Chatham Hospital construction progressing
By Angela Delp, as appeared in the June 21, 2007 edition of The Chatham News
Concrete has been poured and steel is being erected at the Central Carolina Business Park in Siler City.
Construction on Chatham Hospital’s new building is progressing.
Chatham Hospital chief executive officer Carol Straight, along with project managers Anthony Siano and Steve Bryant, conducted a tour of the construction site for newly-appointed Economic Development Committee president Dianne Reid and her administrative assistant Jennifer Nelson.
Straight explained that the dietary wing and kitchen are currently under construction.
“We’ve basically started from that end of the hospital and are working our way back,” she said.
Siano said much of the concrete slab for the building has been poured but construction crews are not yet finished.
He explained that the slab had been poured to where the emergency room will be. Construction crews will begin pouring the administration wing in approximately two weeks.
“We pour the concrete at night because it not only cures better but because of the hot temperatures during the day,” he said.
Straight showed the tour a schematic floor plan and explained the hospital was designed with expansion in mind.
“Each wing cab be added onto as our volumes increase,” she said.
She said the hospital’s existing structure is not in good condition and offers no room for expansion.
Although the building’s condition does not jeopardize the patient’s well-being, extensive repairs are needed, such as heating and air, electrical and handicap accessibility.
“If something were to happen to our heating and air, it would be costly to repair it,” she said.
Straight said bathrooms in the present hospital are not handicap accessible and do not have showers.
“In the new hospital, each patient room will have its own private handicap accessible bathroom with a shower,” she said. “Patient rooms will also be larger.”
Straight said parking is a problem at the present building.
“We can’t expand the current hospital building because we’d lose parking,” she said. “We don’t have enough parking now.”
At the new building, there will be ample parking and space for additional office buildings. Diabetes care, billing and physical therapy will be housed in an adjacent building.
Straight said the hospital will offer many of the same services as it offers now.
“We’re licensed for two operating rooms but only have one,” she said. “In the new building, we will have two rooms.”
The new location will also offer orthopedic surgery, endoscopy, procedure rooms, a recovery room and an emergency room designed with privacy in mind.
“Our emergency room was built in the late Nineties before patient privacy was really a concern,” she said. “We have curtains rather than doors.”
Straight said the hospital was formed a philanthropy campaign, where people can pledge money to the hospital.
“Pledges can have areas of the hospital named after them,” she said. “We’ve put a list of pledges on our website.”
The 25-bed facility will occupy a 30-acre site and will be used for surgeries, sleep studies, orthopedics, radiology and critical care.
The hospital’s expected completion is summer 2008.