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Hoar Construction Announces Completion of Expansion Project at Lakeshore Foundation

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Hoar Construction announces the completion of construction on a $17.5-million expansion initiative at the Lakeshore Foundation Master Campus in Homewood, Alabama, near Birmingham. The Lakeshore Foundation is a nonprofit organization providing opportunities for people with disabilities in Alabama and across the country to lead healthy, independent lives through physical activity, nutrition, research, advocacy, and more. Lakeshore also serves as a training site for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic teams, with on-campus housing to accommodate athletes.

The Lakeshore Foundation, KPS, and Hoar worked together to provide ADA-compliant facilities and equipment for both athletes and local users over the past 20 years. Hoar served as general contractor on several recent projects across the campus, consisting of:

Multi-Purpose Facility Addition
The 21,000-square-foot expansion includes a multimedia lab, tele-consultation suites, innovation lab, video production lab, culinary/nutrition lab, clinical exercise lab, mindfulness lab, lobby, open office space, café, and board room. The culinary lab includes a demonstration kitchen with adjustable-height stovetops and technology tools for nutritional and culinary education. The multimedia lab and tele-consultation suites feature flat-screen monitors and advanced audio-visual technology for staff to interact with athletes and users remotely.
Wallace Gym Renovation
In 2009, Lakeshore Foundation collaborated with UAB in a first-of-its-kind partnership between a major academic research university and a nonprofit serving individuals with physical disabilities. The gym renovation provided over 20,000 square feet of research space, allowing UAB/Lakeshore to lead the world in research programs in rehabilitative science.
Magnolia Hall Renovation
The existing 8,900-square-foot building was completely renovated to create space for The Children’s Hospital of Alabama (Children’s Hospital), which now provides outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and hearing rehabilitation services for children and young adults.
Outdoor Enhancements
To enrich the relaxing and meditative atmosphere surrounding the campus, and provide gathering spaces, several new outdoor spaces were created, including Campus Commons, a Contemplative Garden, and a Woodland Walk.

“The new Master Campus brings technological upgrades to Lakeshore that will significantly impact how they interact with trainers while providing more outdoor space for users to meet and stay active together,” said Jeff Brasher, Project Manager at Hoar.

While Lakeshore is home to USA Wheelchair Rugby and provides training for other elite athletes, who train year-round at the campus’s facilities, the center of the organization’s mission lies in its programming to help those with physical disabilities from the surrounding community stay active and achieve their health and fitness goals. Known as the “heart and soul” of Lakeshore, these users come to Lakeshore to focus on independence and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Lakeshore provides mentorship, nutrition education, and fitness and sports programs. Through its Lima Foxtrot programs, Lakeshore offers disabled veterans and injured active-duty military members opportunities for sports and recreation.

“The completion of our multi-year campus enhancement project marks a milestone in Lakeshore history,” said Jeff Underwood, Lakeshore Foundation President and CEO. “With the integration of new technologies, and the addition of more research and program areas in our new building, we are able to expand the wellness and activity offerings to reach more people in-person and online. Coupled with outdoor spaces that connect our campus facilities and provide accessible outdoor fitness and mindfulness options, we are able to provide a more holistic and expanded experience for more people than ever before, including those without local resources or transportation issues.”

As an integral part of the history of Lakeshore, Hoar has assisted in upgrades to the campus that has scaled the organization to national and international levels. Through numerous expansions, the Lakeshore Foundation has become a home for those with physical disabilities while providing a place for its visitors to thrive in an environment featuring equipment, training facilities, and staff.

One such example is that of Josh Berenotto, who grew up visiting the organization to participate in youth sports programs and cycle around the campus’ outdoor areas. Born with spina bifida, Berenotto and his family lived in Fort Rucker and would drive every Saturday to visit Lakeshore so that he could continue his activities, until the family moved to Birmingham to be closer to the campus. He now participates in local handcycling races and works at Lakeshore. Berenotto and his family cycle around the campus’ outdoor spaces every Sunday.

“I knew that each long drive from Fort Rucker to Lakeshore was worth it because of the unmatchable training facilities, equipment, and athletic programs available on campus,” Berenotto said. “I met incredible people from all walks of life in the organization, and from the moment I stepped foot on campus I felt right at home. I look forward to the new outdoor spaces and technology that this expansion will include and am excited to see the next generation of Lakeshore users find their passion while conquering hurdles and challenges that may have at one time seemed insurmountable. Lakeshore has empowered me and so many others to find purpose and a new level of confidence, and that will only accelerate now that these new capabilities are online.”

Landscaping and irrigation for the new additions to the Lakeshore campus recently wrapped up. Construction on the new Master Campus at Lakeshore began in 2017.

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