New Frayser Clinic in South Los Angeles

This January, Swinerton Builders Los Angeles finished work on the Dr. Louis C. Frayser Health Center (better known as the Frayser Clinic) run by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. St. John’s is an independent community health provider with clinics spanning the breadth of Central Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, and Compton. The clinics help patients of all ages improve their physical and mental health at 10 different locations and also provide educational services aimed at improving patients’ overall well-being and teaching them ways to prevent illness and disease. St. John’s is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and Swinerton is proud to support its legacy with recent work on the Frayser Clinic, which is located in South Los Angeles just west of the 110 Freeway.

In February 2013, Swinerton started construction on the new medical and dental clinic for local residents and families. A $4.5 million project, it was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The design team at DLR Group served as architects, and Danny Kaye’s Totum Consulting served as construction project managers. As a longtime friend and client of Swinerton Builders, Danny Kaye brought collaboration and partnering dynamics to the project.

Construction began with the demolition of two separate buildings and slabs. In order to maintain the project’s renovation status, two unreinforced masonry perimeter walls were kept in place. Set on a constrained site next to a public sidewalk, the zero-lot work space was directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood. The new 11,300-square-foot building was set on a 24-inch mat foundation with 6-inch topping. The team adhered to OSPHD-3 regulations on the project and followed new CALGreen standards through its duration.

In order to complete the renovation in less than one year, it was planned as a fast-track project. However, the team had to overcome their fair share of challenges from design phase through final inspections. These included lack of a grading design and permits, three different surveys and surveyors—none of which were coordinated 100% with the drawings and building placement—along with subcontractor damages, insurance claims, owner changes, late parking lot variances, and Department of Water and Power lead times. Nonetheless, the team weathered the storm and allowed a happy client to move in and open up within a year of starting construction.

Our thanks go out to the project team for their contribution towards improving the healthcare of the region’s neediest, including: Sally Howes, Jim Mekic, Pat Shaffer, Jess Matta, and Chris Tallon.