Hospital project moves forward
By Correne Martin
Heavy rains in June took their toll on the construction timeline for the new Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital, on the south side of the city. But the weather finally cleared and earth work has begun. This delayed the building completion date from the fall of 2014 to January of 2015.
Since the wet weather has been a hot topic in the city, hospital administration is assuring the public that the new facility is being built with the water table in mind.
“With the recent rains, we went out there and drilled holes on the property to check the water table,” said Patrick Stockton, of Stockton Facility Management Services, who is providing the hospital its owner representative services for this project. “The floor we are constructing is very comparable in height to Nathan Plaza and AMPI. The sitting water from the most recent storm would have been nine feet below the finished floor of our building, and the facility is designed so that water will run off in such rain events.”
In considering the impact other severe weather could have on the health care facility, Stockton added, “We very deliberately chose a six-and-a-half inch concrete roof deck that can withstand tornado-like winds in excess of 100 mph. Also, 100 percent of the hospital will be on emergency power.”
“The hospital will continue to be a safe place for people,” said Sasha Dull, PdC Memorial’s chief development officer.
According to the new timeline, earth work began on July 1. Iverson Construction, of Cottage Grove, is mining eight to nine feet on the 45 acres of land. The entire 105 acres purchased by the hospital will allow for future expansion.
As the earth is moved, some fill from the site will be used to form a “pad” where the building and the parking lots will be located. Crews will continue moving earth through Oct. 31, said Construction Manager Kevin Renley, of Market & Johnson, the project’s general contractor.
Beginning July 29, Market & Johnson will place the footings and foundations. This process will take about five to six weeks. Near the end of August, Nick’s Welding, of Hixton, will start setting the structural steel. This could take seven to eight weeks.
Around Sept. 23, work will begin on the building structure and “exterior envelope,” Renley said. The outside look of the new facility should be completely revealed to the public by about eight months.
In the meantime, interior framing will take place from March through June of 2014. Exterior site work will happen between mid-July and mid-October.
To complete the entire project, interior finishing will be done from July through December of 2014, and the building will be turned over to the hospital in January of 2015.
“We’re super excited about the project. We’re very happy to have our name on it,” said Renley, who noted that the public may see an average of 100 workers employed at the site during peak construction.
Renley said he is most excited to see the finished front facade of the new health care center when completed. The front has been designed to display many beautiful aluminum glass windows and local stone. “It will be very warm and opening,” he said.
Stockton added that the project’s architects, BWBR, of Saint Paul, Minn., took pride in selecting the perfect, customized look for the new building.
“They drove around the community and looked at older buildings, the bluffs and the water and they really wanted to incorporate those things,” he stated. “The front canopy is supposed to emulate the bridge, the local stone being used represents the bluffs and the blue-toned glass is supposed to emulate the water.”
“The front is really one of the key centerpieces of the new hospital,” PdC Memorial’s Chief Administrative Officer, Skip Gjolberg said. “It’s where our families will enter and find their way. The windows will allow for people to see the outside and have a reference point to where they are. We also designed our patient rooms to maximize the windows, allowing that natural sunlight at all times and a nice view of the bluffs.”
In addition to the modern facade, energy efficiency is a main focus of the project. Focus on Energy has performed an energy audit that showed the new design of the hospital to be embracing of energy-efficient ideas.
As the earth is moved and excitement continues to build about the new hospital, some of the new services and department additions that will move patient care to a new level are certainly intriguing.
Some of those additions include:
• Enhanced emergency services, including two trauma suites and seven treatment/urgent care suites.
• Private patient suites with showers and family space allowing patients to control the temperature and their environment.
• Advanced communication system allowing patients a real-time connection to caregivers.
• A state-of-the-art surgery department, including surgical suites, preoperative and recovery suites.
• Corridors devoted to patient transport, preserving patient dignity and privacy.
• An enlarged rehabilitation and therapy department.
• Flexible infrastructure and cutting-edge technology that supports healing.
• Expanded space, offering the region even more specialty services locally.
• Improved accessibility for patients, emergency vehicles and dedicated MedFlight helipad.
• A chapel and a chaplain, allowing for increased patient and family consultation, meditation and worship.
• Wi-Fi throughout, allowing patients and visitors to stay connected to the outside world.
• Ample parking, providing convenience for patients and visitors.
• Improved dining area offering an inviting and comfortable atmosphere.
As many are looking forward to the new space and its new services, a local economic development group is working on a feasibility study to determine what the current hospital building can become.
“Some options are being put together for repurposing the facility,” Gjolberg said.