Construction about to start on $10 million Oak Hammock expansion

Last week, the groundbreaking occurred for the $10 million expansion of the Oak Hammock at the University of Florida retirement community in Gainesville, Florida. eda has provided the engineering, planning and surveying services for each phase of Oak Hammock, including the proposed expansion currently underway. We’ve posted The Gainesville Sun article reporting on the Oak Hammock expansion project.


Construction is scheduled to start this month on a $10.2 million expansion and renovation of the Oak Hammock at the University of Florida retirement community’s Health Pavilion.

The project will include expansion of the skilled nursing facility, which houses seniors who need 24/7 access to licensed nurses and professional caregivers for an extended time, the assisted living facility and the space for rehabilitative services. The existing skilled nursing facility also will undergo renovation to bring its 42 existing rooms up to the standards of the new rooms.

The expansion is scheduled to be complete by November and the renovation is expected to finish in June 2016.

Oak Hammock staff, board members and residents, and members of the project’s design and construction team, marked the looming start of construction with a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning.

“Today we celebrate our founders’ vision of growth,” Oak Hammock Chief Executive Officer Cathy Ferguson told the crowd Tuesday.

The construction at the assisted living facility will add 5,800 square-feet, nine residences and expand the dining area. The skilled nursing living area will grow by nearly 15,000 square feet and add 31 private residences. The project also will add two more outdoor courtyards.

Tom Mallini, the immediate past president of the community’s board of directors, said the expansion and additional rooms “will relieve some of the pressure” at a time when there is a waiting list to get into the assisted living facility.

Gene Hemp, a former University of Florida faculty member and the president of Oak Hammock’s partnership council of advisers, said the project also will increase the capacity of the rehabilitative care services program and allow for more Oak Hammock and city residents to get care as they recover from procedures such as knee and hip replacements.

The project costs include $7.2 million for construction and $3 million for design, furnishings and equipment. Jacksonville-based PRAXEIS is the project manager, and Jacksonville’s KBJ Architects is the architect. Gainesville’s Charles Perry Partners is the general contractor.

Located south of Williston Road at 5100 SW 25th Blvd., Oak Hammock at UF opened in October 2004 after years of retired faculty and alumni encouraging the UF administration to sponsor a retirement community in Gainesville, according to a history on the community’s website.

The late Gordon Streib, who served as faculty member in the department of sociology and was a “proponent of the concept,” conducted research on “the benefits of living in such a community,” according to the website. In 1997, Streib and Dr. Ray Coward, a professor of health policy and director of the university’s Institute for Gerontology, arranged for then-UF President John Lombardi and other university and university foundation staff to attend a presentation on the development of a university-sponsored Continuing Care Retirement Community. After that, a committee formed to continue planning the development of the community, and a nonprofit organization was established to separate Oak Hammock financially and legally from the university.