Archives for Summer 2014


Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

Lee Memorial Health System is expanding their pediatric services at the HealthPark Medical Center campus with the groundbreaking of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida facility.

Children in need of medical care will soon have access to a larger, full-service, state-of-the-art facility right here in Southwest Florida. Many children have to travel to Tampa or Miami to receive the specialized treatment they need, but once completed, this new facility will offer some relief and alleviate some of the travel stress burdening these families.

The Golisano Children’s Hospital is currently a 98-bed inpatient facility located within HealthPark Medical Center. The new stand-alone medical facility is being constructed adjacent to the existing hospital, connected by a concourse to the HealthPark atrium. The new building will support the hospital’s patient-centered care model, with everything from the decor, to the medical equipment being dedicated entirely to the unique medical needs of children, all within a family-friendly atmosphere.

This expansion will provide up to 62 additional patient rooms, 12 beds to the Chrissy Brown Hematology/Oncology Inpatient Unit, and provide additional private rooms in the NICU, Pediatric ICU, and Medical/Surgical Unit. It will provide children access to new state-of-the-art medical equipment and additional pediatric specialists. Careful consideration to the architecture, décor, and interior nature color scheme will help enhance the new space, additional playrooms, and a family resource center. The added amenities such as caregiver lounge areas and added patient/guest televisions with gaming connectivity will help to enhance the quality of life for these children and family members during their stay.

This past April at the groundbreaking ceremony, LMHS announced they will partner with Miami Children’s Hospital, which will allow seriously ill children to have even greater access to advanced medical care if needed. Through the use of telehealth technology, doctors and specialist can remotely work together, as if in the same room. Specialists in Miami will have instant access to patient information and images to determine if they need to be transferred for specialized care. This partnership opens so many more opportunities to get children the advanced medical care they need, and will help reduce unnecessary inconvenience and expense of traveling to another facility.

As the civil engineer for this significant project, our task was developing the site design around the new Golisano Children’s Hospital which includes additional parking areas, the relocation of the water and sewer utility infrastructure, creating a stormwater management and drainage plan, and providing a traffic analysis for the anticipated visitor influx, which includes the design of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Bass Road and North HealthPark Drive/Park Royal Drive.

What makes this project rather challenging is the new building is being constructed in the current parking area directly next to the existing hospital, which happens to be precisely where all the existing utility lines run for the current hospital.

Prior to the beginning of construction, parking areas have to be relocated to accommodate the new building, and a strategic plan finalized of how to relocate the vast network of utility lines while still maintaining service to the hospital at all times. Our surveying team used our Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) truck to locate and identify utility lines running around the Central Energy Plant (CEP) and in other key areas. The coordination efforts to relocate each utility line is essential, since they supply vital resources to the actively functioning hospital, down time is not an option. Each line must be rerouted individually, while still supplying the active hospital with their necessary resources. The execution of such an undertaking relies on strong coordination, communication, and teamwork. We are working cohesively with the LMHS administrators, Harvard Jolly Architects, FPK Architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, and Skanska Gates, A Joint Venture, on vital matters that require seamless precision.

This project is extremely rewarding for all those involved, to realize we had a part in indirectly giving a child a better quality of life, or even better, saving a child’s life.

For more information on Johnson Engineering’s involvement in this project, contact Dana Hume, P.E. at [email protected]. If you are interested in supporting GOAL – Gift of a Lifetime Campaign for Children, which helps to ensure all children have access to quality healthcare close to home, please visit: for more information.

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USFWS Lists Florida Bonneted Bat as Endangered

Effective November 2, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Florida bonneted bat is only found in south and southwest Florida, primarily in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade Counties. Recent data also suggest the bat is found in portions of Okeechobee and Polk Counties and possibly in some areas within Glades County. The largest Florida bat, the Florida bonneted bat is non-migratory and uses forests, wetlands, and other natural habitats as well as residential and urban areas. At present, no active, natural roost sites are known. All active, known roosts are bat houses.

The Florida bonneted bat is threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and modification from human population growth, associated development and agriculture. Other threats include its small population size, restricted range, low fertility, weather-related events, such as hurricanes and lengthy cold snaps, removal or displacement by people, and potential impacts from pesticide applications.

Both private developers and public entities with proposed projects in the Florida bonneted bat consultation area are likely to be affected by the Florida bonneted bat listing if the project requires federal regulatory approvals, such as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permitting. To assist the USACE in determining whether proposed development projects may affect the Florida bonneted bat, the USFWS has established a Florida bonneted bat Consultation Area (CA), Focal Areas and an Effect Determination Key (Key). According to the Key, the USACE will issue a determination of “May Affect” the Florida bonneted bat for proposed projects occurring within the Florida bonneted bat Focal Areas. USACE determinations for projects occurring outside the FBB Focal Areas, but within the Consultation Area, will depend on site specific criteria, including:

•  Project sizes;
•  Availability and size of Florida bonneted bat habitat types onsite (e.g., upland or wetland forest; upland or wetland shrub; freshwater wetlands; or open water); and
•  Whether the site contains potential roost sites (e.g., snags, large trees with cavities or hollows, abandoned buildings, bridges or overpasses).

The USFWS is currently developing a standard Florida bonneted bat survey protocol, which will likely involve habitat assessments and acoustic surveys using specialized acoustic bat identification equipment, similar to the requirements for the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) in other parts of the country. The USFWS has already begun requesting that consultants conduct manual surveys of snags, tree cavities, and hollows to ensure that no Florida bonneted bat roosts are impacted for projects about to commence with development or land clearing activities.

Johnson Engineering ecologists are trained and have the latest acoustic bat detection equipment (Wildlife Acoustics Song Meter SM3Bat© Ultrasonic Recorder). We are prepared to assist its clients with Florida bonneted bat surveys and regulatory agency permitting, if required.

For more information on FBB survey or agency permitting requirements, contact John Curtis or David Ceilley at [email protected].

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FGCU Eagle Hall opening for Fall 2014 Semester

Florida Gulf Coast University’s newest residential housing at South Village, Eagle Hall, will open for student living this fall. South Village is home to the First Year Residential Experience (FYRE) Program, designed to help first-time college students have a successful transition to college life. This six-story hall will offer three-bedroom single suites with kitchenettes, a common living area, and shared bathroom. The hall was designed with the FYRE Program in mind to help students succeed academically by getting involved in campus life and their community.

As the civil engineer, it’s rewarding watching these buildings go from a black and white design on a piece of paper, to a constructed home for the next generation of leaders in our area.For more information, contact Dana Hume, P.E. at [email protected].

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Johnson Engineering Employees Heed Habitat for Humanity’s Call

Children in need of medical care will soon have access to a larger, full-service, state-of-the-art facility right here in Southwest Florida. Many children have to travel to Tampa or Miami to receive the specialized treatment they need, but once completed, this new facility will offer some relief and alleviate some of the travel stress burdening these families.

Johnson Engineering has been a part of the Southwest Florida community for 68 years and our employees have always shown interest in the many ways we can give back to our community. When Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties said they were looking to partner with local businesses to volunteer to build a home for a family in our community, our employees heeded the call.

On Saturday, May 5, nine Johnson Engineering employees and their family members spent the day at a Habitat Home construction site in Fort Myers. Their tasks included such things as drilling, sawing, measuring, and scraping all in order to prepare this Habitat house to be lived in by a deserving family.

Not only does this benefit a family, but it also provides a positive team-building experience for our employees. We hope our efforts will encourage other companies to follow suit and promote their own company volunteer day. It was a rewarding experience for all.

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