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Coleman-Snow Consultants New Headquarters at the Yard

July 22, 2010

In the July 19 2010 edition of the Charleston Business Journal

Historic Building on former Navy base is brought back to life after 13 years-and has been designed to achieve a Silver LEED certification

Coleman-Snow Consultants LLC recently completed the renovation of its new headquarters, a two-story 16,000-square-foot building located on the former Charleston Navy Base.

The structure, known as Building NH55 or the “Sick Officers Quarters,” was built in 1944 on Turnbull Avenue directly across the street from the Charleston Naval Hospital’s original main complex.  Its purpose was to alleviate overcrowding and provide an additional and separate space to treat sick and wounded naval officers.

After a new hospital was built in the 1970′s, NH55 was used by the Navy as a legal office.  Then in the 1990′s, the Navy base closed and NH55 sat vacant for years.

Coleman-Snow Consultants, a United Infrastructure Group company, purchased NH55 in January 2009 and rehabilitated it in a manner that is in keeping with the historic character of the Charleston Naval Hospital.  In addition, NH55, which is located in what is now known as the Navy Yard at Noisette, has been designed to achieve a Silver level of certification under the LEED NC2.2 rating system.  The project has been through the design level of review and is now under the construction level of review.

“The NH55 building design and renovation process was successfuly completed ahead of schedule thanks to Chastain Construction and Bill Coleman Jr., the construction manager of CSC,” said Monica Clarke, marketing coordinator for CSC.

NH55 was originally designed by the Sixth Naval District Office and Greenville-based Daniel Construction Co., and built at a cost of $90,000.  it was finished in just four months and ready for patients by the end of December 1944.

NH55 was designed as a series of hospital bedrooms placed on either side of a double-loaded corridor.  Unlike the crowded wards for enlisted sailors in the main hospital, the rooms in NH55 were designed for naval officers as individual residential units with a single patient per room and shared a bathroom between rooms.

During the World War II, medical professionals began to understand the importance of social and mental rehabilitation of men that had spent time in battle in addition to treatment of their medical conditions.  the lounge, which is now a lobby, features a fireplace and French doors and offered a space with residential character where patients in the Sick Officer’s Quarters could partially escape the institution around them.

The hospital was used by the Navy for nearly four decades after the conclusion of World War II, treating casualties from both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.  By 1972 the hospital complex was seen as old and outdated and a new nine-story hospital building was built a half mile away on Rivers Avenue.

The U.S. Naval Sixth District moved their administrative offices into the vacated main hospital buildings and converted NH55 into their legal office.  Many changes were made to the Sick Officer’s Quarters to accommodate the new use including partitions in the corridors and the introduction of a courtroom and a library.  When the Charleston Naval Base closed in the 1990′s, this building was left mothballed for more than 15 years with minimal maintenance performed.

But now, CSC has given new life to this historic building.

CSC is a South Carolina-based firm established in 2005 as a licensed professional civil engineering, construction management, and surveying consulting firm headquartered in Charleston, with a branch office in Columbia.  It offers civil engineering, surveying, construction management, design-build engineering, road design, utility coordination, maintenance of intelligent transportation facilities and construction engineering inspection services.

CSC’s staff has grown to over 35 employees over the past 5 years and is backed by United Infrastructure Group Inc., on e of the largest South Carolina-based construction companies.

Sick Officers Quarters Historic Pic

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