Hospital construction begins April 16

Some parking areas close as Presbyterian Hospital Matthews makes way for fifth floor

by Kara Lopp

An artist’s rendering of what Presbyterian Hospital Matthews will look like with a fifth floor. Construction begins April 16 and is expected to be complete in August 2013. Rendering courtesy of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews

The first major construction project at Presbyterian Hospital Matthews since it was built 18 years ago begins Monday, April 16.

That’s when the parking lot near the front entrance’s pond will close to make way for construction equipment needed to add a 26,000-square-foot fifth floor onto the building, said Roland Bibeau, president of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews. The lot will remain closed through the about $16.6 million construction project, expected to last until August 2013. A 409-space, $2.1 million employee parking lot opened recently also will serve as overflow parking during construction. Valet parking will be available.

All hospital balconies and the courtyard also will be closed during construction for employee and patient safety, Bibeau said.

The fifth floor will add 20 additional patient beds and house the hospital’s intensive care and intermediate care units and cancer services, Bibeau said.

The demand for patient beds at the hospital has increased annually since 2006 and, in fact, between 2005 and 2008, the growth rate of total inpatient days at Presbyterian Hospital Matthews was higher than all other Mecklenburg County hospitals, according to hospital records submitted to state regulators. From the fiscal years 2002 to 2008, in-patient days of care provided at the hospital grew from 20,045 days to 30,779 days, an increase of more than 50 percent, records show. The hospital at 1500 Matthews Township Pkwy. currently has 114 patient beds, and saw 32,372 in-patient days in 2011.

Adding the fifth floor is essential to quality patient care, Bibeau said.

“Enhancing our intensive care unit obviously allows us to keep our patients closer to home so they don’t have to travel to another location to access care. With our bed capacity challenges that is a consistent message,” he said. “The intermediate unit, or step down unit, is now on a separate floor from intensive care. It works, but I believe it can work even better. For cancer services, the new space will enhance and solidify our cancer services. Our number one goal is about the remarkable patient experience and we believe (the expansion) will further solidify that within the hospital in Matthews.”

By the week of April 23, residents and patients will see large cranes move onto the site and work will begin on the roof to prepare it for an additional level, according to a temporary timeline of the project. Steel framing is expected to begin by July 1 and be complete by Feb. 1, 2013.

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