Organization Closes Old Hospital, Opens New Facility Same Day

By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Hospital's Aging Core Poses Maintenance, Engineering ChallengesPt. 2: Building-Automation System Streamlines Preventive MaintenancePt. 3: Energy-Efficient Chillers, Air-Handling Units Demand More MaintenancePt. 4: This Page

One of the more interesting aspects of the Gateway Medical Center project is the fact the organization transitioned from the old hospital to the new building on the same day. Of course, a great deal of pre-planning took place, but making such a significant move in a 24-hour period was a challenge for staff and patients.

"We had to maintain the hospital and the patients at the old place," Holzkamper says. "We moved two or three people over (to the new hospital) to start doing stuff before the move, but the majority of the crew was over at the old hospital until move-in day."

The move did pose logistical challenges related to working with government agencies in obtaining certain licenses. A big lesson learned for Holzkamper was to start that process two years before the move-in date, about eight months earlier than he did for this project.

"We didn't know what we were getting into until we got into it feet-first," Holzkamper says. "When you go to move something like this, you don't have a list that says, 'Here, you need to do this, this, and this.' You find out about things as the transition is going on — trial and error."

Skeens compares the move to his time as a medic in the military when he helped move clearing hospitals overnight. While it was hectic and stressful at times, the hospital pulled off the move without any major issues.

Says Skeens, "If it wasn't for our staff and our maintenance department and everybody else, making the transition would have nearly been impossible. The (successful) transition was really because of the people. We moved fairly easily. We were fully operational and running (in one day)."

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  posted on 6/3/2010   Article Use Policy

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