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Rooms take shape at new Mercy Hospital - KOAM TV 7

Rooms take shape at new Mercy Hospital

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Construction workers say there's been a lot of recent progress on the new Mercy Hospital.  Rooms are beginning to take shape.

Compare the project to a patient in order to say this massive surgery is going better than expected.

"The original schedule was 47 months proposed for the project, and I think we're trying to finish it in 39 months," says John Farnen, a strategic projects official for Mercy.

Weather during construction of the new Mercy Hospital has been cooperating, for the most part.  Technology, specifically GPS, has turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.

"When we were laying this building out, all the way from the foundations, we actually laid it out based on a computer model.  We didn't measure, we didn't do anything.  We basically downloaded the computer model into all of our equipment on site and located all of the anchor bolts, the foundation, the piers, the steel.  Everything was laid based on that model," says Farnen.

Construction workers are now focusing on the inside of the hospital.

"With hospitals, there's a lot of utilities that are in the ceiling, and it's tough to get all of that to fit with the space that's usually available.  So what we do is, we model all of it in a 3-D program prior, and it's down to the inch of where each utility is in the ceiling," says Senior Project Manager Stephen Meuschke.

Nine floors of the new hospital will include 900,000 square feet in total.  When the project is completed, there's going to be 200 private hospital beds.  Primary care doctors will occupy 150 exam rooms.  There will also be six trauma rooms, one of which is already dry walled and open for critique and modification.

"We'll start bringing the staff in to kind of review it and make sure that nothing needs to be adjusted or tweaked in there," says Farnen.

Though the hospital's physical foundation was laid months ago, construction workers are still making sure the foundation for a safe, healthy future is solid.  Yellow inflatable tubes, hanging from the ceiling, are temporary heat ducts throughout the hospital.

"We're building a hospital, as everybody knows, and that is very important to keep moisture out of the building.  The last thing we need is moisture and all the problems that come along with it (such as mold).  So we need to leave the temperature and humidity at those set perimeters," says Meuschke.

Work will continue, of course, following blueprints of not only a new hospital, but also part of Joplin's post-tornado recovery.

The new hospital will include $90 million worth of new medical equipment.  Air ducts delivered to the hospital are sealed, and remain sealed until put together, to further make sure (as much as possible) the hospital will be free of bacteria when the project is completed.  Workers from Mercy's infection control department inspect the project site once a month.

The new hospital is slated to be completed by the early part of 2015. 

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