St. Mary’s kicks off $40 million construction job at hospital’s new tower

Mike McBride, Presdent/CEO of St Mary’s Hospital speaking to the media and staff of St Mary’s on the 10th floor in the tower at St Mary’s to announces the next phase in the completion of the Century Project

The Century Project of St. Mary’s Hospital, punched into the sky three years ago, is filling from the inside.

Officials on Thursday announced that interior work on the top two stories of the 12-story tower will begin soon and will be complete by late 2015.

Work on the $40 million project will be performed as much as possible by Grand Valley contractors and subcontractors, Dan Prinster, St. Mary’s vice president for planning and business development, said in a press conference on the 10th floor.

The project will provide the opportunity to move two units out of the older area of the hospital and onto the top two floors, but it also signifies that the hospital is optimistic about the economic fortunes of the Grand Valley, St. Mary’s President and CEO Mike McBride said.

The Grand Valley economy “is poised to grow and we want to be part of that,” McBride said, noting that St. Mary’s had just celebrated its 117th anniversary. The hospital was founded May 22, 1896.
From the beginning, the plan at St. Mary’s was to fill out the floors as needed. The ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th floors are cavernous enclosures with panoramic views of the surrounding Grand Valley. They are awaiting electricity, wiring, heating and ventilation and other necessities before they can be refined into rehabilitation and post-surgical rooms on the 12th and 11th floors respectively.

Completing the tower will enhance needed medical resources in the Grand Valley, but it also will “further solidify the Grand Valley as a regional hub for health care,” Kelly Flenniken, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, said.

About one-third of the patients at the 346-bed hospital are from outside of Mesa County and about half of those are from contiguous or nearby counties, Prinster said.

The partnership also can point to the tower and the services offered there as a selling point to attract businesses or individuals to the area, Flenniken said.

The existing rehabilitation unit, which was adapted from an area designed for other uses, now houses as many as 17 patients.

The existing unit frequently is close to being full, Prinster said.

The new rehabilitation unit on the 12th floor will accommodate 24 patients in private rooms and include the most recent of services, including recreational, communal and dining areas.

The 11th floor will contain 32 private rooms in which patients will recover from gastrointestinal, urological, bariatric and general surgery. The existing unit has 24 private rooms.

The new rooms, however, will have space for family to visit as well as technology, such as monitoring equipment.

The $40 million cost of the project includes $23.3 million in construction; $5.3 million in fees, permitting, project management and contingencies; $4.7 million in design and consultants; $3.6 million in equipment and $3.1 million in information technology.

Requests for proposals have been distributed to Grand Valley construction managers and local contractors with instructions to use local subcontractors.


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