Chatham Hospital construction progressing
By Angela Delp, as appeared in the Chatham News
Chatham Hospital’s replacement facility gets closer to completion everyday.
Although the new hospital will not be open for business until this summer, crews have already begun planting trees and grass and landscaping at the facility.
Chatham Hospital chief executive officer Carol Straight has brought several groups of hospital employees out to see the new facility.
On Friday, staff members filed into the building once more, eager to observe construction progress and tour the rooms where they will be working.
Several employees brought along cameras to photograph their new workspaces, while nurses excitedly claimed their “spots” in the new nurses stations.
Straight added that the hospital’s wiring is complete and that electricity has now been turned on.
“Other tour groups had to tour in semidarkness but we’ve got lights on in here now,” she said.
Electricity is not the only construction advancement.
Workers have completed painting and flooring and are busy putting finishing touches on the building’s interior.
Angela Hurt, who works as Straight’s administrative assistant, said she last visited the construction site in February.
“It’s coming along quickly,” she said, excited. “Things have changed a lot since I was here last.”
Janie Jordan, who works in the kitchen, was delighted with the new kitchen appliances.
She said she has not visited the construction site for a long time.”
“I’m excited to see where I’m going to be working,” she said, as she eyed the new stove. “Everything here is so nice.”
Straight said the new hospital building will have a number of improvements, such as an emergency room built with patient privacy in mind.
“Our current ER was built in the mid-Nineties before privacy was an issue,” she said. “We have curtains rather than doors. Here, we will have doors.”
Handicapped accessibility has also improved greatly.
“Half of the restrooms in the new facility will be handicapped accessible,” she said.
The new facility will have separate hallways for employees and shipping and patients.
“One hallway will be exclusively for patient use,” she said.
Other changes include larger operating and recovery rooms, larger, more private patient rooms and a cafeteria with a large dining room.
According to Straight, the hospital’s existing structure is not in good condition and offers no room for expansion.
The new facility’s design offers possibilities for expansion at each end of the building.
Although the current building’s condition does not jeopardize the patient’s well-being, extensive repairs are needed, such as heating and air, electrical and handicap accessibility.
The new location will also offer orthopedic surgery, endoscopy, procedure rooms, a recovery room and an emergency room.
The 25-bed facility will occupy a 30-acre site and will be used for surgeries, sleep studies, orthopedics, radiology and critical care.