Workers at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s new headquarters in downtown Chattanooga are about 75 percent finished with the $299 million project, officials said.
“The glass is on all five buildings,” said Brian Murray of builder Skanska EMJ Russell about the bluish-colored skin that covers the five-story structures.
Staff Photo by Angela Lewis
Work continues on the bridgeway at the BlueCross BlueShield complex on Cameron Hill.
He said between 500 and 600 construction workers are on the site atop Cameron Hill in what is the largest-ever office investment in the central city.
A key part of the work of late is the construction of a glass-enclosed bridgeway between buildings at a big plaza area in the center of the corporate campus.
“It’s the length of a football field, but it doesn’t feel like it,” Mr. Murray said about the plaza.
BlueCross spokeswoman Mary Thompson said the plaza and courtyard will be a good place for employees to eat outside.
Work on at least one of the five buildings is well under way inside as well. Ms. Thompson said each building will have color schemes to differentiate them.
The first building expected to be completed will hold the data center to allow computers to run as the other structures come on line.
Ms. Thompson said the initial completed structure will start holding employees around January, but it will take until the end of May or early June before all the 4,000 or so workers are in the complex.
The first BlueCross employees are to start moving into the insurer’s new campus around January, according to the company.
In keeping with the insurer’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, the site will have three partial so-called “green roofs,” Ms. Thompson said. Those areas will be covered in vegetation, she said.
Ms. Thompson said the complex remains both on budget and on time. That’s despite the problems builders encountered in August related to nooses found at the site and illnesses that struck some workers.
When the job is finished, BlueCross will consolidate most of its work force from around the city to Cameron Hill. The company recently purchased a $200,000 hybrid electric shuttle bus to help employees move around the central city.
Stacy Tate, a 15-year employee, expects to take advantage of the bus.
“It will tie into downtown,” she said. “It’s a good idea.”
The 950,000-square-foot facility also includes an eight-level, 3,000-space parking garage.
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...