SMH Selects Design Team to Master Plan SMH-North Port and SMH-Wellen Park Campuses

SMH Selects Design Team to Master Plan SMH-North Port and SMH-Wellen Park Campuses

Friday, February 2, 2024

SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2024) – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System selected an architect and general contracting team and officially kicked off the master planning process this month for two new medical campuses to serve the fast-growing North Port and Wellen Park communities.Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder

Chosen for their experience, qualifications and track record on previous hospital and healthcare construction projects, Flad Architects and general contractor Barr & Barr will work collaboratively with SMH leaders over the next several months to develop conceptual site plans, cost models and construction schedules to help guide the public health system’s highly anticipated expansion into south Sarasota County.

“Our goal is to develop master plans for our two south county campuses that are forward-thinking, financially sound and flexible enough to meet the needs of those communities now and well into the future,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder. “We look forward to completing this important step in the planning process and working with our governing board, city leaders and surrounding neighborhoods to develop new medical campuses we all can be proud of for years to come.”

SMH leaders are working with the Flad/Barr & Barr team this month to define the scope of the SMH-North Port and SMH-Wellen Park master plans and finalize a contract for the preliminary planning services. Initial plans for SMH-North Port, a 32-acre parcel located at 4900 N. Sumter Blvd., call for a 350,000-square-foot, 150-200 bed acute-care hospital, with a 35-bed emergency care department and 24-bed observation unit. Preliminary plans for SMH-Wellen Park, a 28-acre parWellen Park Property Outlinecel located at 7900 S. Tamiami Trail, call for a freestanding Emergency Care Center that could connect to a potential 300,000-square-foot, 150-bed acute-care hospital. Both campuses also would include medical office buildings for outpatient services and specialty care.

Once conceptual plans and cost estimating are complete, SMH leaders will present options and recommendations to the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board for further review. Pending funding approval and regulatory permits, SMH plans to break ground on both campuses in 2025, the same year it marks its 100th anniversary.

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 1.5 million patient visits each year across its 2 hospital campuses, freestanding ER, and network of outpatient care centers. Its flagship 897-bed Sarasota hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes and comprehensive network of outpatient. The public health system opened its second acute-care hospital, SMH-Venice, in November 2021 to serve the growing south Sarasota County region. For information, visit

About Flad Architects

Flad Architects is a national knowledge-based planning and design firm committed to creating environments that enhance human potential. In partnership with leading research organizations, universities, healthcare institutions, and science-based companies, Flad designs innovative facilities with standout dedication to detail. Over 95 years of passionate and rigorous focus on buildings devoted to the sciences has earned Flad consistently high rankings among the nation’s top architectural firms, both overall and in science and technology, academic, and healthcare design. Flad has designed multiple SMH facilities in recent years, including the SMH-Venice campus and its current expansion and first two phases of SMH’s Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute. For information, visit

About Barr & Barr

Barr & Barr, Inc. is a national leader in providing Construction Management, Design Build and Program Management Services, offering clients unsurpassed expertise and the highest standards of quality and service. Founded in 1927 in New York City, it is 100% Employee-Owned and operates from four regions: New England, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. The Southeast Region is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., with a local office in Sarasota. Barr & Barr is currently building Sarasota Memorial’s new Kolschowsky Research & Education Institute. For information, visit