Construction knows no season this year in Columbia. As 2015 winds down, it seems the cranes and the bulldozers are gearing up. Here’s a sampling of some of the major projects that will alter the landscape and the skyline of Columbia in 2016.

Emery Sapp & Sons Inc.
Travelers through Columbia on Interstate 70 will have to pay close attention to the shifting work zone as construction continues on the I-70 Bridge Project. Work began in late August to replace three I-70 bridges over Columbia streets Business Loop 70/West Boulevard, Garth Avenue, and Missouri Route 763/Range Line Street. The traffic impact includes reconfigured traffic flow, lane closures and reduced speed limits until the project’s completion in the fall of 2016. The new bridges will be built next to the existing structures and then slid into place to minimize closures on I-70 and affected city streets. Plans call for the interstate to remain open to two lanes of traffic in each direction at all times during construction, except for temporary overnight lane closures.
Nearby streets are also scheduled for intermittent closures of 15 to 45 days as the project advances — West Boulevard, Business Loop 70, Range Line, South I-70 Outer Road, Garth Avenue and Creasy Springs Road.
The bridges, built in 1957, currently carry an average of 80,000 vehicles a day. The $18 million design-build project includes replacement of the three bridges and new roundabouts at Range Line and on the north and south sides of I-70 at the Business Loop 70/West Boulevard interchange.

Coil Construction
A new medical complex is nearing completion in south Columbia. Phase 1 of Boone Hospital Nifong Medical Plaza, a $20 million development at the corner of Nifong and Forum boulevards, is scheduled for completion in February 2016. The 80,000-square-foot building was designed to reflect the architectural features of the main Boone Hospital Center campus on William Street in the central city. Boone Medical Group-South will relocate to the Nifong Plaza from its current location in The Insurance Group building on Southampton Drive. Other services in the building will include convenient care (an addition to the Boone Medical Group-Convenient Care services at Parkade Center), imaging services such as MRI, X-ray and mammography, therapy, laboratory work and a pharmacy.
Full development of Nifong Medical Plaza will take place in phases. The 14-acre site has the potential to house four buildings with a total of 132,000 square feet of space for health care services.

J.E. Dunn Construction Group
The University of Missouri broke ground in July on a $42.5 million medical education building at the MU School of Medicine. The Patient-Centered Care Learning Center is set to open in 2017, the same year the medical school begins admitting 32 additional students to each class.
The six-story building will cover 97,088 square feet with a two-story connector link to the existing School of Medicine and Lottes Health Sciences Library. The center will house patient-based learning labs, a simulation center, an anatomy learning center, a flat-floor auditorium, mechanical space, and offices and support space. The building includes a new west entrance, service drop-off and parking.
The project will close parking lot HSC1N, along with all service vehicle parking and access to the west end of the medical science addition. In addition, a major portion of parking lot CG15N will be closed and undergo several phases of reconfiguration. Pedestrian access from Tiger Avenue traveling east will be rerouted around the north side of Stankowski Field.

PARIC Construction
The largest freestanding orthopaedic care center in central Missouri is getting larger. University of Missouri Health Care broke ground on a $40 million, four-story expansion of the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute in June. When complete in 2017, the institute’s clinical space will increase to nearly 200,000 square feet. The fourth floor of the new addition will be dedicated space for research.
The 85,462-square-foot expansion project will include five additional operating rooms, 22 additional private inpatient rooms, three additional digital X-ray rooms, 19 additional outpatient examination rooms, a larger restaurant for patients and visitors, and addition of a coffee kiosk in the main entrance lobby. Plans call for the main entrance to be relocated to the east side of the building with a circle drive. A pedestrian walkway from the orthopaedic hospital to the Virginia Avenue parking garage also will be added.

River City Construction
The Dobbs Replacement Project offers a facelift to the University of Missouri dormitory complex on Kentucky Avenue with the replacement of Jones, Lathrop and Laws residence halls and the Dobbs dining pavilion, all built in 1959. The first phase of the project included the demolition of Jones Hall last spring and the construction of two new residence halls and a dining facility. The second phase calls for the replacement of Laws and Lathrop with three new residence halls.
The new residence halls will be five stories tall and similar in exterior appearance to the nearby housing complexes on the southwest side of campus. Each hall will feature solar water heaters and thermostat control systems. The first of the new residences will open in August 2016; the second new hall and an additional dining facility will open in August 2017. In phase 2, newly completed residence halls will open in 2019 and 2021.
Total cost of the project is estimated to be $141 million.

Reinhardt Construction Inc. and S.M. Wilson & Co.
Stephens College has embarked on an expansion and renovation of 68-year-old Sampson Hall to house the college’s new physician assistant program, which is currently undergoing an accrediting process. The $5.9 million project at the corner of Broadway and College Avenue began with the demolition of the hall’s west addition in October.
When complete in late summer 2016, the three-story building will feature a state-of-the-art anatomy lab; high-tech classrooms; exam and observation rooms; flexible break-out rooms for classwork, meetings and conferences; and a suite of faculty offices.

Reinhardt Construction Inc.
Homecoming festivities at Columbia College last fall included a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the college’s recently completed $2 million renovation of R. Marvin Owens Field, home of Cougar soccer.
The yearlong construction project included the addition of turf, men’s and women’s varsity locker rooms for home and visiting teams, a concessions stand, restrooms and a ticket booth. “The Marv” now boasts a three-lane running track around the perimeter for joggers; the field will be available year-round as a recreational space for students, faculty and staff.

Reinhardt Construction Inc.
Columbia College’s iconic St. Clair Hall got a $575,000 update in 2015. Renovations to the 115-year-old building’s first floor included energy-efficiency and HVAC improvements and remodeled classrooms and deans’ offices.

Trittenbach Construction Co.
Pizza lovers were aghast at what seemed like a cruel April Fool’s Day joke: Shakespeare’s Pizza would be demolished to make way for yet another student housing development. No joke, though: The pizza joint has temporarily relocated a block away for the duration as the corner of Ninth and Elm streets transforms with the construction of a Brookside Downtown apartment building.
The six-story structure by Jon and Nathan Odle’s Trittenbach Development will feature three retail spaces in the street-level floor — including Shakespeare’s — and a second floor of office space. The remaining four floors will contain apartments.
Shakespeare’s plans to return to business in the new building in August 2016.

Fairway Construction Co.
JES Holdings is midway through construction of an independent senior living neighborhood at Bethel Street and Nifong Boulevard in south Columbia. The project includes 88 residential units — apartments and villas in a variety of 1- and 2-bedroom floor plans — on 8 acres with common amenities such as a library and business center, dining area, bistro, private wine storage, courtyard and fireside patio, salon and spa services, a fitness center and pool, movie theater and concierge services. Utilities and transportation services are included in the rent.
The villas opened in the fall; apartments are slated for completion in May 2016.

Arco Construction Co.
Senior living options in Columbia opened up with the completion of Provision Living on Chapel Hill Road. The three-story structure on 11 acres offers 95 private apartment units — 63 assisted living and 32 with memory care services to accommodate those with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.
The $20 million project opened in October. The facility offers a range of customized services based on resident needs. Amenities include entertainment and community activities, restaurant-style meals, housekeeping and maintenance, a fireplace lounge, outdoor deck, theater, wellness center, salon and barber shop, walking trail and scheduled transportation. Pets are welcome.

Things Are Looking Up
After several years of false starts, the construction industry is finally catching on to recovery mode, says the chief economist of The American Institute of Architects. Last summer, the AIA’s Kermit Baker released a forecast for a more balanced market producing healthy growth in construction that would continue into 2016.
Citing growth in commercial and industrial construction activity since 2014, Baker writes in the July 24 issue of AIA Architect that accelerated spending on the construction of institutional facilities is projected to grow by almost 6 percent next year, with health care and educational facilities driving the growth. Nationwide, Baker predicts spending on nonresidential building to approach $390 billion in 2016. As home values recover, he notes, so will local property tax revenue, providing a better financial base to build new schools and renovate older ones.

Show Me The Jobs
The recovery in the construction industry has left contractors scrambling to find qualified workers. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 85 percent of contractors in the Midwest say there is a shortage of hourly craft professionals, particularly carpenters, bricklayers, concrete workers and laborers. The 2015 AGC workforce survey also indicates contractors are having difficulty filling project manager/supervisor roles.