stigler.
“It’s the most useful tool we have,” said Stigler from his 7th floor office at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson. “This gets everyone involved in the project and gives us all a chance to review schedules and make changes or recommendations.”
To answer a growing need for long-term care for Mississippi’s severely disabled, Methodist Rehabilitation Center is building the $9 million long-term care facility on its east campus in Flowood. Methodist Specialty Care Center will be a first-of-its-kind facility in Mississippi and will accommodate 60 severely disabled patients who require around-the-clock care. The three-story facility is scheduled to open in 2004 and create about 120 new jobs.
The Web site, methodistspecialtycare.org, was commissioned by Mid State Construction and designed by Mindbender, a Flowood-based Web development and advertising firm. It let’s the builders as well as the public keep up with construction of the new care center. Anyone can log on to the site as long as they register for a user name and password.
It will eventually do away with mountains of paperwork, said Keith Finley, project manager of design services at Mid-State.
Photographs of the construction site are taken regularly and uploaded to the Web site so builders can see progress from their offices. Architects, plumbers and electricians are quickly apprised of potential delays, giving them time to avert problems. The Web site is also used to promote safety and injury prevention at the construction site.
“Everyone is together and on the same page. If we see a problem, we can get a near-immediate response over the Web site instead of having someone drive over,” Finley said.
This is the first building project where Mid-State has incorporated a web site for the construction, Finley added. “But it won’t be our last. I think this will be much more common in large projects like this one where there are so many vendors, contractors and subcontractors,” he said. “Normally, it takes forever because of the amount of paperwork. Here, we all get to sleep better at night.”
Even before the initial slab was laid, the Web site and bulletin board helped save money, Stigler said. “The plumbers and electricians used the bulletin board to coordinate the use of equipment when we were first starting out. Instead of having to rent equipment on two separate occasions, the plumbers and electricians worked together to use the same equipment on the same day.”
Usually with a project of this size, monthly meetings would be held and decisions made would be passed on to those not present. But with the web site board, everyone involved in the project knows the results immediately.
As the project continues, Stigler says the site will be used even more. “I see it coming more and more into play as the design steps get complicated. We’ll even be able to coordinate deliveries of equipment and furniture.
“It helps minimize the confusion and stress that usually accompanies construction projects like this,” Stigler said.
For more information:
Bricks, mortar, Web sites | The Clarion-Ledger
Bobby Stigler uses a specially designed Web site to oversee construction of a three story, $9 million facility for the severly disabled on Methodist Rehabilitation Center's east campus in Flowood.
To answer a growing need for long-term care for Mississippi's severely disabled, Methodist Rehabilitation Center is building the $9 million long-term care facility on its east campus in Flowood. Methodist Specialty Care Center will be a first-of-its-kind facility in Mississippi and will accommodate 60 severely disabled patients who require around-the-clock care.