(Posted Dec. 24, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The term “heated discussion” took on new meaning at Madison Health when, less than two weeks ago, the hospital turned on one of its three new boilers.
Bob Waldeck, vice president of strategy and construction management, couldn’t contain his excitement about this milestone in the hospital’s $25 million expansion project.
“We’re operating on one boiler and it’s only running at 30 percent,” Waldeck said, marveling at the new system’s efficiency.
The three-boiler system provides capacity to service the new square footage, redundancy to cover any down-time on a boiler, and capacity to allow for future expansions.
While interior improvements heat up, exterior work continues to move forward. The steel frame for the expansion–which will house a new emergency department, cancer center, and offices for medical specialists–is up. Underground utilities are going in now. Sheathing on the steel frame and the roof are slated for completion by the end of December. A test of the new generator is set for Dec. 21.
In January, crews will begin work on the concourse that will connect the hospital, starting at the new emergency department, to the Park Avenue Medical Building. The enclosed walkway will feature lots of windows for natural light.
January’s to-do list also includes demolition of the hospital’s old power plant and the brick house at the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue. Crews have already torn down four houses along Park Avenue to make room for the expansion, parking, and green space. The yellow house on Main Street, currently serving as construction management headquarters, will be the sixth (and last) house to go.
On a side note, Dana Engle, Madison Health CEO, said that prior to demolition of the houses, hospital employees were invited to salvage items such as furnaces, windows and woodwork. In instances where more than one person wanted an item, the hospital held a drawing.
The rest of the project schedule includes renovation of the existing obstetrics and gynecology department, set to take place from April to June.
The small, stand-alone medical office building on the Park Avenue side of the hospital’s campus will come down sometime over the summer to allow crews to finish parking and green space work. As a result, the new medical specialist offices and cancer center, housed on the second floor of the expansion, should open in September or October.
The overall project is slated to be finished by December 2018.
“When it’s done, most visitors to the hospital will come in off of Park Avenue,” said Waldeck.
The hospital continues to solicit donations for its capital campaign for the expansion. The goal is to raise $6 million by the time the project is completed.
“We have $3.8 million in pledges so far,” Engle said.
Madison Health is located at 210 N. Main St. in London.