Hospital expansion update

January 17, 2013


LUDINGTON — Much has changed since Memorial Medical Center broke ground June 18, 2012 on the most ambitious expansion since the hospital began operations at its present location in 1967. The south and north faces of the hospital, as well as the surrounding campus, have been radically transformed in the last six months, yet in a way designed to blend with the existing structure.

More changes are coming as the project moves toward completion of major construction later this year. At the end of the next six months MMC personnel will be preparing to move into and begin operating the new spaces that are now under construction. By the end of the year, as these become fully operational, the whole orientation of the hospital will change.

Most patients will enter one of the two new entrances facing Ludington Ave. on the south side of the building—the main admitting and visitor entrance, or the new emergency entrance. What is currently the primary entrance for admitting, surgery and emergency, on the north side of the building facing Lawndale St., will be dedicated to surgical patients.

Here’s a look at what’s ahead in 2013 and the latest developments in what has been named by hospital leaders as the “Building Exceptional Healthcare” project.

North expansion-surgical services

In the hospital’s surgical services department, the expansion on the north side of the hospital includes a new state-of-the-art fifth operating room and a series of private pre-op rooms intended to significantly improve patient comfort and privacy.

The surgery expansion is now largely enclosed and extensive interior work is planned in coming months, starting with the critical path item of pouring the concrete floors, which was accomplished this past week.

With the floor properly cured, the crew will turn its attention over the next three weeks to such interior projects as installing pipe and duct hangers and laying out the tracks for the interior walls. That, combined with exterior roofing, will pave the way for fireproofing the beams and components under the roof, due to start in early February.
On the exterior of the surgery expansion, brick work will be completed this week. Up on the roof, the installation of multi-layer roofing is underway.

The north roofing duplicates the materials installed late last year on the south expansion. This is a pattern that will be followed repeatedly in the coming weeks, as the various phases completed by the construction crews on the south side are replicated on the north. Since the surgery expansion is less extensive than the emergency/new entrance zone, the time lag between these phases will gradually diminish.

An exception to that “south then north” procedure involves the major rooftop mechanical components, which were installed first on the north expansion.

New generators. Two new diesel generators will be installed in mid-February outside the surgery expansion. They will replace the single existing generator that has been supplying MMC’s emergency power. When the new units go on line in March, the old unit and its underground storage tank will be removed. The new generators have integral above-ground fuel tanks.

An interesting addition to the construction project has been made as a result of this change. A masonry firewall will be installed between the new generators and the existing oxygen storage tank to provide an additional measure of safety.

South expansion—main entrance, emergency, and outpatient services

Progress also continues on both the interior and exterior of the south expansion, as the new emergency department and new main lobby take shape week by week. This will also be the area for the consolidated outpatient services zone, adjacent to the new main lobby.

A major job—spraying on the fireproofing in the ceiling areas—was completed last week, or at least as much as can be done at this stage of the project. Additional fireproofing work will be required in the atrium areas above the new main and emergency entrances, once the atrium roofing is installed and those areas enclosed. The fireproof coating will be hidden above the ceiling when the construction is completed.

The rooms in the new emergency department started to become apparent this week, as metal wall frames are being installed, starting at the eastern end of the expansion.

Preparations for installing exterior roofing materials on the curved atrium roofs began this week. The exterior surface layers are due to be installed during the first two weeks of February.


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