Kitchell Contractors recognizes that its business goes far beyond building infrastructure in Southern Nevada. At Kitchell, building the community is just as important, as is demonstrated by the company’s recent commitment to building and expanding some of Southern Nevada’s most prestigious hospitals. “To be able to witness our efforts benefiting the community is great,” said Bob Wallace, vice president and division manager of Kitchell. “It offers a great deal of satisfaction for us as a corporation.”
This can be evidenced in the contracting company’s most recently secured projects. Kitchell will start this summer on the building of San Martin Hospital at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive, which will serve as a sister hospital to St. Rose Dominican. Kitchell has already started on the Southern Hills Hospital at Sunset and Fort Apache roads. The combined construction cost for both projects nears $150 million.
“We solicit hospital work because it is considered tougher than normal,” Wallace said. “If you can build a hospital, you can build anything. The type of subcontractors who work on hospitals are higher quality, and they really know their business.”
Just about anywhere you look in the Las Vegas Valley, you can see Kitchell’s mark. This is especially true when it comes to the Southern Nevada healthcare system. Kitchell completed expansions at MountainView Hospital in 1995 and 1998; it built St. Rose Dominican Hospital’s Siena campus in 1999; and the company has held a long-valued relationship with Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. In 1979 it built Sunrise’s Women’s Pavilion, the North Tower Medical Office building and new parking garages. Later this year, Kitchell plans to carry out a $45 million expansion of the Women’s Pavilion and the Sunrise Children’s Hospital. “The nature of the work lends itself to good construction management and good technique,” Wallace said. “It brings out the best in all of us.”
But hospital work isn’t the only type of Las Vegas construction project in which Kitchell has been involved. It built Neonopolis, the Del Webb Anthem corporate headquarters and the prestigious Grant Sawyer state office building. It also built the Rampart Commons retail center and the elaborate Las Vegas Paiute golf clubhouse.
Kitchell’s origins can be found in Phoenix, where the company is headquartered. It has offices throughout the western United States and in Mexico. The company is a $500 million privately-owned enterprise headed by president Mark Pendleton.
Although the company has had a contractor’s license in Nevada since the early 1950s, it wasn’t until 1992 that Kitchell established a fully-staffed division office in Las Vegas. “We’d come to Las Vegas, do a project, then leave when it was completed,” Wallace said. “But in the late ’80s, we realized we wanted to be a part of the community.”
Kitchell’s work in building hospitals has garnered numerous awards, including its current ranking as one of the nation’s 15 largest healthcare construction managers by Modern Healthcare magazine. Wallace said building hospitals brings with it some special challenges. Many of its projects involve expansions, which means undertaking building responsibilities while minimizing the impact on daily operations. “We have to keep the doctors in business,” Wallace said.
The business of building hospitals is also an ever-changing endeavor. Technology has become part of the contracting equation, and Kitchell views itself as leading the technology curve. “We are using a lot of laser beams to ensure levelness,” Wallace said. “Mechanical and electrical systems are also getting more and more sophisticated.” Wallace said the company no longer uses just exterior stucco. It uses a special exterior skin system on its hospitals that incorporates insulation material with a stucco finish to guarantee the most efficient insulation possible.
The Nevada Contractors Association named Kitchell its Contractor of the Year for 2002.