Hospital's Heart Institute Going Up
In the next few weeks, stairwells and structural steel will start to rise from a monstrous 20-foot-deep hole on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, off N.C. 211 in Pinehurst.
Construction on FirstHealth's $82 million Heart Institute is finally "going vertical," said Project Manager Jay Snyder.
The sign on site says the project will be completed in the winter of 2011, though it could be late 2010, if all goes well, said Stuart Voelpel, president of Moore Regional Hospital.
Crews recently finished excavation work, removing some 30,000 cubic yards of dirt -- or 3,000 dump truck loads -- that was hauled to the county landfill, according to Snyder. About 1,000 cubic yards will be returned as fill.
Below the ground, construction crews are working on the footers and foundation of the four-story structure, which will be located near the hospital's outpatient entrance on Page Road.
"People are really going to start noticing it in the next two or three weeks," Snyder said.
A 140-foot boom crane will erect nearly 750 tons of steel, according to Snyder. About 5,400 yards of concrete will also be used, he added.
The Heart Institute will allow FirstHealth to integrate cardiovascular services -- both invasive and noninvasive -- under one umbrella, which is designed to improve the delivery of outpatient and inpatient cardiothoracic care.
The Heart Institute will include 186,000 square feet of newly constructed space and 65,700 square feet of renovations. One of the four floors will be dedicated solely to providing physician office space. It will contain 57 patient care beds -- 27 intensive care and 30 acute care -- six operating rooms and five catheterization labs, two electrophysiology labs and even an upscale bistro, according to Snyder.
The new facility will better coordinate the hospital's noninvasive cardiac and vascular diagnostic services, cardiac catheterization, intervention, surgery and a number of additional patient-focused services. It will offer area cardiologists and other referring physicians more support than ever before, according to FirstHealth.
Last September, demolition crews removed three buildings -- completed in 1935, 1949 and 1970 -- to make room for the new facility. It will connect to buildings completed in 1990 and 1997. The connector between the 1935 building and the original hospital building, constructed in 1928, has also been torn down. The original hospital building is being preserved.
The demolition had very little impact on direct patient care, Voelpel said. Behavioral health was in the 1970 building. Outpatient services were relocated to the Specialty Centers building, which formerly housed Pinehurst Surgical. In-patient beds were transferred to other parts of the hospital. The 1935 and 1949 buildings had some outpatient areas and administrative offices, Snyder said.
The N.C. Division of Facility Services approved the plans for the Heart Institute in March 2005.
Voelpel said FirstHealth decided to hold off on construction last year when the economy went into a tailspin.
"That ended up being very beneficial for us," he said. "We went into a holding pattern when the financial markets collapsed. We knew we couldn't go out on the markets to get the financing. By waiting, we got substantially better pricing."
The FirstHealth Stepping Stone campaign exceeded its $30 million goal on the project, Voelpel said. The remainder will be financed through bonds, which were sold two or three months ago, he said.
"The fundraising for the Heart Institute has been astonishing," he said.
Voelpel said lower costs allowed the hospital to incorporate purchasing equipment that would have added to the price tag.
Snyder added that the project will also allow the hospital to upgrade its existing energy plant so that it will fully sustain operations in the event of a natural disaster. The present system, which fully meets state requirements, is designed to sustain critical care areas.
FirstHealth hired HKS Architects to design the Heart Institute. The design will enable the hospital to "to deliver the most advanced health-care services, while providing a comforting and inviting environment for patients, family and staff," said Chuck Means, principal-in-charge.
The lobby will feature a two-story atrium space and an upscale bistro. Incorporated into the glass facade at the other end of the lobby is more quiet interior waiting area that looks out to the landscaping through a front porch space.
"Reflecting Southern hospitality tradition, this exterior feature is defined by a unique trellis structure, which welcomes visitors to its shade," said HKS interior designer Laura Hild.
The porch area will also provide outdoor seating, including rocking chairs, to be used by visitors and families. A more private outdoor terrace will be located on the roof level to serve hospital social gatherings.
Entryways to each patient floor will feature an open waiting area and views of the pines at the front of the hospital. Other amenities include a kitchenette and a quiet family room.
"Each patient room is private, with a wardrobe unit for the patient as well as a writing surface with cable connection and a sitting-overnight area for family to stay within the room," Hild said. "The patient care unit design provides patients with a sense of safety, comfort, dignity and repose while providing pleasing spaces for families, visitors and staff as well as reflecting the natural environment of the community."
Contact David Sinclair at 693-2462 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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