Gearing up for transition phase
A sun-filled summer has helped the first phase of work on the new women's center and rehabilitation center at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center stay on schedule, and hospital officials are hoping to enter a transitional phase in the $5.6 million project in about six weeks.
The project includes the new Center for Women's Health, rehabilitation department, a physical connection with the nearby clinic, and major renovations to the emergency room, labs, office and shops areas of the medical center.
Jim Sinek, CEO of BVRMC, said work on the project is progressing in near ideal fashion.
"From everything I've been hearing, it's so far, so good at this point," Sinek said. "They've made a lot of progress in pouring the foundation right now, and in talking with the contractors it seems everything is on schedule. We're still talking about a two-year timetable for the project, but that's a little more conservative figure at this point when you look at how much progress has been made."
Sinek said the BVRMC staff is already taking steps to prepare for a transitional phase the last week of August, when contractors will begin digging the basement for a new laboratory, forcing the hospital to close down the front door on the west end of the building and establish a temporary entrance on the east end. Many of the business offices in the hospital, such as the admissions department, have begun to move offices over to the east side in anticipation of the shift in entryways.
Sinek said the entryway to the emergency department will also move from its current location on the west side of the hospital to the north end. The public will be able to drive around the west side of the hospital and then head east past the ambulance garage to the new entryway, which Sinek said would ultimately be the permanent entryway for ER services.
Sinek said he has received no complaints from the public during the construction period, and said one of the biggest reasons for that has been the new valet parking service the hospital has offered. John Fitzpatrick, Don Parrish and Richard Foster help run the valet service from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day for the public, and Sinek said the trio's assistance has been invaluable for BVRMC.
"The valet parkers are the most significant reason why our patients have felt good about the project as far as convenience and service," Sinek said. "It's been received very well, and we feel really good about the three people that are working there and how their services have helped us out."
Sinek said the valet parkers will also move down to the east end of the hospital in late August to help alleviate any potential confusion from the public on the new entryway. He said completion of a parking lot south of the Buena Vista Clinic will also help with any parking concerns at the hospital.