2012-08-02 / Front Page

New facility to be completed by February

MANISTIQUE – Months after its commencement, construction of the new Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital facility is going well, according to hospital officials. The 62,130 square-foot facility is valued at just over $24 million and expected to be complete by February 2013.

Robert Root, SMH board member, explained the project currently has two major accomplishments under its belt.

“It is slightly ahead of schedule and a little under budget,” he said. “Also, based on all man hours worked, to date, not one reportable injury has occurred during the project. That’s approximately 60,000 man hours.”

According to Root, this exceptional safety record is due to the general contractor, the Gilbane Building Company, and their emphasis on safety consciousness.

“We’re very proud of that safety record … and like to acknowledge that,” he said.

Root also noted the hospital’s focus on obtaining local subcontractors.

“There has been a real concerted effort to do that, and a big chunk of the jobs are going to the area,” he said. “It’s nice that local businesses are benefitting from this investment.”

In regard to the project’s progress, Root explained the contractor and subcontractors will be working through the winter to meet the facility’s completion date.

“We’ll have the site work – the bridge, the main entry road, all of the parking lots, and all the landscaping – complete by late fall or early winter,” he said. “In the colder months, we’ll have the heating system operational so interior work can continue.”

Interior work will include painting, floor coverings, as well as the placement of miscellaneous furniture and equipment items, he added.

“While our official completion date is February 2013, it will probably take about a month after that to move everything from the old facility over to the new,” he said.

During this month, the hospital will work on securing the proper permits for occupancy of the new facility, Root added. Following this, the hospital will begin the official move.

“There are two approaches we could take – we could move to the new facility in small bits and pieces or make it happen in as short a period of time as possible, which is the approach we will be taking,” he said. “Patients would be the last to move from the old to the new facility, and that will happen over a three day time span.”

The hospital’s goal will be to make the patient move as painless as possible, he added.

Before the completion date, or any moving, Root explained the hospital will be working on fundraising for state-of-the-art equipment for the facility.

“We’re just kind of kicking off to the public our capital campaign,” he said.

SMH employees and board members have already been actively campaigning, Root noted, and the drive currently stands at approximately 80 percent funded.

“This is one part of our budget that has, to this date, not been completely funded,” he said. “But we want this to be a first class facility when it opens, and so we want to make sure we have the best technology.”

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