by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — There is nothing better that a customer can hear than their project is on schedule and on budget. And that is exactly the case for Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center’s Emergency Department rehabilitation / refurbishment effort.
While there are a number of improvements to the emergency department’s facilities, there is also the benefit of expanded improvements associated with the project. For example the design of the reconstruction allows for upgrades to various departments such as physical therapy, cardio-pulmonary, admissions, nursing services and even an expanded overflow staff parking area.
The addition of a mammography department and expanded sleep study facility, both of which are expected to be revenue generators, are possible due to the ED project.
The emergency department will grow, with five points of care rooms, brand new state-of-the-art equipment, an indoor heated decontamination room – funded in part by a $25,000 donation from Shell Oil, an indoor garage or sally port for ambulances and a much needed, user-friendly emergency room reception and waiting area.
Don Spencer, an architect and the owner’s representative for the project, said this week the first phase of the project was completed by the February 18th deadline and all continuing work remains on schedule as well. Groundbreaking for the emergency department expansion was in August 2012.
With some of the change orders, the cost of the project has grown slightly, from approximately $2.5 million to $2.8 million according to Spencer. But, those changes have all been requested by SPRHC management and are being incorporated into ongoing work.
That is always one of the challenges to health care facility remodeling, being able to keep working within the various departments as contractors do their work. Spencer said this is one of the reasons Neenan Archistruction has been so successful. Having that kind of experience and working closely with subcontractors on issues, such as cleaning up as the project progresses to little things, like work crews wearing paper-cloth booties in specific areas.
This type of remodeling and construction is highly specialized, said Spencer, but every effort was made on Neenan’s part to attempt to use local subcontractors. Local subcontractors were used in the excavation and utility locator areas, but were not available for electrical or mechanical work. Most of the subcontracting firms working on the project are out of Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver.
Spencer and the Huerfano County Hospital District Board of Directors anticipate the project will be completed by the end of April or early May 2013.
But, as always, that isn’t the end of big plans by health care professionals in Huerfano County.
The next big project is expected to be in the area of an assisted living facility to be located just south and behind SPRHC / CSVNH on the knoll with beautiful unobstructed views of the Spanish Peaks. This proposed project, which has tremendous community support, would be another essential key to the overall health care campus setting of Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.
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