Local media led on a walking tour of new hospital tower

St Mary’s Hospital new building

New windows being put in on the new St Mary’s Hospital building.

St. Mary’s Hospital assured the public Thursday that its Century Project is on schedule and on budget.

Rob Jenkins, owner’s representative for St. Mary’s during the hospital’s $276 million Century Project, led local media on a walking tour Thursday of the new tower under construction.

It was a rare chance for those other than crew members to get a glimpse of the progress being made on perhaps the largest construction project in Grand Junction history.

The 12-story tower, the tallest building in the city, is a much-needed addition to the hospital, Jenkins said. The new tower is 434,000 square feet, nearly double the square footage of the existing hospital.

“This provides flexibility and expandability for St. Mary’s,” Jenkins said.

The new tower is scheduled to be completed in November with an opening of January 2010.

A relatively warm winter and a safe, reliable construction crew of nearly 600 workers has helped the project stay on schedule, he said.

The completion of the 12-story tower’s exterior, the completion of the tower’s entire first eight floors, and the remodeling of the existing hospital are all packaged in the $276 million total, which was funded privately, Jenkins said.

The interior of the top four floors of the tower will be completed as funds allow, he added.

The new emergency room and new intensive-care unit were among the highlights of the tour.

The new emergency room will include 33 private rooms instead of beds separated by
curtains. The hospital now can serve 22 people in the emergency room.

The new tower will have 12 operating rooms of at least 700 square feet.

None of St. Mary’s 10 operating rooms in the existing hospital is larger than 650 square feet.

All operating rooms in the new tower have booms suspended from the ceiling for safety and space reasons, meaning equipment won’t have to be plugged into walls, and cords won’t run along the floor.

The Century Project is designed to meet U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification requirements.

The new tower and remodeling of St. Mary’s were needed to meet three goals, Jenkins said.

Those goals are: meet the needs of the growing population in St. Mary’s service area, improve the healing environment at the hospital and keep pace with changing technology.

For information on construction at St. Mary’s, visit http://www.stmarygj.org, or call the construction information line at 255-1800.


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