The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, September 29, 2006

Bigger and better health care…St. John Providence tops out

By Marty Mulcahy, Editor

NOVI - The first new hospital to be constructed in southeast Michigan in the last 20 years was topped out Aug. 31 - creating the second construction milestone for St. John Providence Park Hospital after its January groundbreaking.

Iron Workers from Local 25 and Midwest Steel set the last beam into place, the last of 4,470 pieces of structural steel that went into the new hospital

"American Bridge, Midwest Steel and Site Development have all played a special part in making this milestone," said David Martin, of construction manager Barton-Malow - White Construction. "They and their workers are to be commended for meeting safety goals and making the project a success."

The 200-bed, $224 million hospital will be one of a handful of hospitals in the nation that allow "acuity-adaptable rooms," which allow patients to remain in one room throughout their hospital stay. The new hospital will also have an emergency department designed to function as a Level I Trauma Center, as well as alphabet soup imaging capabilities such as MRI, CT, PET and ultrasound. The facility will also have a dedicated pediatric unit, the Michigan Ear Institute, and a center for facial reconstruction surgery.

During short remarks at the job site, in front of hospital personnel and construction workers, hospital President Robert Casalou said he had a "rare opportunity to thank the guys at Local 25 who did this work. The most important thing is that this has been a safe project. Thanks to all the workers on the project for the skills and professionalism you have brought to this project. We want to make us proud of the hospital when you move on, for the great work you've done."

The six-story, 500,000-square-foot hospital will employ more than 1,500 when it opens in mid-2008.

The Providence Park project is one of numerous health care projects going on in Michigan. Whether its new construction or expansion, all are bringing in new ideas in health care.

For example, the entire third floor of the Providence Park hospital will be exclusively for women. And Casalou told a health executive publication that there will be no public paging from overhead speakers at the hospital, except in emergencies that involve the entire hospital. Hospital employees will be able to communicate to each other via headsets

A 10,000-square-foot "employee center" will be the gateway for all staff and doctors who work there. It will house the human resources and corporate health department and feature computer labs, lockers, and showers. Employees, he said will feel like they have a place in the facility away from the public eye, providing an "off-stage, on-stage" environment that the Walt Disney theme parks employ.

Midwest Steel's Mark Hall, the project's general foreman, and Andre Mondoux, the raising gang foreman, led the iron workers toward the topping out milestone. The project's yard gang foreman Dallas Campeau is retiring along with Hall. "This is my last job, I'm riding off into the sunset," Hall said. "The last job was a good one."

IRON WORKERS from Local 25 and Midwest Steel topped out the St. John Providence Park Hospital on Aug. 31.