As Published in the September 7 Edition of Business Observer

By Andrew Warfield
Photo by Jim Jett

Specialized Veterinary Services of Fort Myers had outgrown its emergency animal hospital, a nondescript one-story, 5,000-square-foot facility. But instead of a simple renovation, the practice, partnering with Stevens Construction, replaced its old space with a stylishly contemporary, 18,595-square-foot building that stands out along Daniels Parkway, just west of Interstate 75.

All this while continuing to operate, literally, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Under the leadership of project manager Dan Adams, Fort Myers-based Stevens Construction converted the animal hospital — formerly a Bob Evans restaurant — both horizontally and vertically while it remained open for business. According to Adams, what would otherwise have been a nine-month renovation of an empty space required 16 months to complete.

Beyond the esoteric improvements, the expansion allowed SVS to add treatment capacity, expand the lobby to better accommodate large and anxious animals and improve staff accommodations with offices and locker rooms. The treatment area was expanded from four examination rooms to 10, a third operating room was added and a larger holding room was built for patients recovering from surgery or receiving chemotherapy. To improve staff accommodations, the second floor was added to include offices, conference room, employee lounge and a locker room with showers.