Squeezing in more

Squeezing in more

Jun 01, 2006

Not Many People Truly Love the process of building a hospital. But Dr. Jeff Hogans, who co-owns Harden Ranch Veterinary Hospital, in Salinas, Calif., with his wife, Dr. Loly Hogans, says he likes the challenge inherent in the building project as much as the finished facility. He just completed his second veterinary hospital and says there's no doubt he'll build again.

"I'm a detail-oriented, go-getter," says Dr. Jeff Hogans. "Building is extremely stressful, and there's a lot of headache involved—but I love it."

Dr. Hogans stayed involved at every step of the design process. He flew from Salinas to Albuquerque, N.M., twice to meet with his architect, and visited the site every single day during construction.

"Jeff knew the construction materials the builders were supposed to use, and he practically memorized the blueprints," says Dr. Loly Hogans. "Almost weekly he'd catch something that needed correction, and I'm thankful for his diligence. Catching problems and making changes early saved us a lot of money."

Today, the Hogans own their second award-winning 4,180-square-foot veterinary practice. The 2005 Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition judges particularly praised the facility for its excellent floor plan and traffic flow and for an exciting interior.

Setting the stage

In 1993, Drs. Jeff and Loly Hogans built their first veterinary facility—and won their first Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition Merit Award. They stayed in this 2,300-square-foot rental facility for 12 years, far outgrowing the space. As they approached lease renewal time, they decided to build again, this time in a freestanding facility. And, as luck would have it, they found an empty lot across the street that was perfect.

"The demographics are great, and we have a very loyal client following, so we were happy to find a lot so close to our former building," says Dr. Jeff Hogans. "We did face some challenges, however. The lot wasn't zoned for our particular use, and it only had right-in, right-out access, which wasn't ideal."

The Hogans hired a land-use attorney to help them win a zoning code amendment. They completed planned-unit development to get variances so they could squeeze the practice they wanted on the existing site. And they had to fight to get larger signage on the practice, something the commercial offices in the area aren't generally allowed. In the end, they got everything they wanted.

The next challenge? Squeezing a packed-with-features hospital onto a 10,000-square-foot site. "We built the largest building we could fit here and still offer the requisite 10 parking spots," says Dr. Jeff Hogans.

A tight squeeze

Harden Ranch Veterinary Hospital
"Our architect says we put 10 pounds of hospital in a 8-pound bag," says Dr. Jeff Hogans. In an effort to make everything fit, Drs. Hogans and their architect, Wayne Usiak, AIA, of BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, combined the exam-room hallway with the discharge and checkout area.