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Work set to begin on new tower at Sharp Memorial Hospital

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Following a Wednesday groundbreaking, work is set to begin on the construction of a new tower and the partial demolition of the older structure at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

The new $155 million construction project will add 315,000 square feet to the hospital and 54 beds, bringing the total to 344 patient beds, including 48 intensive care, 126 intermediate care and 160 acute care.

The project will also add a new surgery center with 10 surgery suites, a post anesthesia recovery room and a larger trauma center with 37 treatment bays and 10 observation beds.

The project also includes the construction of a resident radiology unit and cardiac catheterization lab.

A new main entrance will be built and the main lobby will be remodeled.

The general contractor for the project is Gilbane Building Co., based in Providence, R.I. The architect for the job is N.B.B.J. from Seattle.

Currently, two towers -- the north and the south -- stand from the main body of the hospital.

Upon completion, the five top floors of the north tower will be demolished and reconstructed in order to meet newer and more stringent seismic requirements, said Sandy Noon, vice president of clinical services and campus planning for Sharp.

Once the tower is completed, patients from the old tower will be moved into the new tower, Noon said.

The scope of work for the new tower will include substantial excavation, including the removal of pavement and asphalt.

Following excavation work, the footing and foundations will be put in. Then the actual construction of the tower will begin, including the basement and seven floors to the top level.

Once the new tower is erected the interior work will begin. The very last step will include the finishes including flooring, moving equipment in, then moving the patients in.

"The new hospital will be built two sides around the existing building," Noon said.

Once the patients are all moved, the demolition of the north tower's floors five through nine will begin.

Following demolition, renovation work will begin on the tower that includes reinforcing the steel frame, renovation and interior improvements.

The funding for the project is coming from three main sources: $50 million from philanthropy; $24 million from bonds; and the remainder from the operating pro formas, Noon said.

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