The addition of a fifth floor at Presbyterian Hospital Matthews is set to be complete by the fall of 2013 despite recent heavy rain.
Construction crews have made up for the delays with extra effort and overtime, said Roland Bibeau, president of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews.
“I like to give a promise and then over-deliver,” Bibeau said of the completion date. “We’re very fortunate that even though we’ve had these challenges, they’ve made up for it in overtime and we’re on target for completion and for the budget. We are on target for completion of this project with the ultimate goal of delivering the most remarkable patient experience to our community every time.”
Construction began in April and the $16.6 million project is the first major construction project at the hospital since it was built 18 years ago.
The addition will be a 26,000-square-foot expansion of the intensive care unit and a relocation of the intermediate unit as well as the medical surgical floor and an expansion of cancer services.
“The roof has been prepped for the expansion,” Bibeau said. “We’re about 10 to 15 percent into the project. The key element is connecting plumbing and electrical from the fourth to the new fifth floor, so the initial phase is very tedious. Once we get those connected, that’s when the project will certainly escalate.”
Construction has interrupted some normal hospital functions and has changed parking and traffic patterns, Bibeau said.
“From our parking perspective, we’ve been very fortunate that we have ample parking for patients and visitors,” he said. “The noise factor has been more of an issue since the initial part of the project has the most noise as they use jackhammers to break up the concrete. I’d love to be able to break up concrete in a silent manner.”
For Bibeau, keeping the noise level down and keeping hospital routines stable has been a priority.
“It’s been a challenge to keep the noise within reason,” he said. “We have episodes of concrete fragmenting and then silence. The construction team has been very accommodating and we’ve done a good job of communicating our apologies to patients and families. Sometimes growth has challenges that accompany it.”
The expansion is an important part of improving care services for cancer patients, according to Bibeau.
“The fifth floor will add 10 additional patient beds for cancer services,” he said. “We want to have a keen focus on cancer services and we thought the best way to do that was to relocate them to the fifth floor along with coordinating units.”
The intensive care unit also will see growth as a result of the expansion.
“Our intensive care unit will go from six to nine beds and will move the intensive care unit and the intermediate care unit closer together to work in better unison and help nurses from the different units work together to ease the transition for patients.”
The hospital is currently licensed for 117 patient beds. When the project is complete, the hospital will be licensed for 134 beds, Bibeau said.
Bibeau said safety is an important aspect of the construction project.
“We’ve had a positive relationship with the construction team and our staff,” he said. “I’ve been impressed with their safety ethics – it’s their number one priority just as it is in healthcare.”