FIRST LOOK: Veterans Affairs Community-based Outpatient Clinic
The clinic’s orientation on the site, along with its scale and massing, support visibility from Polk Parkway and Lakeland Highlands Road, enhancing the facility’s presence within the community. Large expanses of glazing and outdoor spaces will support connections with the site and reinforce the adjacency to Holloway Park, which is home to exotic wildlife, a bird sanctuary, and myriad native vegetation and trees.
The exterior will feature a mix of concrete and metal panels, aligning with the Veterans Affairs brand while remaining contextually appropriate for the site. Light gray and blue metallic colors interspersed throughout the façade will pay homage to the Florida Scrub Jay.
The entry plaza’s palm trees and various seating areas create a welcoming experience for visitors and provide space for resting and relaxing.
On either side of the wood-cladded reception area, the clinic’s two-story waiting areas are spacious, open, and filled with natural light.
The main lobby will feature a variety of seating areas, as well as an honor wall prominently displaying military branch seals. The pattern of the carpet tile will show movement reminiscent of water.
A large photograph wallcovering behind the café counter will further integrate Florida’s natural habitat into the space, while LED pendant lights interspersed within the wood ceiling will enhance the space’s lighting.
A translucent fiberglass canopy over the main entrance will protect visitors from the elements without sacrificing natural light, while also increasing front door visibility for those navigating the site.
The canteen’s outdoor dining area will be shaded by a combination of structures and palm trees. Landscaping will minimize views of the parking area while adding visual interest.
A dedicated terrace for clinic staff provides a space to decompress and enjoy the outdoors.
To meet the growing needs of the more than 23,000 veterans living in the Lakeland, Fla., area, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is consolidating multiple local facilities into one expanded outpatient clinic. At 132,000 square feet—five times bigger than the existing clinic spaces together—the facility will be better suited to meet patients’ needs, now and into the future.
The Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic will be centrally located within the Lakeland community and just 4.5 miles from Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Patient parking at the front of the site, along with a covered drop-off area on the front of the building, will enable easy access for visitors, while dedicated staff parking and entry on the rear of the building will increase efficiencies.
Outdoor seating areas will offer veterans and visitors a space to enjoy the fresh air and Florida sunshine. The site will include an exterior canteen area and a healing garden, as well. Staff will have access to a separate, dedicated outdoor space and multiple second-floor balconies for respite.
Inside, the materials palette will reflect Florida’s natural habitat, using cool earth tones, natural stone, and wood elements throughout to emphasize the area’s natural beauty. Additionally, floor-to-ceiling windows in the main lobby, combined with large windows on all sides of the building, will flood the space with natural light.
The clinic will house primary care, audiology and speech pathology, physical therapy, mental health, ophthalmology, and prosthetic and sensory aid services. The clinic will also feature a lab and pharmacy as well as CT, X-Ray, mammography, MRI, and ultrasound technologies. To increase operational efficiencies, patient care spaces will be arranged around central staff work areas within each clinic.
Facility name: Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic
Location: Lakeland, Fla.
Expected completion date: mid 2023
Owner: The Molasky Group of Companies
Total building area: 132,000 gross sq. ft.
Total construction cost: TBD
Cost/sq. ft.: TBD
Architecture firm: Gresham Smith
Interior design: Gresham Smith
General contractor: The Korte Company
Engineering: Newcomb & Boyd (MEP), Thornton Tomasetti (structural), Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. (civil)
Builder: The Korte Company