A drought isn’t good for most of us, but it was a boon for the construction of the Women and Infants Center and adjoining Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Facility.
The 2007 drought enabled contractors to get the building out of the ground quickly when construction began in April. Almost two years later, the moving and relocation planning of the affected departments already is under way.
|The Women and Infants Center and adjoining Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Facility is on schedule to open next spring, says Robert Sharpe, project manager and director of Hospital Construction.
“Once you’re out of the ground the weather doesn’t affect you as much as it would if you were in a big mud hole,” says Robert Sharpe, project manager and director of Hospital Construction.
The project is progressing on schedule and should be ready for a spring 2010 move-in.
Training, facilities checks from clinical staff and hospital maintenance and clinical staff training will take place after construction is completed, Sharpe says. The city, state and Alabama Department of Public Health should complete final inspections of the facility later this year.
“Logistically, it’s going to be a very complex operation to move the number of neonates and babies and move them safely, but the staff in Hospital Planning are crafting their plan with the close cooperation of the clinical and support groups,” says Sharpe.
The 640,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building will house all departments of the Women and Infants Center and replace the 33-year-old radiation facility — now located in the Lurleen B. Wallace Tumor Institute — upon its completion.
Those walking or driving by the construction located at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 16th Street likely will notice the progress of the exterior construction. The skin of the building is complete except for the area where the material hoists are located.
The pre-cast patching and sealing that surrounds the rotunda and capstone also are almost finished. Window and glass installation is under way, and the building canopies will be installed between February and June. The sidewalks, curbs and pavers have been installed from Fifth Avenue to 18th Street. Sidewalks on Sixth Avenue are being poured.
Work also has begun on the fountain and the Limbaugh Family Park of Hope on the Southeast portion of the site.
CCN, NICU progressing
Passersby can’t see inside the building, but Sharpe says the interior also is progressing nicely.
“The interior fit-out is proceeding on all floors in order of complexity and is on schedule,” Sharpe says. “The second floor critical care nursery (CCN) is very far along, and much of the finish work is completed. The third floor neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) also has many finishes completed.”
Sharpe says all of the parties involved in the construction have worked well together to help keep the project moving forward.
“Brasfield & Gorrie has done a tremendous job managing the construction, and they’ve been supported with a great deal of help and prompt decision-making by UAB and its clinical staff,” Sharpe says. “There was a lot of pre-planning that went into the early portions of the design. That’s been critical to the project moving along so well, too.”