MEDITECH Opening Doors and New Opportunities in Fall River
On May 19th, MEDITECH opened its newest building in Fall River, Massachusetts. The "Southcoast" building (named for its location in the southeastern part of the state) will eventually hold over 500 employees, including a mix of both new hires from the region and existing employees who will be transferring from the other MEDITECH bases in Canton, Norwood, Westwood, Lowder Brook, and Framingham, as well as the rental space we have been occupying in Fall River (next door to the new site). Like those facilities, Southcoast will house representatives from across all MEDITECH divisions, including Client Services, Implementation, Development, Marketing, and Sales.
"The Southcoast building is an opportunity for our existing employees to relocate closer to home," explains Phil Polimeno, MEDITECH director of corporate technology, recruiting, staff development, and internal audit. "At the same time, our presence in the area gives us another region from which to draw potential new hire candidates. It's very similar to when we bought the building in Framingham, a move which brought us beyond the South Shore, into the Metrowest area of Massachusetts."
"The new building is spectacular," says Michael Cabral, MEDITECH manager of client services. Cabral, who grew up and still lives in the Southcoast area, has been managing the Third Shift out of the Fall River rental facility for the past two years, and he was among the first to move his group to Southcoast. "I've been at MEDITECH almost 20 years, and worked out of most of our buildings. They're all wonderful, but Southcoast is the best one yet."
Setting the Stage for Economic Prosperity
According to MEDITECH president and COO Howard Messing, the company has been welcomed very warmly by Fall River residents, business leaders, civic leaders, and especially the educational and academic communities. "They are excited to have us, and we've been told many times that we're viewed as a major component of an overall economic revival in the area," he says. "We're proud to be having that kind of impact, and we really feel we're in partnership with the community."
The new building is located at the site of the former Kerr Mill, which was destroyed by fire in 1987, putting some 1,000 people out of work. During the initial groundbreaking ceremony in September 2006, Fall River Mayor Edward Lambert was quoted as saying, "This is the most exciting economic development the Fall River area has seen in decades."
MEDITECH Goes "Green" with Building Design
Southcoast is the second building constructed by MEDITECH as well as the largest, measuring 122,000 square feet. It includes 504 workstations, 34 private offices, 28 conference rooms, and eight training rooms. The four-floor facility is situated on a 17-acre site overlooking the South Watuppa Pond. James H. Collins Jr., a principal at Boston-based Payette Associates, is the architect who designed the building in concert with Sheila Lemke, MEDITECH's architectural design director.
Collins and Lemke were committed to incorporating green elements into the design, including interior bamboo doors, wood trim, and efficient lighting. "The design of the projects north facade references Fall Rivers mill heritage, while the south facade capitalizes on water views with a continuous glass wall," explains Lemke. "This panoramic glass facade maximizes views to the pond and allows controlled daylight to reach deep into the open workstations. In addition, groups of multiple smaller windows located within a terra cotta rain screen system correspond with private offices and conference rooms."
The landscape reflects the natural characteristics of the surrounding riparian environment, with wetland plantings, meadow grasses, and indigenous trees and shrubs. The plantings provide a visual connection to South Watuppa Pond, while also encouraging an attractive environment for birds, butterflies, and fauna.
Collins, a Fall River native, is proud of the building and hopes the people of Fall River feel the same. "We're considering submitting it for design awards," he says. "It's as advanced as those built in New York or Boston or any other places in the world."
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