R.J. Griffin & Company Tops Out $14.3M Cancer Center in Columbus

Mon June 21, 2004 - Southeast Edition

By placing a 7-ft. Yoshino Japanese cedar atop the new John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus, GA, hospital officials and construction crews celebrated the birth of a new building on April 23.

The practice of placing an evergreen on top of a newly built structure began more than 1,000 years ago. The practice symbolizes construction has proceeded without a loss of life and also is considered a blessing for the future inhabitants.

For the future “residents” of the Columbus Regional Healthcare System’s newest facility, the building, not necessarily the tree, may be their biggest blessing.

The nearly 50,000-sq.-ft. (4,645.2 sq m) cancer center will house an array of treatment services not offered by other area centers. This includes integrative medicine focused on mind-body healing, specially tailored rehabilitation services and quality-of-life enhancement programs along with expanded diagnostic imaging, chemotherapy and radiation services, an educational resource center and family and patient support areas.

R.J. Griffin & Company, general contractors based in Atlanta, have been working toward completion of the John B. Amos Center. The company has contracted with Columbus Regional Healthcare System for an October completion of the new $14.3 million facility, which sits on 3.5 acres (1.7 ha) of land framed by Veterans Parkway, Hamilton Road and 19th Street. Crews broke ground in July 2003.

The project involves the construction of three linear accelerator vaults for cancer treatment and 22 chemotherapy stations for all types of cancer treatment. The structure has three floors, including a first-floor garden level and a mechanical penthouse.

“About 12 percent of the concrete in the entire building is going to the linear accelerator vaults,” R.J. Griffin spokeswoman Amanda Helmey told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in January. “If you took all of the concrete that’s going to be used on that entire project, it actually would cover a football field and a half –– three feet thick.”

For the project’s lifting needs, Glenn Cadle, R.J. Griffin project superintendent, chose a Manitowoc 777 (triple seven) truck crane from ALL Crane Rental of Georgia’s Columbus branch.

“The crane has worked very well. It stayed in one spot and handled the entire project,” said Cadle. “We didn’t have to go with a tower crane on this job because we had the room to set up the triple seven and be out of the way, yet handle everything we needed to do.”

One job the crane tackled involved placing an 82-ton (74.4 t) steel plate over the radiation vaults.

“The triple seven was more economical to use in this case. The erection and dismantle of a tower crane would have been very costly,” he said.

The Manitowoc 777 truck crane required eight trucks for delivery and used 95,000 lbs. (43,091 kg) of counterweight on the superstructure and 28,000 lbs. (12,700 kg) of bumper weight. The configuration required for this particular job site involved 110 ft. (33.5 m) of tower and 170 ft. (51.8 m) of jib.

“This is the first time I’ve used a triple seven,” Cadle noted. “We’ve used just about everything else on our job sites, but I was very impressed with this crane.”

Crews worked six-day weeks to keep the project on schedule.

“We’ve been fortunate to have a job site with plenty of room to work with,” noted Cadle. “Accessibility and material storage have not posed any problems for us. We’ve also been fortunate that the weather has worked in our favor this year, which is in sharp contrast to this time last year.”

The support offered by ALL Crane also kept the company on schedule.

“ALL Crane provided us with a very good operator,” said Cadle. “ALL is a very safety conscious organization and it shows. Their operator, Drake Duke, did an excellent job. We look forward to working with those guys again as well as using their Manitowoc again on another job.”

Cadle also was impressed with the service he received from ALL Crane Rental. “Any time there was a maintenance issue, ALL Crane handled the work, mostly on the weekends,” he said. “If it required additional work, they kept things going by providing a supplemental crane while they did the maintenance on the triple seven.”

For more information on R.J. Griffin & Company, call 770/551-8883 or visit www.rjgriffin.com/se/.

For more information on ALL Crane, call 770/944-3900 or visit www.all-crane.com.