|June 22, 2006|
BlueCross Unveils Design for New Corporate Campus
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee today officially revealed the design for its new corporate campus at a Chattanooga Rotary Club presentation made by Roger Staubach and Turan Duda.
“It was an honor to help publicly unveil the plans for BlueCross’ new headquarters and present the shared vision for both the company and the downtown area,” said Staubach, CEO of The Staubach Company, a national real estate consulting firm overseeing the campus project.
That vision presents itself in a configuration of five connected buildings that reaches out to the City of Chattanooga.
“As we’ve designed the campus, we’ve taken into account the needs of not only the company and its members, but also the employees who make it run and its community,” said Duda, a partner with Duda/Paine Architects, which is charged with the overall facility design. “That design balances many needs such as providing a welcoming environment while addressing security issues.”
Four of the proposed office buildings will have five floors approximately 200,000 square feet each. These will house employees and daily operations. The fifth building consisting of four levels and located on the west side of Cameron Hill provides a nucleus for the campus and includes a large dining facility and training and conference rooms.
Additionally, the design calls for an estimated 4,100 parking spaces built into the southwest and south sides of Cameron Hill. The parking decks will provide parking for employees and will account for about 20 percent of the total Cameron Hill budget.
In total the development will be 950,000 square feet and cost approximately $299 million. Original baseline projections calculated in 2003 called for 800,000 square feet at an estimated cost of $226 million.
According to Bob Worthington, senior vice president of administration for BlueCross, the size increase will accommodate the company’s growing employee population, allow for future expansion, and create a work environment appropriate for a new internal culture.
“We reconfirmed that even with the increase in size and cost, we will still be spending less on facilities and related costs in the new campus versus our current situation,” Worthington said. “And, we will still build the campus with money from our reserves without acquiring debt or passing on the cost to our customers. We will not increase premiums due to building the campus.”
Features of the new campus will include a wellness center for employees; a health institute, which will function as a think-tank or research center for health care related applications; and public spaces with vistas of downtown and the river, which represent a desire to stay connected with the city.
“We feel that these features and the entire project underscore a commitment to good health and healthy lifestyles for our employees, as well as a desire to improve health care quality and keep costs affordable for all Tennesseans,” Worthington said.
Construction on the new headquarters is scheduled to begin in September 2006 with an estimated completion date in 2009.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.
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