By PENNY FLETCHER
RIVERVIEW — When Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC constructed its new building just east of Riverview, company executives had health and fitness on their mind.
At first, many workers were skeptical about bringing more than 400 administrative workers from distant locations to one office, but after checking out the benefits, most were sold on the idea, explained spokesman Russell Schweiss.
The new 113,000-square-foot building is located at 13380 Circa Crossing Drive, Lithia (actually just off FishHawk Boulevard, one block east of the Boyette Road-Bell Shoals intersection in Riverview).
According to Schweiss, the staff there supports more than 3,000 employees in the company’s phosphate mining and fertilizer manufacturing operations across Florida and also works with sales people all over the world.
The headquarters was built on a 7-acre tract which appeared to be in the center of most of its employees commute using environmentally-friendly features, he added.
For example, there’s an on-site gym with a personal trainer available to all employees at no extra charge.
“We work with each individual in a whole lifestyle management program,” said health fitness professional Kirsten Jordan. “We give personalized fitness advice and coach toward specific goals to maximize lifestyle and eliminate stress.”
Another unique benefit available in the facility is a medical clinic, staffed by a Registered Nurse with a physician on site one whole day and one afternoon a week as well. “Mosaic has seven clinics and six nurses,” Schweiss explained. “The new one at the administration building, however, is equipped with the most modern equipment, including its own EKG machine to detect any irregular heart rhythms.”
Medication reviews, personal fitness, hearing tests, EKGs, general physicals and lifestyle advice are all offered, said Dr. Mark Glencross.
“Of course we also serve emergencies and sick employees,” added Nurse Diane Clark.
The atmosphere was also deliberately created to help eliminate stress and let employees work collaboratively in a relaxed atmosphere, Schweiss said. Each floor has conference rooms that look like living rooms, as well as a large conference room around a table. All have almost floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing natural light and a good view. Each floor also has wi-fi and its own kitchen with refrigerators, microwaves, vending machines, sinks and preparation areas and some even a cappuccino machine.
“I was starting to think the cappuccino machines were a mistake because the lines were so long when they were first installed,” Schweiss said. “Then our fitness instructors told us how many calories were in each cup.”
The lines have since shortened… some.
The new building relied on the latest “green” technology and landscaping, he pointed out.
The sad part is that the historic building on U.S. 41 at Riverview Drive just north of the Alafia River Bridge will be demolished sometime this summer.
Because so many changes have been made to it since its construction in the 1920s as a replica of a building in the Tennessee Valley, it could not be classed as an historic landmark.
“It just became inefficient to run it,” Schweiss said. “There were always plumbing problems, and heating and air conditioning problems. And so many things had been retrofitted it was harder each year to keep up.”
A date for demolition has not yet been set, although it is expected to happen sometime in the next 60 days.
“The (smaller) building behind it will continue to serve as a training station for Mosaic employees of all kinds,” Schweiss stated. “And the plant at that location will continue to operate as usual. Only the administrative personnel have moved.”