New St. Mary’s expected to open in November 2014

The new St. Mary's Health Center (architect's rendering above) is expected to open in Jefferson City in November 2014.

The new St. Mary's Health Center (architect's rendering above) is expected to open in Jefferson City in November 2014.

The new St. Mary’s Health Center on Mission Drive is projected to open in November 2014, two months earlier than originally planned.

The earlier projected completion date of the Jefferson City hospital is because of successful planning and dry weather, SMHC officials said.

“This will benefit us in many ways,” said Tony Houston, executive vice president and chief operating officer at SMHC. “one, it allows us to bring the product to people in Mid-Missouri faster, which is great. It also will enable us to move in before more difficult weather in January.”

Houston said the hospital plans to take possession of the new facility from construction company Alberici next summer.

“That’s the time when we will go in and formally orient our teams to the building, test the building, inspect the building and really prepare it for hospital operations,” he said.

SMHC broke ground on the more than $200 million project in July 2012.

Alberici is working to enclose the structure by the end of this year.

“We’ve been working all summer knowing that the winter’s coming, working very hard to get the building completely enclosed,” said Tim Gunn, construction project manager with Alberici. “That’s really what is now visible on the horizon.”

He said crews have started insulating the building, have started installing terra cotta, and are working on constructing the roof.

“The prefabricated bathrooms will be complete in mid-october,” Gunn said. “There’s interior electrical and mechanical systems that are being put in, and we’ve also started building the partitions that are going to divide the patient rooms.

“People who walk into the building can actually start to see what the spaces are going to look like.”

Gunn said crews are also working on paving parking surfaces so that they are covered for the winter.

“We’re now up to over 200 workers per day on the project site,” Gunn said. “Work is progressing pretty close to plan for us.”

Preparations are also taking place off-site for the November 2014 move.

Houston said SMHC has a group of employees who are part of Transitions operations Planning (ToP).

“There is a team of about 42 different work groups that are getting together to basically program how we’re going to operate in the new building,” Houston said. “They’re planning every little detail you can think of, whether it relates to hours of operation, location, materials and supplies, workforce or patient flow.”

He said the plans, known as playbooks, will be given to every functional department of the hospital.

“They’ll (departments will) be able to think today how that new hospital changes how we operate from the old St. Mary’s to the new St. Mary’s,” Houston said. “It will be a training guide, and ongoing, it’ll be a reference point for us to make sure that with any changes we make after we occupy we’ll be able to go to that baseline in the playbook and make adjustments there.”

He said the playbooks will act as living documents that will help SMHC perform in the way that was planned and designed.

“It’s a tremendous amount of work, but we feel very good that we’re ahead of schedule, not only on construction, but the schedules that relate to the transition,” Houston said.

Another ongoing effort off-site of the new Mission Drive facility is the marketing of the hospital’s current site at 100 St. Mary’s Medical Plaza. Sansone Group of St. Louis is marketing the site nationally to potential buyers.

on Sansone’s website, SMHC’s nearly 11-acre property is listed at $4.4 million.

“We’re active in that, because that’s a big part of planning, as well,” Houston said. “We’re hoping that someone finds it as attractive as we’ve found it over the last 100 years.

“It’s got great access, and we want to make sure we find somebody who can allow it to benefit the community in the same way that we have.”

Timeline

Mid-October: Prefabricated bathrooms complete and installed

October: Construction of on-site medical office building begins

End of 2013: New facility enclosed

Summer 2014: SMHC takes possession of facility

November 2014: SMHC moves to new facility, and the new hospital and medical office building open to patients

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