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As part of the west bedtower project, renovation of the corridor leading to the new west bedtower will be necessary. To accomplish this the contactor has built a temporary corridor parallel with the current corridor on floors 2-5. This temporary corridor will open Monday, March 3, and the current corridor will be closed for several months. Concurrently, the pair of elevators in the corridor leading to the west bed tower, and the adjacent stairwell, will be closed. We apologize, in advance, for this inconvenience, but it is unavoidable.
The yellow crane serves as reminder that construction is still underway on North Mississippi Medical Center’s west bedtower project. With about 200 construction workers on the job, replacement of the exterior walls on the first, second and third floor of the former west bed tower are nearly complete. Work has not begun on the windows. Exterior walls on the fourth and fifth floors are not finished yet. Working in the winter in an "open" building can be very uncomfortable, therefore, work is moving as quickly as possible. In addition, the utility systems’ infrastructure is being installed.
One of the most challenging parts of the renovation phase will be renovating the main entry corridor to each nursing unit. This work includes the construction of a 50-foot-long, temporary corridor on each floor. Once complete, the new temporary corridor will open and the current corridor closed for three to four months then reopened.
Our long-term plan is to finish the project in December 2014, with occupancy in January or February 2015.
After the five nursing units were comfortably situated in their new locations in the west bedtower, a pathway through the old west bedtower, now called the Central Bedtower, was prepared. Renovation of the Central Bedtower on either side of the pathway is well underway. Essentially everything has been removed from the Central Bedtower except the floor slab and vertical structure. Exterior walls are being removed and replaced with new concrete block walls. The layout on each floor has been marked with spray paint, and contractors are coordinating the placement of new building components. Next steps are the installation of drywall.
A secondary pass through hallway will be constructed parallel to the current pathway in the Central Tower. In a few months traffic will be switched to the temporary hallway allowing renovation of the original pathway. The temporary hallway will be closed and traffic redirected through the original pathway when these renovations are complete.
The Central Bedtower will contain 84 patient bedrooms and will be designed to match the West Bedtower expansion bedrooms. Project completion is late November 2014 with occupancy of the Central Bedtower in January 2015.
Occupancy of the 140-bed West Bedtower expansion was completed on April 9. The 125,547-square-foot addition replaced the former West Bedtower patient bedrooms with larger, more comfortable rooms and support areas. The occupancy process took about nine weeks to accomplish.
The construction project’s second phase is the Central Bedtower renovation. The official start date was May 1. The second phase is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete. Upon completion in November 2014, 84 additional replacement beds will be provided. The bedrooms will be nearly identical to the recently opened West Bedtower expansion beds. The inpatient beds on 3 and 4 East will be closed and relocated at that time.
Demolition of the former West Bedtower, now the Central Bedtower, is well under way. The scope of renovation will involve removal of everything (walls, windows, plumbing, electrical and mechanical components). Completely new infrastructure, interior rooms and exterior walls/windows will be provided. To date, most interior wall/window demolition has been focused on the first and second floors. Exterior windows have been removed on the first through third floors and the electrical and plumbing systems shut off and partially removed. The exterior finished product will look very much like the expansion, less the granite corners. The exterior lawn will be prepared near the end of phase two.
The occupancy plan is to move one nursing unit to the West Bed Tower each week from Feb. 19 to March 19. A total of six moves, including two temporary moves, will be performed. Once the existing West Bed Tower, now called the Central Bed Tower, is empty, a massive demolition and salvage operation will begin. The scope of demolition is huge, with everything removed but the floor slabs, columns and select walls. The plan is to recycle everything from windows to air conditioners, ceiling tile, old furniture, doors and hardware, and so on.
The renovation phase is expected to take 16-18 months to complete. The Central Bed Tower will have five floors with mostly 16-bed nursing units. The patient bedrooms will look much like the 140 new bedrooms in the new West Bed Tower.
As we move toward the renovation phase, the tower crane will remain in place for several months, because lifting up and over will be the only route available for some of the construction materials. Near the end of the renovation, the crane will be removed and an 11-foot high retaining wall will be built along the full length of the West Bed Tower. The result will be a two-tier lawn with a sidewalk running along Gloster Street in late 2014.
Construction of the West Bedtower is moving along with a completion date set for Jan. 31. In either February or March 2013, NMMC will begin the renovation phase of the central tower. This is what was the west side of the hospital before the addition of the West Bedtower expansion.
Plans call for occupying the expansion area from the first floor up. Final selections are being made on the furniture, bedroom wall pictures and staff/support area furniture and equipment. From a construction perspective, most of the bedrooms are finished with work concentrated on the central core support areas.
Work has begun on cutting the tunnel that will allow access through the central tower to the new West Bedtower while the old area is renovated. Two patient bedrooms, located directly across from the nurse station, will be renovated to become the future main corridor on each floor. This work will enable staff, patients, visitors and others to pass through the upcoming renovation area without seeing construction. This work is under way on the first and second floors, with the third, four and fifth starting in a week or so.
In early January 2013, a series of meetings will be held with staff to plan the details of each nursing unit relocation.
The West Bedtower will feature local photography taken by northeast Mississippi photographers. Each patient bedroom will have two framed photographs. The photo over the bed will be a square photograph of flowers. On the opposite wall will be landscape scene. More than 500 photographs were presented by members of the North Mississippi Photography Club. Of that total, 16 were selected for use in patient bedrooms. Additional photographs are being selected for the corridors and waiting rooms with the intent to use the photographs as landmarks to aid way finding.
Weather permitting, 54 additional parking spaces will be added at the main unit over the next six weeks. The spaces replace some of the 130 parking spaces lost of as a result of construction on the West Bedtower Expansion.
The progress of the 160,000-square-foot West Bedtower expansion is taking shape and will prove to be a much-needed new patient environment. The completion date is late January 2013. Workers are installing cabinets, applying primer coats of paint, completing ceramic tile floors, and installing plumbing fixtures, electrical service and heating/air conditioning equipment.
A small building has been added on the west side of the hospital’s shipping/receiving docks. It houses two electrical generators to serve the completed West Bedtower and other adjacent areas. To fuel the generators, a 10,000 gallon underground fuel tank has been installed.
Our replica of a typical patient bedroom has been invaluable. Hundreds of employees have viewed this mock-up room and provided great recommendations to improve bedroom features and furnishings. The final furniture selection involved, among other things, replacement of the bedroom guest chair that converts to a sleeping surface. Consideration is being given to switching to a sofa that will convert to a one-piece sleeping surface rather than the sectional approach now in patient bedrooms.
Occupancy of the West Bedtower is approximately eight months away. Members of the leadership team have been focused on assigning the nursing units to the new areas as well as how to relocate nursing units to lessen the impact of second moves that will take place after renovation of the existing west wing is complete. Plans are to announce the new assignments and relocation logistics this summer.
The new tower will not add beds to the main unit. We will continue with the same number, about 470 beds, when all expansion and renovation projects are complete. However, the project will allow deactivation of some of the older nursing units.
As to construction, the contractor has nearly completed enclosure of the outside stone and glass and is in the process of caulking the joints. On the inside, drywall work is well under way with the first coat of paint expected to be applied this month.
Work continues on the interior finish materials, such as vinyl flooring, ceramic tile, paint colors, etc. An updated view of the full-color interior perspective of a typical patient bedroom will be available online in the coming weeks.
The west side yard between the expansion and Gloster Street will continue to be used as contractor staging area throughout the renovation portion of the work. Our projections are that the outside of the West Bedtower's grounds will be completed in late 2014.
Construction of the $55 million West Bedtower project is 42 percent complete. The expected construction completion date of the expansion is December 31. Expect occupancy in February 2013. Shortly after occupancy, we will begin renovation of the existing West Bedtower. It will be stripped to the slab and columns, and rebuilt to match the expansion.
Some of exterior glass is being installed to the new bedtower. The glass matches the East Tower glass. Inside, work is progressing from bottom to top with all of the framing complete and drywall installation underway.
About two-thirds of the exterior stone has been installed. There is a slight variation in color of the new stone compared to the existing stone on the south tower, which was installed 20-30 years ago. The vertical gaps between stone will be blue glass, much like the hospital’s East Tower.
The east side of the tower will consist of a pre-finished metal panel system that looks like stone but is a nice, economical substitute.
On the inside of the building, the contractors have framed nearly the entire building, mechanical units have been placed and drywall installation is well under way. Roofing will soon start, followed by installation of exterior windows.
Architects have been working with nurse managers and others to designate use of all spaces in the support service core on each floor. The new West Bedtower’s design will allow us to place nursing units in the best location based on expected patient volumes.
As a result of rainy weather, material availability, material selection delays and the commitment to make the best possible patient and staff environment, completion of the expansion phase of work will be delayed a few weeks to late December 2012.
The entire five-story structure with basement and penthouse has been framed and concrete poured. All support forms have been removed and framing of the interior walls is progressing well. The surface stones that make up the tower exterior are limestone and deep red and black granite, which will match the stone on the East Tower and the South Tower.
A blue glass tower will be at the north and south ends and middle of the West Bedtower. This will allow natural light to enter all five floors to be viewable from the hallways. The deep red and black granite will run adjacent to the blue glass, on all five floors, to look much like the curved part of the East Tower. Natural stone will only be used on the west, north and south ends of the expansion. The inside face of the expansion and all of the existing west bedtower will be covered with metal panels, textured and painted to simulate the natural stone which will be less costly than all stone.
On another interior note, the level of each floor matches perfectly with the existing west bedtower so no internal ramps will be required. Compliments to our architects and engineers. Achieving the same level is very close to a design miracle. As of late December, various contractors have 147 workers on site, and the project was about 25 percent complete.
Work is nearing completion on the south half of the fifth floor’s slab of the West Bedtower, and work on the roof slab of the north side of the fifth floor is under way. Plans call for the entire building floor and roof slabs to be in place before Christmas.
The interior walls of the first floor are being laid out, and framing has begun.
Hospital employees and physicians have visited a mock up of the patient bedroom and were asked to provide feedback on the layout. Their comments have helped fine tune the patient bed area as well as the bathroom and cabinets.
Work groups are being organized to develop plans for the renovation of the existing West Bedtower. Renovation to that area of the hospital will begin in about 12 months.
Late 2011 marks the delivery of the stone that will be used on the tower’s exterior walls. The stone, glass and metal panels for this project will be stored on site on the medical center’s lawn.
Thanks to near perfect weather conditions, the West Bedtower expansion is proceeding at a rapid pace. Estimated completion is Thanksgiving 2012. The third floor is nearing completion and work has begun on the fourth floor. We appreciate our patients’ understanding and tolerance during the construction project.
Planning and design of the patient bedroom continues. The design group, using input from employees, is determining the exact configuration of the medical gas head wall, selection of fixtures, lighting, nurse server, location of the PC work stations and wardrobe units. The first "color" board has been prepared showing the paint and trim colors as well as laminates and base cabinet tops. Employees and physicians are visiting a mock-up of the new patient bedrooms to review its contents and design.
Construction on the project is moving from north to South. On the north end, the first floor slab is complete with construction of the exterior walls underway. The forming of the floor slab is near completion in the center and the south end of the building. Each floor in the new tower will measure 20,000 square feet or about one-half the length of a football field.
Work on the West Bedtower project is about 9 percent complete. The work visible from Gloster Street is the tower's foundation and basement walls.
The crane that is being used in NMMC’s West Bedtower construction project has generated lots of community interest. The following is a brief overview of the crane and its operation:
• The crane is 180 feet tall and its reach is 230 feet from its base. The crane can cover about one acre. It operates on the principle of balance with heavy counterweights on one end of the arm and the hook on the other.
• An average “big load” for lifting is about 8,500 lbs (the equal to three small vehicles). The crane can lift more weight closer to the tower because of the counterweights.
• Crane operation is a two-person job. One worker is in the crane seat at the top of the tower and the second is on the ground guiding operations.
The West Bedtower's basement perimeter is visible from South Gloster Street. The basement, which will be used for crawl space, will house the tower’s air handling and electrical systems. The new tower will be 50 percent longer than the current west bedtower.
Each floor of the new bedtower will contain 28 beds, and the existing bedtower will be reduced to 16 patient rooms.
The entrance to the hospital's Admissions and Discharge office relocated from the second floor to the south lobby on Feb. 7. The southwest parking lot adjacent to Admissions and Discharge office closed permanently over the weekend of Feb. 4-6. Visitors and inpatients who had been parking in this area will now park in front of the hospital instead of the west side of the building. An Ambassador is stationed in the lobby to provide assistance.
The hospital’s visitor entrance has a circle drive with a covered awning that can be used for patient pick up and drop off. Members of the Ambassador Services and Security staff are available to assist individuals as they exit their vehicles to enter the building.
The lobby, which has a large yellow sign over the revolving door entrance, is the main entrance for visitors to inpatient areas. The best parking option for inpatient services is the visitors parking lot, which is accessible from Garfield Street. The East Tower or outpatient entrance offers easy access to outpatient services and is identifiable by a large blue sign over the revolving door. Patients using those services are asked to park in the southeast parking deck located near the East Tower at the corner of Council Circle and Garfield Street. Additional parking is available in the Southeast Parking Structure.
The windows for eight patient bedrooms on each of the floors facing Gloster Street have been covered with plywood as a safety measure for the rooms' occupants. The window protection will remain in place throughout the two-year West Bedtower expansion project. In February, a 180-foot-tall crane with an arm reaching about 230 feet was installed adjacent to Gloster Street.
The Boards of Directors for North Mississippi Medical Center and its parent organization, North Mississippi Health Services, have approved a five-story west bedtower expansion project that will enlarge and upgrade 250 patient rooms. The project is in response to public feedback regarding shortcomings in patient rooms on the east and west nursing units, many of which were constructed almost 45 years ago.
More than 140 planning sessions have been conducted with various constituencies including patients and their families, physicians, employees, various support groups, area citizens and elected officials. (A price increase is not anticipated for this project, as it should add less than 1 percent to the cost of providing care.)