In 2014, University of Pennsylvania Health System introduced the Penn First Team. This dream team, comprised of Penn Executives, Architects, Designers, and a General Contractor, was responsible for creating an all-star team to construct a $1.6 billion state-of-the-art facility, which stands as a Beacon of Hope for all. This 1.5 million square foot building would become the 2nd largest hospital in the United States.
COFCO first became a part of the Pavilion project during the initial planning process. As a long-standing partner and client, the Penn First team trusted COFCO to assist with preliminary ideas and budgets for the furniture portion of the project.
A few days before the world shut down in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Penn First Team released the furniture bid portion of this project. COFCO’s Pavilion team worked countless hours in quarantine to build a solution that would meet the requirements of a project of this magnitude.
In July 2020, COFCO was awarded and immediately went to work with the Penn First Team having weekly design and project management meetings to finalize furniture specifications and work through the project schedule.
Since we were in the middle of a pandemic, which eventually attributed to manufacturer shutdowns, supply chain shortages and shipping delays, the COFCO team diligently worked to stay organized to implement a plan to place orders based on the construction schedule and lead times. The team’s ability to preplan each stage of the ordering process allowed them to pivot and make changes based on what was happening in the industry. Thankfully, COFCO was able to avoid most furniture delays while working with 44 vendor partners, to deliver over 100 tractor trailers of furniture without one scheduling error! This was a true miracle with a project of this size.
Faced with many challenging construction delays due to the pandemic, the team continued to be creative by installing furniture where they could, knowing the opening date of was not getting delayed.
As promised, the installation team completed the final install on October 29, 2021, just in time for the grand opening on October 30th. After years of hard work, the momentous grand opening was celebrated by hundreds of volunteers and employees lining the hallways to help transport over 300 patients to the new facility while music performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra filled the air. This momentous day was remarkably highlighted through social media and news outlets.
COFCO’s team is proud to be part of the Penn First project team. Its core team consisted of one designer, two project managers, and one account development manager, all led by account executive, Erin Costello.
All of COFCO’s clients and projects are treated with the utmost care and attention, but this $10 million portfolio is one of COFCO’s most significant and proudest moments to date. The Pavilion is on track to change the future of healthcare!