This article by Jacklyn Pascale originally appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of Building Central Florida.
Hoar Construction delivers on a $32 million new ballroom and outdoor event space
In the business world, you get used to attending meetings and events. These meetings come in all shapes and sizes. And if you have been a part of a committee or planning meeting for a large conference or company event, you understand the need for options when it comes to venues and meeting spaces. Orlando consistently sits as one of the top destinations for large conferences and events. The city is an epicenter of tourism and hospitality. With this hot commodity of a market, it is necessary to offer competitive space. Hoar Construction recently completed the 57,000 square foot expansion of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress convention center, including a 25,000 square foot ballroom and 32,000 square foot expansion of event, pre-function, and back of house space.
The resort now offers a total of 102,000 square feet of flexible meeting space comprised of two ballrooms, exhibit space, pre-function space, 45 meeting rooms, and unique outdoor venues for groups up to 1,000. The added pre-function space offers panoramic views of the resort’s landscaping and ease of access to the outdoors. Additionally, a new formal event lawn was added to provide a perfect venue for an outdoor awards dinner, upscale reception, or team-building event.
This expansion was completed adjacent to the fully operational resort and convention center space. “Logistics and scheduling played a huge role, but we also had to be mindful of how our work was impacting hotel operations and the guest experience” said Ricky Calderon, Hoar’s Senior Superintendent for the site. The expansion used concrete tilt walls as part of the demanding construction schedule. The walls were formed horizontally and then “tilted” to stand upright with a crane and braced into position while the roof and floor were secured. The entire process took 17 days from the start of tilt panel erection to the start of roof decking. There was a total of 83 panels lifted, each one weighing up to 120,000 lbs.
In addition to the tilt-wall panels, the team erected 270 tons of steel for the expansion. The ceilings in the ballroom were originally designed to be framed traditionally using light gauge metal, however for the betterment of the project’s schedule, the project team ultimately framed the “beams” out of a gypsum grid system. This allowed trade partner to pre-fabricate the beams on the ground and erect large sections. The untraditional and unique design of the “ceiling beams” or “floating ceiling” are at two elevations which resulted in a modern look and feel for the new space. These high ceilings and accompanied rigging points, allow the facility to support a much larger variety of events, if desired.
The new ballroom is state-of-the-art, including unique customizable LED lighting functions and extensive Audio/Visual capabilities to support any type of event. The owner and design team focused on the details to make sure their future guest’s needs and expectations were met. “This new space will allow us even more flexibility to create spectacular events for our meeting planners, conference attendees, and social event guests,” said Paul Joseph, general manager, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, in a recent press release. “We’ve also gained some much-needed function space to accommodate more group customers than we were able to in the past.”
The team included HHCP Architects, Inc.; GAI Consultants (Civil Engineer and Landscape Architect); Peninsula Engineering, Inc. (MEP Engineering); and HBA Atlanta (Interior Design). In addition, this project contracted with a dozen CFC ABC members to build this expansion.
With over 80 years of construction experience, Hoar Construction is dedicated to making the industry better and know that starts with our people. We have a process-driven culture focused on finding the best opportunities and solutions for our clients, partners, and our projects. Every time we build, we will always improve and find a better way.