St. Mary’s Century Project a milestone in hospital’s development

For years residents have watched new St. Mary’s Hospital patient towers stretch into the sky, looming over the city with a dozen stories. The completion of the hospital’s Century Project has been an exciting time for hospital officials and staff and a wide swath of community members who donated to the $276 million project.

The patient towers, the most visible addition to St. Mary’s footprint and its biggest project to date, mark the third and final stage for the hospital’s 10-year undertaking.

“What I’ve observed is a real excitement about the Century Project,” St. Mary’s President and CEO Bob Ladenburger said. “It seems like time has gone so quickly. People are very impressed to be (associated) with the facility that will focus on patient needs and physician needs. It really has taken a team effort.”

In 2003, the hospital opened the Advanced Medicine Pavilion to direct some patients away from the main hospital campus. The Pavilion houses a cancer center, outpatient imaging services and the blood center. Two years later, the hospital completed a multistory parking garage to help with long- and short-term parking needs.

When construction on the patient towers started in 2005, the local economy was booming. That trend changed as the country and Mesa County slumped into a recession starting in 2008. St. Mary’s Century Project remained one of the biggest construction projects in the Grand Valley.

“St. Mary’s is committed and invested to being here for the long term,” Ladenburger said. “It was also nice to have work for up to 500 people at one time.”

St. Mary’s Hospital, which is accredited as a Level II Trauma Center, now boasts new capabilities to serve patients’ needs. CareFlight helicopters will land atop the hospital and patients will be whisked down to the emergency room via a special elevator.

New construction and the remodel has opened up more space for patient rooms, surgical rooms, mother and baby rooms, an intensive care unit with patient rooms and the Saccomanno Education Center, among other services.

Public spaces for staff and visitors also have been added, with a new cafe and a new lobby. A cafeteria used to reside in the hospital’s basement.

“The vertical nature of building will facilitate patient care,” Ladenburger said. “It will really be nice to serve patients in a user-friendly fashion. The public spaces are really going to be appreciated.”


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