Moving is strenuous enough for the healthy. Imagine what it’s like when you’re a hospital patient. Nevertheless, on Sunday, January 19, 2014, Gundersen Health System smoothly transitioned more than 150 patients, including critical care, post-surgery and neonatal patients into the new six-story Legacy Building, the 430,000 s.f. state-of-the-art hospital expansion on the Gundersen Health campus in La Crosse, WI.
Moving day was a milestone in the mammoth healthcare construction project that has been ongoing since fall of 2010, said Kraus-Anderson project manager Rick Brostrom. In a recent La Crosse Tribune interview Brostrom enumerated several of the special considerations of building a major expansion on an active campus, including rigorous infection controls; special reinforcements and shields to accommodate heavy medical equipment; and fire-resistant walls and doors with the capacity to seal off departments in the event of fire. Constructing a new building connected to the existing hospital necessitated extra sensitivity to noise and vibrations. Adding to the logistical challenges, the project is bounded by active railroad tracks and high-voltage power lines.
As the Legacy Building neared completion, Gundersen staff planned and prepared for weeks to make the move a success. A specific moving plan was created for each patient, including a schedule, a method of transport, a specific route, and a plan for what physician or nurse staff, equipment, supplies, and personal items would be needed. Once a patient arrived at their new location and checked in, the next patient was sent over. The move was completed in three phases, beginning at 4 a.m. and completed by 1 p .m. The entire hospital remained operational during the move. KA and select subcontractors were present at 4:00 a.m. the morning of the move to ensure building systems were operational and to respond if any conflicts were encountered.
The new Legacy Building provides numerous advances in treatment and in patient and visitor comforts, say Gundersen officials. Private, more spacious patient rooms have added comforts such as Wi-fi, small couches for a relative’s overnight stays; and pass-through cabinets that nurses can stock with medicines and supplies without entering the room and disturbing patient. The new building’s other amenities include a bistro, gift shop, patient/visitor terrace and a healing garden.
The new hospital wing includes Oncology, Digestive Care, Obstetrics, Neonatal and Pediatric ICU’s, Neuroscience, Orthopaedics, Medical Specialties, and Critical Care units; as well as Emergency, Operating Rooms, Pre-and Post-Op, Imaging and a Helipad.
With the Legacy Building now complete, the Kraus-Anderson construction team next turns to updating the Heritage Building. Plans call for reconfiguring the first floor for Imaging equipment and renovating the second floor operating rooms. The Labor and Delivery department (LOR) on level 5 will also be updated.
Gundersen Health System Legacy Building By the Numbers:
- 490 feet long
- 39,000 tons of concrete
- 5.7 million pounds of structural steel
- 161 miles of metal studs4.9 million drywall screws
- 7,300 light fixtures
- 227 miles of electrical wire
- 783 plumbing fixtures
- 2,600 doors
- 45 miles of mechanical piping
- 17,375 tons of construction waste recycled – nearly 91% of all construction waste
- 30,000 pieces of owner-provided equipment
- 55,000 sheets of gypsum drywall
- Up to 400 construction workers on site at one time
- Number of months of construction: 36 months
Project type: healthcare construction
Client: Gundersen Health System
Project director: Mark Coudron
Project managers: Rick Brostrom, Chris Patraw, Dave Stark, Heather Roeber
Project superintendents: Mike McMonigal, Tom Offner, Jeff Lund, Ron Shatto
Project assistant: Rachel Peterson
Project accountant: Karen Melander