Century Project Completion

It has been four years since the Century Project, the hospital’s 12-story addition, opened.  As a regional medical center and the only hospital in the area providing many specialized services, St. Mary’s continues to adapt and change to meet the current and future health care needs of those we serve.  “It is now time to enter the next phase in the completion of the Century Project,” states Mike McBride, president and CEO. 

What’s included in the Century Project Completion?
The Century Project Completion involves two phases, with Phase 1 approved and moving forward. In the original Century Project construction the top four floors were “shelled” but left unfinished. Phase 1 will complete the infrastructure on these four floors (9 through 12), including the electrical system and air handlers, and installing two elevators (one public and one for patient transport) in shafts built in the initial construction but left empty until needed.

Floors 11 and 12 will be finished and two clinical units will be moved from older parts of the hospital. The rehabilitation unit will move from the third floor of a 1950s-built portion of the hospital to the new 12th floor. The surgical nursing unit will move from a second floor unit built in the 1990s to the 11th floor of the Century Project. (Note: Phase 2 will include finishing floors 9 and 10) 

Why was construction and build out planned in phases?
In the planning and budgeting stages for the Century Project addition, St. Mary’s decided to build room to grow into the initial construction. The strategy of building but not finishing four extra floors allowed:

  • The original project to stay on budget and avoid “over building” while laying the groundwork to meet future community needs;
  • Decisions about which services should be relocated to be based on community needs and incorporate the newest technology of that time;
  • Construction funds to be in place when future expansion is undertaken—saving up for the future.

Why now? Why the Rehab and Surgical Units?
Rehabilitation and surgical patients will benefit greatly from the move to the Century Project upper floors.  Both are currently located in older areas of the hospital and much has changed in hospital design and patient care since they were built.  These units are also often at or near capacity. 

Rehabilitation Unit

  • Moving to the 12th floor.
  • The current unit houses 15 to 17 patients. The existing unit was not built as a rehab unit but adapted from other uses.
  • The new unit will have 24 private patient rooms.
  • The current unit is often full and, therefore, some patients discharged from other western Colorado hospitals and requiring inpatient rehab services go to Craig Hospital, a rehabilitation facility in the Denver area, or to area nursing homes which may not have full rehab capabilities. Being far from home for weeks or months of rehab is stressful and costly for patient and family members.
  • The new unit will incorporate the newest design and technology for therapy services, recreational, dining and communal areas very important to a patient’s rehabilitation experience.
  • The new patient rooms will include patient safety equipment such as lift systems, room for adaptive equipment and for family. 
  • Advanced staff training and medical developments enable St. Mary’s to care for more acute, more seriously injured patients. The current facility wasn’t built to support the more advanced care now possible.

Surgical Unit

  • Moving to the 11th floor.
  • The current unit is operated as 25 private rooms and is often near or at capacity. 
  • The new unit will be 32 private rooms.
  • This is the unit where patients recover following gastro-intestinal, urological, bariatric, and general surgery.
  • New rooms will be larger with more room for family and new technology including monitoring equipment.
  • The new structure will support safety equipment, such as lift systems, important for both patient and staff protection.

Phase 1 will be built with St. Mary’s savings and revenues
West Slope residents have always been very generous in supporting St. Mary’s starting with the original hospital built in 1896.  Supporters surpassed St. Mary’s $10 million goal for the Century Project in 2008-2009, contributing a total of $14 million. St. Mary’s will not be asking the community to help raise funds for this project, but will use savings accumulated over the last three years in addition to ongoing revenues.

Economic Impact—the benefit to our local economy

  • $23.3 million in construction
  • $5.3 million in fees/permitting/project management/contingencies
  • $4.7 million in design/consultants
  • $3.6 million in equipment
  • $3.1 million in IT/Communications

Architects Chamberlin Architects, P.C., Grand Junction, and H+L Architects, Denver, have been contracted.  Requests for Proposal for the construction manager and general contractor have been distributed to three local construction firms with the selection to be announced June 10, 2013.  Understanding that hospitals are complex and construction of some components can be very specialized, all three construction firms have been strongly encouraged to hire local subcontractors.

Project schedule
Construction of Phase 1 of the Century Project Completion is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013 with occupancy of floors 11 and 12 in the fall of 2015.

Download a pdf of the Century Project Completion one sheet.

Visit the KREX News Channel 5 website and watch a news story from the Century Project Completion press conference.