HCHC is about to make a little noise
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
The first weekend in May, construction crews at Henry County Health Center are going to be a little loud as they drive the sleeve for the new elevator.
The sleeve of the new elevator must be driven 17 to 18 feet into the ground. The process will be loud and is expected to take about four to six hours.
“We’re going to make a little bit of noise,” Robb Gardner, HCHC CEO, told the board of trustees on Tuesday. “That’s a fairly loud process to do that. It will be done down in the basement, but it’s definitely going to be noticeable.”
Gardner noted that this is a process they have to go through, and in order to minimize disruptions, crews will be doing this work on a Saturday, when there are fewer people at the hospital because there are no elective surgeries or outpatient services that happen on Saturday.
However, there will still be inpatient services and emergency room services happening.
“We’re going to make sure that our families, patients know what’s going on,” said Gardner. “Park Place shouldn’t really notice anything … but the rest of the facility definitely will.”
Project Manager Cragon Caboth said that after the sleeve is drilled, installation of the new elevator will begin the following Monday and should be completed by May 15. However, the elevator will be off limits and will not go into operation until possession of the new surgery addition has been handed over to the hospital.
During his project update to the board of trustees, Caboth noted that the new surgery addition is “moving along at a brisk pace.”
He noted that fireproofing is in place and metal studs are almost completed. Crews are doing ceiling work and drywall is being started.
“A week from Monday you’re going to see a whole lot of drywall going on,” said Caboth.
Before the drywall is going on, though, crews are being careful to document the wiring that is located inside the wall.
“Every single wall in every room is going to have a picture taken so we know what’s behind it,” said Caboth.
This will help prevent future construction crews from running into any surprises when opening up walls in the new addition. Current construction crews have run into a few things they were not expecting to find, though Caboth noted that so far everything has been manageable.
“So far it’s gone as well as we could have hoped,” said Caboth. “There haven’t been any major structural issues, there haven’t been any major mechanical issues that we couldn’t get worked out.”
Gardner noted that there might be more surprises when crews begin to remodel the section of the hospital that was added in 1981, especially when remodeling in the areas where the hospitals lab is currently located and the area where it will be located.
“We did look above the ceiling grids, we did look behind the walls, but we couldn’t do the extensive search because you’d have to knock walls down,” said Gardner.
“We’ve done as extensive of a look as we can. Are we going to find some things that we didn’t anticipate? You bet,” said Caboth. “There’s no doubt that we will.
In other business, the trustees:
• Approved a lease resolution with Toshiba for the CT scanner. This new, 60-month lease has $8,000 in savings for HCHC and also reduces the radiation dosage to patients. Previously one CT scan was equivalent to 10-15 chest x-rays. Now, one CT scan is equivalent to three chest x-rays.
• Approved the replacement of HCHC’s nurse call system. Previous plans had been to install a new Ascom system for the new surgery addition and then phase in the rest of the hospital over the next fiscal year. However, the current system is becoming outdated and will no longer be serviced by May 2014. Therefore, the entire system will be replaced when the system is installed at for the surgery addition.