‘We stand by our work’: Builder of Riverside hospital garage issues statement following collapse

The builder of the parking garage at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside hospital that partially collapsed on Tuesday said it stands by its work on the garage and plans to assist in the investigation into what happened.

“Batson-Cook has not worked on this project since 2007 and, as Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Chief Keith Powers has already stated, the inspection and continued upkeep of the parking structure are the responsibility of the owner. We are and will continue to assist with this investigation. We stand by our work and our safety practices. We’d also like to extend our thanks to the first responders who, as this incident showed, rush to keep people safe daily,” a spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement to News4JAX.

The News4JAX I-TEAM has been digging into city records regarding the parking garage’s building and construction since the collapse happened suddenly on Tuesday afternoon.

As Batson-Cook referenced, the fire chief did say that it’s up to the property owner to do inspections of the parking garage. News4JAX asked Ascension for those reports and we’re waiting to get them.

The construction permit for the parking garage was issued to Batson-Cook Construction in 2005. The company is based in Atlanta and has had offices in Jacksonville since 1957.

News4JAX didn’t find any other city permits for that garage since the initial construction.

The I-TEAM also looked into the history of another garage at the hospital, the Dillon Garage, which is located to the right of the campus’s main entrance if you’re facing the river. That garage was built in 1978 and it’s quite a ways away from the damaged parking garage.

Last week, the city granted a permit for work involving that garage to repair beams that support the helipad on top of the garage. There was also another permit for the Dillon Garage in 2017 for work to be done to remove and repair damaged concrete.

Batson-Cook also built another garage at the hospital the King Street Garage, which opened in 1997.

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