The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, January 15, 2016

New McLaren medical building fills in Uptown development

By The Building Tradesman

BAY CITY - The last of three anchor tenants at the Uptown development along the Saginaw River will inhabit a three-story, 80,000-square-foot medical facility, once the building trades wrap up construction on the building in June.

Late last month, general contractor Pumford Construction, its subcontractors and the building trades were busy working on exterior finishes and interior rough-ins at what will be the McLaren Medical Building on the southern portion of the Uptown Bay City development. Other anchor tenants at the site include completed facilities for Dow Corning Corp. and Chemical Bank. In addition there is a restaurant that's open for business and a residential project under construction.

McLaren says their new building will be used to expand their existing services in the city, including a wide range of outpatient medical services, like a comprehensive endoscopy center, a wound care center, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a minor lab draw center and others.

McLaren Bay Region President and CEO Clarence Sevillian said the new building is a response to a growing need for services the health care provider did not previously offer. “We thought it would be critical to add some of these services to our market, specifically occupational medicine and wound care and hyperbaric oxygen, so being able to do that and create better access for our patient population is exactly why we’re creating it and working within our community to do that," he said.

Pumford Supt. Chris Van Ness said the project has been employing an average of 25-30 tradespeople in recent weeks. "We're doing plumbing, electrical, farming, drywall, ductwork - all the rough work," he said.

The project is currently employing eight electricians out of IBEW Local 692 working for Thiel Electric. Monetarily, pension dollars via the National Electrical Benefit Fund are being employed to help fund construction of the health care facility, which is helping to assure an all-union project. "You know, bringing the pension money in has worked really well," said Local 692 Business Manager Jack Tobias. "It's one way to secure a union project. Good for the IBEW, good for all the trades."

Thiel Electric foreman Wayne Mansut said the project has been held up slightly by changes in the layout of individual suites, as well as upgrades to the electrical hardware to accommodate the building's tenants. "It's really a pretty normal job, nothing out of the ordinary, we're just taking care of the customers' needs," Mansut said. ""We've got a good group of guys here."

The temperate, virtually snow-less weather through the end of the year has been a boon to productivity. "Good weather, good tradespeople," Van Ness said. "That's why we're in good shape. We're doing really well, everybody here has been great to work with."

When its new building opens, MLive said McLaren officials plan to rebrand the existing hospital, at 1900 Columbus Ave., as a facility for individuals who are more ill and who are in emergency situations.

In August, the entire 43-acre Uptown project in Bay City was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for outstanding contributions to brownfield site redevelopment at the 2015 Brownfields Conference held in Chicago. The riverfront project changed a blighted and contaminated industrial site into a vibrant, new mixed-use urban environment. “Uptown is a truly transformational project that continues to positively change Bay City’s skyline,” said Steven Black, Chair of RiversEdge Development Corp., a public-private partnership. To date, more than $40 million has been invested and over 500 jobs have been created at Uptown Bay City.

SNAKING A BUNDLE of 750 MCM secondary feed wire to a second-floor electrical panel at the McLaren Medical Building in Bay City are (l-r) electricians Jared Renner and Jim Hunt of IBEW Local 692. They’re employed by Thiel Electric.

LOCATED IN THE UPTOWN development along the Saginaw River, construction of the McLaren Medical Building is progressing toward completion in June.

TESTING THE MEDICAL GAS system in what will be a set of suites at the McLaren Medical Building is Mark Shillair of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 85. He’s employed by Remer Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.