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Total Reorganization
The expansion primarily consists of two additions to the existing
hospital building, located on the northeast and southwest corners
of the structure. It will add roughly 71,000 square feet of space to the
hospital campus - bringing the hospital's total footprint to 195,000
square feet. Due to the FirstLight's Critical Access designation, the
project will not increase the hospital's bed count, but it will give patients more privacy. The expansion is aimed at elevating the hospital's services, modernizing its operations and increasing its security.
The expansion project is being built in four major phases. The
first is the two-story southwest addition, which will include new
inpatient and birthing rooms, an inpatient pharmacy, rehabilitation space with a therapy pool and public dining. The second will
relocate the existing emergency department and helipad to the
new two-story northeast addition, which will also include a new
employee fitness center. The third phase will have renovations to the
following departments: lab, imaging, chemotherapy and infusion,
registration, materials management and information technology.
This phase will also include the remodel of the main entry to connect the two additions and create one centralized entrance. Finally,
the last phase of the project will integrate the campuses.
The project is on schedule to finish by April 2019, although individual phases may come online earlier. "Each addition will be their
own grand opening," Project Manager Jessica Masterson says. There
are 22 different moves scheduled over the course of this project.
The relocation of several departments to other parts of the campus
allows FirstLight to achieve several goals. Moving the emergency department and helipad to the north end of the campus frees up space
for the new pharmacy and eye clinic while also allowing for more
parking and better access to the new centralized entrance. The onsite pharmacy will add convenience for patients leaving the hospital
who otherwise would need to travel to pick up prescriptions. "That's
the last thing you want to do when you're sick," notes Mark Vizenor,
facility operations manager and owner's rep for FirstLight. "You just
want to go home."
Creating a new area for the birthing center will allow older rooms
to be converted into private spaces for patients with receiving
chemotherapy or infusions. Further, the lower level of the southwest
addition will consolidate physical therapy, occupational speech
therapy and cardiovascular services into one area, enabling the
hospital to better share resources between its rehabilitation services.
One of the most visible changes will be the construction of a main
entrance. The expansion will reduce the number of entry points
to one primary entrance and one after-hours entrance, enhancing
safety for everyone within the building. An overhead canopy will
also make it easier to drop-off patients in inclement weather.
"We're basically touching every department in the organization
except for surgery and the business office," Vizenor says.

fall," Project Manager Mike Stark says. "It allows us to move existing
departments into new spaces allowing for the other areas to be
renovated." The shell of the northeast addition - which includes the
new emergency department - is currently being constructed and is
not expected to finish until fall 2018.
In Minnesota, the winter months are generally a slower time
for construction, but if Krause Anderson wants to hit its expected
completion date, then daily operations will need to continue. To
keep things moving, the construction manager and design team
had to come up with solutions to overcome the challenges of wintry
weather. Some materials, such as fireproofing, have temperature
restrictions and cannot normally be applied in cold weather conditions. The project is instead using a fireproof type board allowing
fireproofing installation to proceed, as well as constructing heated
enclosures for workers to apply air barrier and exterior finishes.
In October, a heavy storm dropped five inches of rain on Mora,
creating mucky conditions around the site and putting weeks of
building progress at risk while crews waited for the soil to dry. The
cost of a potential delay was too great, so dry soil was trucked in
meet the compaction requirements needed for work to continue.
Kraus-Anderson and FirstLight were able to quickly implement
these solutions because of the open channels of communication
they have set up with the project's subcontractors. "Every time we do
a large project like this it reinforces the importance of communication," Stark says.

Staying On Schedule
By early January, Kraus Anderson had already enclosed the southwest addition and were ramping up work on the interior portion of
the expansion. "The southwest addition is really the first domino to

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1

Contents
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Cover1
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Cover2
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 1
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Contents
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