Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s new tower is beginning to take shape as the year progresses and is still on track to open in 2019.
The $151 million project will result in a six-floor patient tower, including a Women’s Services Unit, cafeteria, medical rooms, surgical rooms and private rooms and bathrooms, which will accommodate 142 beds.
“We are on schedule for substantial completion in late 2018,” Jonathan Miller, vice president of facility planning and support operations for the hospital said.
The goal is to have the outside of the building finished by Thanksgiving 2018 in order to start moving staff and stock in.
Currently, the steel part of the building is completely built, according to Miller.
Decking and slabbing is being poured and the metal work is finished up to the fifth floor. Miller estimates this will be finished by the end of the month and then scaffolding will be put on the building.
“I feel very comfortable where we’re at as far construction goes,” he said.
Construction faced “touch and go” moments during storm season in winter, but workers were able to catch up and the tower will open as expected despite those delays.
After the outside of the hospital’s tower is completed, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development must approve it for occupancy to allow the hospital to start accepting visitors.
Between December 2018 and March 2019, the inside of the tower will be filled with beds, equipment, artwork and signage in preparation for an anticipated April 1, 2019 opening.
“It’s definitely feeling more real, that’s for sure,” Miller said.
Transferring patients from other buildings will be the largest task after the tower opens, the planning vice president said.
“That’s when we really start to exploit the benefits of the new building,” he said.
After the new tower opens, it will vacate space for old buildings to serve new purposes.
When the kitchen, cafeteria and dining room relocate to the tower, their current building will serve as an expansion of the emergency department.
Located right next to the current emergency room, the current eating area will be demolished and rebuilt as the emergency expansion with 25 added beds.
“It is the perfect spot to expand the emergency room,” Miller said. “That will really help serve our community because our emergency room is very busy.”
The current Women’s Services Unit will also be demolished after moving to the tower to make room for a second catheterization lab.
“We just don’t have enough capacity,” he said. “We need another cath lab really badly.”