In just a few months, after more than two years of construction, patients will be able to step foot inside Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s new addition: the Courtyard Tower, a nine-story, $186 million improvement project that broke ground in December 2010.
The new wing, being built by Skanska USA Building Inc., is intended to replace the oldest wings of the hospital, built in the 1950s and 1960s, and update them to include the latest in medical technology and patient comfort.
With most of the exterior work completed, the Courtyard Tower’s lobby is slated to open in March, with the rest of the tower opening in November. The addition, which is part of the hospital’s largest construction project in 50 years, will add more private rooms, a new courtyard entrance and a redesigned lobby.
Upon its completion, the Courtyard Tower will serve as the final component of a larger $250 million campus-improvement plan for the hospital, which, over the last five years, has already included a new central energy plant, completed in 2009, and a vertical surgery expansion/central sterile area, which was completed in 2011.
Technological upgrades will include improved clinical features, such as built-in laptop stations in each room, the latest information systems and electronic medical records, which will allow for in-room chart updates and test orders.
Medical equipment will be built into each room, either concealed within cabinets or suspended from the ceiling, and lines for oxygen, medical air and fiber optic data will be wired between the walls and floor of each room.
The newly constructed 220-bed tower will also provide a modernized home for some of the hospital’s most unique and vital services, including facilities for psychiatric care, cardiovascular, orthopedics and medical-surgical units, labor-and-delivery suites and a 32-bed expanded neonatal intensive-care unit.
“The tower and related main-campus improvements represent the largest construction project at the hospital in half a century,” said Sarasota Memorial Chief Operating Officer David Verinder in a press release. “It has had, and continues to have, an enormous impact on the community. Skanska was successful in identifying and utilizing local subcontractors in the construction process, so, perhaps most importantly for now, the project has given the Sarasota economy a much needed shot in the arm while bringing vital facilities up to 21st-century benchmarks of health care.”
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