Valley View Hospital expansion on schedule |

Valley View Hospital expansion on schedule

Carrie ClickSpecial to the Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jury Jerome Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Valley View Hospital’s five-story addition in Glenwood Springs – and the final segment of an almost decade-long, six-phase expansion – is on schedule and on budget. “We’re actually ahead of schedule by about a month,” said JE Dunn’s Charlie Rawlins, the project’s superintendent. Now under construction, work on the 145,000-square-foot addition began last October and is projected for completion in mid-2012. The new building will seamlessly join the hospital’s 160,000-square-foot existing structure into one all-inclusive medical facility. This last phase is part of Valley View’s massive remodel and addition project that began in 2002. It’s added enhanced neurological services, cardiovascular care, a family birth center, and more. The last of the hospital’s original building, built in 1955, was dismantled and removed in fall 2010.

Two of the new building’s five floors will immediately be occupied once construction is complete. The remaining three floors will be shelled in and ready for office and patient care needs and configurations. According to Rawlins, the ground level surrounding the new building will contain 28 covered parking spaces and a valet service for patients visiting the cancer center. The building’s ground floor will house a lobby and elevator to the cancer center, with technology offices for the hospital on each side. Central to the new addition is the Calaway & Young Cancer Center, which will occupy nearly 30,000 square feet – the entire first floor. Stacey Gavrell, executive director of the Valley View Hospital Foundation, said the foundation raised a total of $7 million through donations, and $19 million was secured in bonds, covering the building’s overall $26 million cost. Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of the new center is the addition of radiation treatment services, allowing locals the opportunity to be treated quickly and conveniently close to home. The center is named after Carbondale philanthropists Jim and Connie Calaway, and Alpine Bank founder and chairman Bob Young, who collectively donated $4 million for the center’s construction.”I can’t think of two better names for the center,” said Gary Brewer, Valley View Hospital’s chief executive officer. “The Calaways and Bob have been so supportive, not only to the hospital but to the overall community.”

Hospital administrators have been finding temporary patient and staff spaces as buildings are removed and built. Brewer said many of the administrative offices housed in the 1950s building – torn down last year to make way for the new building currently under construction – were moved temporarily to areas in the hospital that will ultimately be used for additional patient care. Brewer doesn’t anticipate necessarily adding more in-patient rooms, but does see a need for more outpatient service space and treatment areas. Currently the hospital has 80 beds.When the building’s completed, the administrative offices, including human resources, billing, staff services and more, have the option of moving permanently into the remaining three floors, opening up vacated spaces for patient services. And Brewer explained that rather than having to stage construction in the future – which could involve removing the top of the existing building in order to add more floors – it made sense to construct the additional floors now while the cancer center was going up. “Because of our site constraints, we have to go vertical instead of out,” Brewer said, regarding the limits on the hospital’s build-out space. “These floors insure we use as much of this site as possible.”

JE Dunn’s Rawlins said although the six-phase Valley View expansion isn’t the largest he’s ever been involved in, it might have the company record for the longest-running project. “It’s been complicated, but I’m a hospital guy,” he said. “This is pretty much [the type of work] I do.” Rawlins, who’s originally from Kentucky, said he first started working on the expansion in 2001, when JE Dunn built the Silt Medical Center. The company began in Glenwood Springs by tearing down adjacent houses to make way for new construction at the hospital. Shortly after, he moved his family to the area, where they’ve settled in New Castle. Brewer noted that even though the expansion project’s architectural firm, Hart, Freeland, Roberts Inc., and construction company JE Dunn both come from out of state, they were selected based on their extensive experience with commercial hospital structures. However, most of the subcontractors – including Pioneer Steel, Gould Construction, Steve Williams Painting, Grand Mesa Mechanical and Western Slope Iron – come from the nearby area or the Western Slope. And knowing the importance of hiring local, Rawlins said that nearly 85 percent of those working on the project are from around the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. The workforce should peak at about 160 in the next month as the project begins to wind up. “We feel really good,” said Brewer, as the end of hospital expansion at Valley View nears. “With the same contractor, architect, and many of the same subs, we’ve really been able to develop a trust factor.”

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