[Updated 7/22/18 12:48 p.m. See below.] The cranes are gone from Epic Systems’ corporate campus in Verona, WI. After more than a decade of near-perpetual expansion, the fast-growing healthcare software company is taking a break from new building construction, Xconomy has learned.
Epic has consequently been racing to erect office buildings at its state-of-the-art headquarters. But for the first time since 2003, construction cranes rising hundreds of feet from the earth are not visible to those approaching or traversing Epic’s campus. The company is in the midst of a “pause” in new campus construction, CEO and founder Judy Faulkner said in an e-mail to Xconomy.
“For the first time in almost two decades, our office building construction has finally caught up to the growth of the company,” added Steve Dickmann, Epic’s chief administrative officer. “In the future, we hope to be able to have additional office buildings come online as additional staff come on board.”
Epic anticipates it will begin constructing another office building sometime in 2019, Dickmann said.
It’s unclear whether the construction pause indicates slower business growth for Epic. Dickmann didn’t offer specifics on hiring or sales.
The first photo above shows an aerial view of Epic’s campus that was taken last September, a spokesperson for Epic said. At that time, construction was still taking place on a group of literature-themed office buildings on the northeastern corner of the corporate campus. The tower crane pictured has since been taken down. [This paragraph has been updated.]
The 39-year-old company develops software that hospitals and clinics use to manage their patients’ health records. More than 200 million people have a current medical record administered by Epic software, the company says on its website. Epic’s revenues in 2017 were $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.
All but a few hundred of Epic’s employees reportedly work from its Verona campus. Epic, known for both its strict hiring standards and rather un-corporate whimsical streak, refers to the campus as its “Intergalactic Headquarters.”
To accommodate the growing ranks of people who help develop, test, implement, and support Epic’s software, as well as those who work in other roles at the company, Epic has spent much of the past 15 years building. And building.
In May 2017, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Epic owned nearly 1,000 acres of land in and around Verona, and the company’s existing development was most recently assessed to be worth more than $1 billion.
Many Epic office buildings have themes—everything from jungles, dragons, toys, and wizards to the Wild West. The company hired some of the same architects who designed Disneyland to help bring Epic’s vision for its campus to life, according to a Boston Globe report.
Besides having fewer construction workers commute to and from Epic’s campus each day, another change resulting from the building pause might be a need to identify a new “official bird of Epic,” which Faulkner once mused was the crane.
[Disclosure: the author of this post worked at Epic from 2010 to 2013, and for parts of 2008 and 2009. He no longer has any direct affiliation with the company.—Eds.]
Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org