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Grossmont prepares for new heart, vascular center

Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa will get a new 74,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center. Image courtesy of McCarthy Building Companies

A new 74,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center at Grossmont Hospital is rising in La Mesa, allowing for needed expansion of the hospital’s surgery department and patient services.

McCarthy Building Companies Inc., one of the nation’s top health care builders, started construction in early July at 5555 Grossmont Center Drive.

McCarthy was retained by the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), with CEO Barry Jantz and the publicly elected GHD board members providing oversight. Sharp HealthCare is the operator of Grossmont Hospital through a 30-year lease that was executed with the district in 1991.

Proposition G, a $247 million bond measure approved by East County voters in June 2006, is funding the project, which is budgeted at $26.3 million in construction costs.

As proposed in the hospital’s Facilities Master Site Plan, Prop. G is funding several other infrastructure construction improvements at the publicly-owned hospital, which opened in 1955.

Designed by KMD Architects, the Grossmont Hospital Heart and Vascular Center will be a cast-in-place, concrete structure with spread footings and a structural steel moment frame, with one level below ground and two levels above.

Construction of the facility will allow for expansion of the hospital’s existing surgery department and provide new multipurpose procedural rooms with the flexibility to support a wide range of specialties, including general surgery, minimally invasive surgery, image-guided surgery and endovascular interventional procedures.

When completed in March 2015, the building will also house a pharmacy, laboratory and covered walkway connection to the existing Women’s Center on Level A, as well as a new loading dock and materials management services area on Level B.

The new building will allow for the relocation of the hospital’s pharmacy and clinical laboratory space to meet current seismic criteria.

“The new facility is being built on a tight site within a small footprint of the busy hospital campus, presenting access challenges for work crews, material and equipment,” said McCarthy Project Director Jason Mrozek. “We’ll also be creating tie-ins to the existing hospital, which will call for a carefully coordinated and closely managed construction schedule to minimize any disruption to campus operations.”

All told, this project encompasses shoring, foundations, structure and build-out of Levels A and B. Level 1 will be provided as a shell space to accommodate the future build-out of a catheterization lab and operating rooms.

KPFF Consulting Engineers is the structural and civil engineer, Randall Lamb is the electrical and mechanical engineer and Wimmer Yamada and Caughey is the landscape architect. Parsons Corp. is serving as GHD’s program manager.

Technological advancements in construction have come a long way, and McCarthy -- the largest general contractor in California -- is taking advantage of the latest and greatest options to make projects more efficient.

According to Todd Foos, project manager at McCarthy, he’s utilizing what’s called an “electronic plan room,” which condenses all of the obtrusive volumes of paper specifications and plans related to the project into a transportable, efficient e-format.

“Everything is stored on a computer and hyperlinked to navigate through all of the documents,” he said.

That method is also handy when it comes to making changes.

“It’s easier than taking a page out and putting it in when it’s electronic versus hard copy,” he said. “It’s easier to disperse too. You can hand someone a zip drive with a revision, or CD.”

McCarthy is also building the new $46 million Central Energy Plant at Grossmont Hospital, construction costs for which are also being financed by Prop. G. The three-story, 18,400-square-foot energy plant will include electrical switchgear, emergency generators, cooling towers, chillers, fuel tanks, medical gas tanks and various mechanical equipment that will help meet future capacity needs of the hospital.

The plant also will include a control and locker room for facilities management personnel.

Construction of the Central Energy Plant began last September, and is scheduled for completion in March 2015. In late April, approximately 120 concrete trucks delivered the more than 1,120 cubic yards of concrete to construct the foundation for the plant.

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