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Health First Replacement Hospital


Health First needed to replace its aging Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Constructed in the 1960s, the six-story, 150-bed hospital was targeted for replacement due to its vulnerability to hurricanes, risk of flooding, and crumbling infrastructure.


Lawrence Group designed a $410 million replacement hospital, parking garage, and medical office building in Merritt Island, Florida. The 268,000-square-foot replacement hospital is being built on a 14-acre site, four miles inland from the original Cape Canaveral Hospital located on reclaimed land in the Banana River.

To protect the new hospital from flooding during storm surges, Lawrence Group designed its ground floor 13 feet above sea level, and its exterior envelope and structure over and above code requirements to withstand a Category 4 hurricane. Additionally, the campus will be served by an on-site central energy plant, built to ensure continuous power function even during tropical storms and hurricanes.

Incorporating the latest in patient-centered healthcare design, Lawrence Group planned the new hospital with 120 inpatient beds, 25 emergency department treatment bays and six operating suites. Lawrence Group also designed the three-story medical office building for specialty services, as well as the campus’ parking garage and lot.

Extensive landscaping designed by Lawrence Group allows the new hospital and medical office building to integrate seamlessly into its existing environment, while providing room for greenspace, a half-mile walking trail and other connections to nature throughout the new campus.