Project Update: The Hospital of Central Connecticut Cancer Center and Medical Office Building
The Building Exterior as of October 28th.
Post by Diane Verdi, AIA, LEED AP—Project Manager
When I first joined SBA in March 2013, I was asked to be the Project Manager for Construction Administration on The Hospital of Central Connecticut Cancer Center and Medical Office Building. This $40 million project straddles the town line between the two towns, New Britain, CT and Plainville, CT. The Cancer Center is located on the New Britain side of the line while the MOB falls in Plainville, while a shared atrium space connects the two buildings. When the complex opens in this coming spring, this comprehensive cancer center will consolidate cancer diagnostic and treatment services, currently spread throughout several different buildings and campuses, into one, centralized location.
In Spring 2013, construction was just beginning. The site was cleared and excavated, rebar was being laid out, and foundations were being poured for the 140,000 SF complex. One of the most important elements of the Cancer Center, the three Linear Accelerator vaults, presented an interesting construction challenge during this portion of the project.
Due to the fact that patients receive radiation treatments in these rooms, the concrete walls are required to be three feet thick with no cold joints in order to contain the radiation within each room. To accomplish this, the concrete pour had to be continuous. I was on site the day the concrete was poured and it was quite a sight to behold. The contractor had scheduled concrete trucks to come in one after another with no lag time. As one truck finished up its pour, the next was already prepped and ready to start as soon as the other was empty—it was like an expertly choreographed dance.
Once this challenge was behind us, the steel structure was erected, floor slabs were poured, and walls were framed. During the construction process, the hospital partnered with Hartford Healthcare and formed an alliance with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and some plan changes were implemented to accommodate suggestions from these new partners. Although these changes caused construction to slow down temporarily, the design and construction team worked together to accommodate the changes as efficiently as possible to keep construction moving and stay on schedule.
Currently, the project is nearing completion. The granite stonework around the atrium fireplace and elevator shaft in the lobby is complete, ceilings and flooring have been installed in the majority of the building, and millwork installation has begun. Work is also progressing on the peaceful healing garden at the rear of the building, which will have a pond and walking paths for patients to follow along their road to recovery. We are finally starting to see what the finished product looks like in reality instead of simply on paper.
It has now been a year and half since I joined the SBA team, and the building is less than two months away from substantial completion. I have acted as the primary CA Manager for the project during the majority of the construction phase and it has been an interesting journey full of challenges and incredible learning experiences. The Hospital of Central Connecticut Cancer Center and Medical Office Building is a project that I am extremely proud to have been a part of. This complex will bring state-of-the-art cancer care to the New Britain community in a beautiful, patient-centered care setting that will aid in the mental, physical, and spiritual healing process of countless patients. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2015.