|Rendering of Sacred Heart expansion|
PENSACOLA, Fla. (April 25, 2012) – Sacred Heart Hospital broke ground today on a major expansion that will add a five-story tower and 115 private patient rooms. The tower will be constructed on top of the hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute building.
The vertical expansion on Sacred Heart's campus at Ninth Avenue and Bayou Boulevard will take place over the next 20 months. The building is expected to open for patient care starting in May 2014.
The addition will allow Sacred Heart to expand services and meet the community's need for more beds for critically ill patients – a need driven in part by the hospital's status as a regional Trauma Center and a regional Stroke Center. Of the 115 rooms in the new tower, 40 will be for critically ill patients.
''This project is a big event in the history of Sacred Heart Hospital, and it will allow us to create the patient experience of the future,'' said Susan Davis, interim President and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System. ''Our focus is on patient care so we're thrilled to be able to make this investment to better serve and comfort our patients. The project also fills a need for additional beds in our busy hospital.''
Once completed, the added floors will raise the building to eight stories. Sitting at the top of a hill above one of Pensacola's busiest intersections, the construction project will be hard to miss.
The Sacred Heart campus has expanded steadily over the past 15 years, but its main hospital for adult patients has not been enlarged for 30 years. As new units in the expanded Heart and Vascular building open in 2014, some beds in the main hospital will be transferred to the new facility.
Beyond the additional critical care units and other beds needed at Sacred Heart, the $57 million project will create jobs and boost the local economy. Davis said the expansion will create more than 500 construction jobs and more than 100 new healthcare jobs.
Since announcing its building plan last year, Sacred Heart officials have been busy making changes to its parking areas to accommodate the project. During the 20-month construction, the hospital will close the entrance to its Heart and Vascular Institute as well as the parking lot directly in front of the building. To offset that, Sacred Heart has shifted more employee parking to a newly-paved lot off Airport Boulevard and it has made more spaces available for visitors in front of its Emergency Department.
Parking will be sufficient because Sacred Heart provides two parking garages and other surface lots on its campus, and it offers free valet parking at three entrances. In total, the hospital has 1,351 parking spaces for visitor parking and its valet parking service.
Questions and Answers about the Sacred Heart Hospital Construction Project
Q1. Sacred Heart Hospital is adding 5 floors. How tall will the building be once it is completed?
The building will be 220 feet high.
Q2. When will the building be completed?
We expect construction to be completed in December 2013 and ready for hospital operations by May 2014.
Q3. How many square feet of space are being added?
115,000 square feet.
Q. 4. How many pounds of steel will go into the new construction?
1040 tons or about 2,080,000 pounds of steel.
Q5. How much concrete will be used for the expansion project?
More than 3000 cubic yards of concrete.
Q6. How many construction workers will be employed as a result of the project?
For the total duration of the project, we estimate that there will be over 500 construction workers working on the project.
Q7. How tall is the crane we will use? How much does it weigh?
The tower crane will be about 195' tall and it will perform most of the work. The tower crane weights 250,000 pounds.
Q9. To support the weight of the crane, workers will build large concrete pad on which the crane will operate. How big is the pad?
The crane pad will be a square of 27x27 feet, at a depth of 6 feet.
Q10. With an 8-story hospital building, what is the requirement for withstanding hurricane winds?
The Florida Building Code's required design wind speed for this project site is 140 mph to account for hurricane wind loading. The tower's classification requires an additional 15% increase on this wind load as an additional safety factor. The current code requires a higher level of wind resistance than when the original building was constructed in 1999. As a result, the architects designed new bracing towers at the perimeter of the tower to add greater wind resistance. .
Q11. Was the original 3-story building constructed to handle the weight of 5 more floors?
Yes. The original building was designed for the added load of the new 5 floors. The tops of the columns are just above the 3rd floor roof slab now so workers can cut the roof back and bolt on top of the existing columns.
Q12. In addition to employing many construction workers, how else will the local economy benefit from the hospital expansion project?
Most of the supplies and equipment will be purchased from local vendors. As an example, the steel fabrication will be performed by a local company that will provide over 1040 tons of structural steel. Greenhut Construction of Pensacola will be the general contractor.