Balfour Beatty, Stellar JV selected for $85 million Jacksonville science museum project

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2034
Mosh genesis rendering

The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) in Jacksonville says it has selected Balfour Beatty and Stellar as a joint venture to lead construction management for the MOSH Genesis project.

The contractors will oversee all vertical construction for the $85 million project, which will bring a new Museum to the Shipyards East area on the Northbank of downtown Jacksonville,MOSH said in a Jan. 28 statement. Plans for the new Museum comprise 130,000 sq. ft. for exhibitions, programs and events along with a new-and-improved space for the planetarium.

Balfour Beatty has successfully delivered several museum projects, including the Perot Museum of Nature & Science and the Perot Family Turtle Creek Legacy Hall Museum in Dallas, Texas; the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia; and the North Carolina Museum of Art expansion in Raleigh, North Carolina. Additionally, the firm has experience leading complex new construction projects in Northeast Florida, such as the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center; the terminal expansion project at Jacksonville International Airport; and Jacksonville University’s new basketball performance center.

Stellar, a Jacksonville-headquartered design-build company, has more than 35 years of experience in design, engineering, construction and mechanical services. The firm brings local and national recreational facilities experience to the joint venture; past projects include the Hale Koa Ilima Pool Renovation, Shades of Green at Disneyworld Renovation, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and bestbet Jacksonville gaming center.

“Our Board of Trustees and Genesis Oversight Committee were extremely impressed by Balfour Beatty and Stellar’s depth of experience in Northeast Florida. After reviewing proposals from numerous teams through our competitive process, we were particularly interested in the complementary nature of Balfour Beatty’s national experience and Stellar’s local roots,” said MOSH president and CEO Bruce Fafard. “Their combined approach demonstrated a holistic understanding of our visitor experience plan, both within our building and across the broader Sports and Entertainment District.”

The DIA’s board provided unanimous approval for MOSH to proceed with the land disposition process for a four-acre parcel at the Shipyards East during its Jan. 19 meeting. The museum’s new building will be constructed on a 2.5-acre section of that property. Estimating and budgeting will begin in February 2022, with construction commencing in 2023 following all necessary site approvals through the DIA and City Council.

“Jacksonville is a dynamic city, and MOSH is an established leader within its cultural community,” said Dave Campbell, Balfour Beatty project executive. “We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with MOSH on this iconic development and have the unique opportunity to shape the future of downtown.”

“MOSH is a community pillar that has inspired scores of designers, engineers and innovators within our region,” said Richard Lovelace, Senior Vice President, Commercial at Stellar. “Through our participation in this joint venture with Balfour Beatty, we hope to create a building where the next generation of creative thinkers can find inspiration to become pioneers and leaders.”

MOSH has operated in its current location on the Southbank of Downtown Jacksonville since 1969. The museum’s operations have outgrown the 77,000-square-foot facility; building a new museum will significantly expand the organization’s capacity to serve more students and visitors. Early projections estimate that by building a new facility at the Jacksonville Shipyards, MOSH will be able to serve 58,000 students (a 50% increase over pre-pandemic numbers) and 469,000 visitors (a 168% increase) each year.

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