Hospital's Heart Institute Starting to Take Shape
The steel skeleton of the four-story FirstHealth Heart and Vascular Institute has taken shape as construction work progresses rapidly.
"We're on schedule, and the work is going very well," says Jay Synder, director of planning, design and construction for FirstHealth of the Carolinas. "The weather has been touch-and-go at times. The contractor has shifted things around."
The $82 million facility, on Page Road near the outpatient entrance to the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, is scheduled for completion by the end of next year, according to Synder.
Construction started in April, but much the early work was below ground on the foundation. In July, the project finally started "going vertical," as Synder puts it, rising rapidly from a monstrous 20-foot-deep hole.
Crews excavated 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.
A 140-foot boom crane was brought in to erect nearly 750 tons of steel. About 5,400 yards of concrete will also be used. By the end of this year, the exterior facade of the building should be completed, and most of the work will move inside.
The Heart Institute will allow FirstHealth to integrate cardiovascular services -- both invasive and noninvasive -- under one umbrella, which is designed to improve 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. The complex will contain 57 patient-care beds -- 27 intensive care and 30 acute care -- six operating rooms, 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.
In September 2008, demolition crews removed three buildings -- dating from 1935, 1949 and 1970 -- to clear the way 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.
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 state approved the plans for the Heart Institute in March 2005. FirstHealth delayed starting the project when the economy went into a tailspin, which actually ended up being a good thing because the project wound up benefiting from lower prices, officials said.
The FirstHealth Stepping Stones campaign exceeded its $30 million goal on the project. The remainder will be financed through bonds.
Contact David Sinclair at (910) 693-2462 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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