Designing and building a $322 million state-of-art hospital and comprehensive outpatient center is no easy task.
It takes many skilled, committed, passionate and knowledgeable individuals, from architectural designers, contractors and subcontractors, to medical professionals, patients and community members.
Our Design & Construction Team "Behind the Scenes"
page profiles many of these individuals over the life of the project.
Meet Project Architect Steven Jennette
Multi-talented Steven Jennette, AIA, CCS, LEED AP BD+C, continues to be an instrumental team member of the design team for MaineGeneral’s new Regional Medical Center.
When asked about his role on the project, he outlines three acts: first as the architectural specifications writer on the entire building, then as the project architect for the building envelope. His third act? Steven is currently overseeing the construction of the building envelope. And he’s enjoyed each challenge in his multi-act role.
Steven has worked in the architectural field for 36 years, the last 11 of those with TRO Jung |Brannen. He’s especially gratified to return to the Augusta site of the new hospital, having worked on the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care located just across the field.
“One of the nice things about this project for me is that I worked with SMRT on the cancer center, so being able to work on the hospital project is really great," he says. "I was involved in the early design phases of the cancer center, so to come back to the site and see it completed was really nice. It’s a beautiful facility!”
Steven thinks applying his architectural skills in the health care field is especially gratifying.
“One of the most exciting things about health care design is seeing developments and ideas come from the health care sector. Health care is always changing so every project is something new."
He’s inspired by the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process on this project.
“This is the first IPD project I’ve worked on and the opportunity to work at this level with contractors and subcontractors has been phenomenal,” Steven says. “I’ve never learned so much in my 36 years in this field as in the past year. All of the parties are really team players – thinking only about what’s best for the Hospital and how we can deliver a great facility to MaineGeneral.”
Steven’s career in health care architecture has made an impact on projects throughout the Northeast. Some of the hospitals he’s worked on include St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT, the Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis and the Maine Medical Center Women and Infants facility in Portland.
While he’s been thoroughly engrossed in the new hospital project, Steven says he likes to spend his spare time hanging out with his “good old American mutt, Maggie, who has her humans trained very well.”
He also enjoys reading fiction (especially mysteries) and researching his family history. His Tuscan and Sicilian ancestors came through Ellis Island seeking a new life. They’d likely be pretty darn proud of the contributions Steven is making to the health of Maine’s residents for years to come.
Meet Nick Morgan, LEED AP, BD&C
HP Cummings Project Manager
Nick Morgan, project manager at HP Cummings, was raised in the construction business...literally.
His family owned a building supply company in Sabattus where he worked until it was sold. He joined Winthrop-based HP Cummings seven years ago and got his first taste of hospital construction.
He’s never looked back.
“The best part about doing this type of work is being proud of what you build and knowing how many people are going to be affected by it,” he says.
That hit home for Nick five years ago when complications with his wife’s pregnancy resulted in her hospitalization and his son, Spencer, to be born a tiny 3 lb., 10 oz. preemie who spent the first two weeks of his life in NICU.
“I nearly lost both of them,” he recalls. “You never truly understand how important these facilities are until you rely on one. It took everything up the power of ten as far as enjoying what I do and being proud of what I do.”
Today Spencer is a healthy little boy who started pre-K this fall.
A LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) with a specialty in Building Design and Construction (BD&C), Nick is in charge of the construction-related LEED credits as the project is on target to attain silver LEED certification. He also works with the subcontractors to process purchase and change orders.
One of the things he most enjoys about this project is being involved in the state’s first Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team. This approach brings together the talents of the owner, designers, engineers, contractors and subcontractors into a collaborative team with shared risks and rewards. Going forward, Nick would like to see more of that approach.
“Working with the owner, these architects and Robins and Morton and all our subcontractors has been awesome. Hopefully we can take this and build on it," he says.
“A lot of people say to be involved in a project of this scope is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. But it’s actually more like maybe every million lifetime thing," Nick adds. "As far as professional development goes, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
When not working, Nick likes to spend time with his wife and son. They enjoy boating, water sports and fishing.
A few years ago, he took up running and it’s turned into more than a casual past time. He runs marathons and did his first 50K trail race a few summers ago.
Meet J/R Metal Frames President & Owner Bob Pepin
Bob Pepin says his company’s contract for crafting and supplying custom metal door frames for the new hospital is not only keeping his doors open during tough economic times, but also is the impetus he needs to expand his business.
“I’m not sure if this contract (for roughly 2,400 frames) is the most we’ve ever delivered, but dollar-wise it's the biggest we’ve ever had,” says the second-generation family business owner, who expects to hire more people this summer to help with the work.
In the works are plans to double the company’s space to develop a standard door division, a move he hopes will allow J/R Metal Frames to compete successfully with out-of-state and foreign companies and help create more jobs in coming years.
“Until now, we’ve focused on the custom market. Establishing a standard door division will give us a competitive edge and keep jobs in Maine. We can do it; we just need to be a bit more aggressive,” Bob explains.
“If not for this project, we probably wouldn’t even think about doing the expansion this year and likely would have had to let a few people go," he adds. "But it brought in work, keeps us going and has given us the chance to reorganize to become stronger.
Keeping and creating local jobs is important to Bob, who considers his employees family.
“My job is to keep as many people as I can employed here. They’re a great crew.”
Some members of that crew have been with the company since Bob’s late father, Jean Pepin, established J/R Metal Frames in 1982. A commercial drywall contractor, Jean started the business after becoming inpatient when his work was held up — often six to eight weeks — waiting for metal door frames to be delivered.
“He knew he could be successful if he made a quality product and delivered it quickly,” his son recalls.
Jean’s wife Claire, now semi-retired but who still oversees the company’s books, agrees.
“My husband was very inventive, smart and liked a challenge,” she says. “He thought if others could do it, so could he. He did a lot of the machining and made all of the dies we still use today."
Quality, a commitment to customer service and a promise of 24-hour shipping remain the company’s hallmark. Every week a new shipment of J/R Metal Frames arrives for installation at the New Regional Hospital.
“This project is really exciting and it’s awesome to be part of it,” Bob says, nothing that the company also supplied the door frames for the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care which MaineGeneral opened in 2007.
“Personally, it’s pretty flattering for all of us to be involved in both projects. Not anybody can do a job like this and service it as we do.”
Bob’s confidence in the company’s future recently got a boost when his daughter Nicole joined the business.
“She has what it takes," he says. "With some training, she’s really the future.”
Meet Andrew Bradley, PE
SMRT Structural Engineer of Record / Structural Team Leader
Andrew Bradley received his degree in architectural engineering, which explains why he loves “to create buildings that express a real grace between the forces applied against them and the structure that resists those forces.”
As a structural engineer, Andrew likes the challenge of pushing the envelope between force, form and function.
Andrew is no stranger to MaineGeneral Health – he was the structural engineer of record for the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, located across the field from the new hospital construction site. As he makes site visits to inspect the steel going up on the new 640,000-square-foot hospital, Andrew enjoys reflecting on the project and the team.
“It’s been really wonderful to work hand-in-hand with the contractors in the field and to know everyone by name," he says. "That doesn’t happen on many projects. So much of what we all do today is underpinned by legal formalities."
Andrew adds that working so closely with the MaineGeneral team as well as the contractors on the project allows him to "get to the kern" of what’s truly important.
"We’re all in the IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) pool together, and that allows us to focus on what’s truly important in delivering the platform for healing that this hospital will provide.”
When he’s not figuring out the best and most graceful ways to support a building structurally, Andrew structures his life in a busy way. He and his wife have two boys – ages 11 and 13 – who love Lego® building blocks, video games, karate and learning to play the trumpet. Model rockets, biking and Whiffle® ball are rounding out their interests (right now!).
Andrew describes himself as a “gear-head who likes to ski, landscape, garden, and build rock walls with whatever I can dig up.”
He is on the Board of Directors of Architalx and will serve as president next year.
Meet SMRT Senior Architect Scott Vonnegut, AIA, LEED AP
Working on MaineGeneral ‘s New Regional Hospital project is a dream for SMRT Senior Architect Scott Vonnegut – allowing him to combine interests in architecture and medicine that have fascinated him since childhood.
As a young boy, he used to repeatedly borrow a Frank Lloyd Wright picture book from his local library. His grandfather and great-grandfather were architects.
As a student at Antioch College he considered a career in medicine and completed a work-study program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to understand what it would really be like to be a doctor.
Eventually, becoming an architect won out, and Scott says MaineGeneral’s project combines two of his lifelong interests in one amazing project.
Scott is inspired when he thinks about using his architectural talents to support MaineGeneral’s mission. He knows the environment the team creates will promote healing and continually improve the clinical outcomes of their patients while supporting the staff.
“The tremendous teamwork between the health care providers, the designers and engineers, the patients and their families and the hundreds of contractors swirling around the site has been a great experience,” he says. “Everyone is motivated, knowing their work will make a difference for the people of central Maine for decades to come.”
Scott has worked on the project since the beginning, helping to select and manage consultants and handling the life safety code compliance and permitting approvals. He’s proud of his role in working with the state, which resulted in the adoption of the latest edition of the Life Safety Code. He knows that will ensure the new hospital is designed and built to the highest standards of care – and that care will extend to other buildings in Maine.
Scott is no stranger to MaineGeneral; he’s worked on past projects at the Thayer Campus and hopes to be part of the team that designs the next renovations there.
During his project at Thayer a few years ago he first met MaineGeneral Health CEO Chuck Hays and worked again with John Scott and Dallas Folk of HP Cummings. He also worked on a project at Carolinas Medical Center with Robert Gambrel and Robins & Morton.
“In some ways, this team is like working with old friends you highly respect,” he says.
When Scott isn’t thinking about how to best put a building together, he likes to spend time hiking with his daughters, painting with his wife Fiona, sailing and cross country skiing – with a little bit of Alpine skiing mixed in.
Meet Robin & Morton Senior Project Manager Steve Wiley
Steve Wiley has traveled the country with his family for the last 19 years – moving every two or three years to build hospitals for contracting firm Robins & Morton.
“All I need in my professional life is to know that when you open the doors to a new hospital, you’re helping people for decades,” Steve says. “It’s hard to imagine the impact every hospital will have – but in a previous hospital project, seeing the final building in operation and photos of all the babies saved in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) meant a lot. It was impossible to walk through there with a dry eye.”
Getting to opening day requires a mountain of work – and Steve can be found dealing with a variety of responsibilities in his role as senior project manager. Steve is quick to point out that John Scott of HP Cummings shares the role, but they both keep plenty busy with their many daily tasks.
Steve has been inspired by the new hospital project and MaineGeneral’s decision to use Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which integrates all the key players including the owner, architects and engineers, the contractors and major subcontractors into a single team working together on the project from the beginning.
“Collaborating with such a great group of people has been inspiring. It seems like we’ve been working together for 10 years,” Steve says. “It’s also been great that we can create so many jobs for Maine people because of MaineGeneral’s commitment to hire locally whenever possible.”
In his spare time, Steve and his wife Jessica have been exploring Maine with their two young boys. Both their boys were born in hospitals Dad helped build. Steve and Jessica are looking forward to continuing that family tradition – they’re expecting a baby girl, scheduled to arrive at MaineGeneral in the fall!
In the meantime, the family explores places like Popham, Bar Harbor and Acadia, Bethel and many other interesting locales. They also like to kayak on China Lake.
For now, Maine is home for this family that seeks a sense of service by building some of the finest hospitals in the country.
Steve Wiley is proud to place MaineGeneral’s New Regional Hospital on that list.
Meet Robins & Morton Senior Superintendent Bill Stevens
If you spend any time on the jobsite with Bill Stevens, Robins & Morton senior superintendent for MaineGeneral's new hospital project, the Alfond Center for Health, you’ll quickly see that he loves what he does for a living.
“There’s a different challenge every day. No two days are alike,” he says. Bill has been in construction all his life—he joined Robins & Morton 17 years ago, after receiving his degree in construction engineering from the University of Florida. He has always enjoyed being outside, working with other people, and solving technically challenging problems.
Health care construction is especially inspiring work for Bill, with 15 hospital projects already under his belt.
"I’m interested in building a highly technical building that serves a better purpose to help people,” he explains. “Both of my kids were born in hospitals I had just finished building.”
One of the other aspects of his job Bill loves is being able to bring his family with him to the many different cities his job has taken him. It’s something he gets asked about all the time and he doesn’t mind telling others how much fun it is.
“We get to see new things, meet new people and really experience the country,” he says.
Being a part of MaineGeneral’s IPD project (integrated project design) has had special significance for Bill, in working with every person involved in the project.
Working on the IPD team has made him appreciate the amount of manpower needed in a job this size in a relatively small state; it has taught him the challenges that designers must go through and it has let him see the project from every other team member’s perspective.
“I’ve built hospitals from the Canadian border to the Mexican border and from New Mexico to Virginia, but being given the opportunity to be part of this team in the Northeast is a great honor I don’t take lightly,” he says.
“I look forward to sharing my national experience with our team of strong local subcontractors and learning new and innovative ways of building in this unique part of the country.”
Meet TRO Jung|Brannen lead architect Steve Evers
In the 1950s when Steve Evers’ predecessors were designing the Thayer Campus for MaineGeneral, he was many years away from knowing that health care architecture would become his life’s passion. As the architect leading the TRO Jung|Brannen design contributions, Steve has come a long way during the past few decades.
His firm returned to MaineGeneral in 2002, when they collaborated with SMRT, Inc. on the design of the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, located across the field from where the new hospital is now under construction.
When asked about what is the most important thing in his career as an architect, Steve will tell you, “the opportunity to create client and peer relationships which yield great results in the design of health care facilities.”
“It’s the reason I love what I do,” he says. “The team’s success on the cancer center and collaboration with the MaineGeneral community allow our team to help create a project that will be used for generations to come – much like the Thayer building has been. That continuity with our past and our roots here in Maine are personally very gratifying.”
Steve considers the role of all the team’s designers to be “the interpreters of the dream. Our job is to deliver a design that truly reflects the community it will serve for many decades.”
He is inspired by the “splendid pastoral site that was formerly a farm, by the local acknowledgement of local heritage and by the project teams aligned commitment to excellence, a team assembled to represent the Hospital staff, the patients, their families and the sense of purpose to the community on this project.”
When Steve’s not thinking about design, he loves to spend his time in a kayak throughout New England waters or behind his bass guitar. Don’t be surprised to see his band in the New Regional Hospital’s lobby on opening day!
Meet SMRT architect Craig PiperCraig Piper’s work – as part of the design team for MaineGeneral's new hospital, the Alfond Center for Health, and the transformation of the Thayer Campus into the Thayer Center for Health – finds its inspiration in the staff and patients. He’s worked for MaineGeneral before, most recently on the design of the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care which sits across the field from the new hospital site.
Craig remembers the comments of a young mother being treated for cancer.
“It meant so much when she told me she felt so comfortable bringing her children with her to the cancer center,” Craig says.
“As a dad with my own young children, knowing our work helped her family and complemented the great care she was receiving was special. I hope every patient who comes to the new hospital or the redesigned Thayer Campus feels safe and comfortable and that our design work contributes to their healing.”
Craig has been with SMRT for half of his more than 20-year career as an architect and landscape architect. He has a graduate degree in architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In undergraduate school, Craig studied landscape architecture at Syracuse University/SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry – reflected in his strong preference to bring the beauty of nature inside the health care facilities he helps design.
Craig enjoys helping out with his children’s sports programs and is past president of the board of directors for Catherine Morrill Day Nursery, a local nonprofit that provides quality care for children in the greater Portland area.
In his free time, Craig can be found out running the trails, hiking with his family or fixing up his old house while dreaming of someday owning a camp on a Maine lake.
High energy, creativity and enthusiasm are hallmarks of the design work for MaineGeneral’s New Regional Hospital in Augusta.
Meet the Designers
Combining the best of Maine, New England and national experience, two respected health care architectural design firms are working together to make this dream a reality – SMRT, based in Portland, Maine and TRO Jung|Brannen, based in Boston. These design firms know each other, and MaineGeneral, well. This same team designed the award-winning Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta.
The new hospital is being designed and constructed with the innovative use of three-dimensional building modeling through a new approach known as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).
IPD harnesses the talents of the project’s owner, designers, engineers, contractors and subcontractors and – from the start of a project – forges them into a single collaborative team.
These partners work together, sharing the same goals and purpose for the project. Their combined knowledge, expertise, creativity and accountability ensures the new hospital will be an inviting place for MaineGeneral’s patients, family members and staff.
Meet the Construction Managers
The joint venture partnership of Robins & Morton
and HP Cummings
offers the MaineGeneral New Regional Hospital project a unique blend of complex national health care expertise and intimate experience working onsite and with local designers, engineers and subcontractors.
With more than 1,000 completed health care projects in 31 states, Robins & Morton clearly knows how to successfully plan and build hospitals and health care facilities.
The firm has successfully led Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) teams using Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other technologies. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Robins & Morton has division offices in Dallas, Charlotte, Huntsville, Nashville, Orlando and Raleigh-Durham. The company consistently tops Modern Healthcare
magazine’s national listing of Top Healthcare Contractors.
HP Cummings Construction was founded in Maine in 1879 and has worked with many of the region’s most talented suppliers and contractors building diverse projects including the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta.
HP Cummings’ strong foundation of respect and trust within the local community and with MaineGeneral ensures substantial involvement in the New Regional Hospital project from companies located in Augusta and throughout Maine.
Meet the Contractors:
A local, regional
& national effort
We recognize the importance of this project to the local community and economy.
That's why the selection of local businesses started with the architecture and construction management teams and didn’t stop there.
The same philosophy carried over into the choice of subcontractors.
This project combines the best of Maine, New England and national experience to complete the largest construction project in Kennebec Valley's history.
- HP Cummings (Maine) partnering with Robins & Morton (Alabama)
- SMRT (Maine) partnering with TRO Jung|Brannen (Boston)
More than half of the subcontract work falls into the following five areas:
All of the subcontractors to date are Maine-based and are working on the project independently or are part of a joint venture involving regional or national contractors.
- Site Work
- Structural Steel
- Drywall & Acoustical Ceilings
- Mechanical/Plumbing/Fire Protection
- AD & W Architectural Doors and Windows (Westbrook)
- Cives Steel Company (Augusta)
- Dirigo Drywall (Portland)
- Eastern Fire Protection (Bangor)
- E.S. Boulos Company (Westbrook)
- Exactitude, Inc (Bangor)
- G & E Roofing (Augusta)
- Hahnel Bros. Co. (Lewiston)
- Johnson & Jordan (Scarborough)
- Landry & Son Acoustics (Lewiston)
- Maine Masonry Co. Inc. (Bangor)
- New England TECHAIR (Scarborough)
- Porter Drywall (Portland)
- Sargent Corporation (Stillwater)
- Standard Waterproofing (Waterville)
- Zimba Co. (Fairfield)