Sutter Health, Eden Medical Center
Pine Cone Apartments

jeffmoore

By Jeff Moore, President, Greenwood & Moore

Greenwood & Moore is currently completing the Phase 4 construction drawings for the hospital. Phase 4 encompasses the area directly around the new hospital.  In total, there are seven individual construction phases associated with the site Civil Engineering services.  Each phase of construction requires a complete set of construction documents that are coordinated with the work performed in the previous phases of construction.  Had the new hospital been constructed on a “greenfield site” (raw land with no previous development) then only one set of drawings would be required.  The need for seven sets of plans illustrates the challenges and complexity of constructing the new hospital adjacent to the existing hospital.

The seven phases of constructions are as follows:

Phase 1 – Demolition of the existing Pinecone Apartments and Medical Office Buildings

This work was completed in the summer of 2009.  In general, this was a very straight forward scope of work.  Interestingly enough, one the more challenging aspects of this phase of work were relocating the existing doctors who occupied the medical office spaces that were to be demolished.  The amount of design and coordination needed to relocate the doctor’s was immense! Add to the mix, the individual personalities of the doctor’s, different lease terms, differing needs for new office space and a drop-dead demolition deadline, and you get more excitement that a civil engineer is typically used to!

Phase 2 – Construction of the new Helistop, Large Site Retaining Walls, Garage Vehicle Access Bridge and a Temporary pedestrian access bridge.

The work in Phase 2 is referred to as “Make Ready” work.  That is, this work needs to be completed before significant work on the hospital can begin.  The large site retaining walls, pedestrian bridge and helistop were completed in late 2009.  Work on the garage vehicle access bridge continues and is expected to be completed in a few weeks.  From a civil engineering standpoint, the design of the helistop was the most challenging aspect of this phase of construction. This was due to the extensive design regulations set forth by the FAA.  Oddly enough, the design of the ramp leading to the helistop was particularly challenging.  The height of the landing pad above the roadway, airspace clearance requirements and patient gurney maneuverability issues were all pieces of the ramp design puzzle.  When all was said and done the final ramp configuration solved the hospital’s technical requirements.

Phase 3 – New Temporary Ambulance Parking

This work was simple but critical.  In order to facilitate the construction of the new hospital, it is necessary to relocate the ambulance drop-off area for the existing hospital.  This work was completed in late 2009.

Phase 4 – Site Improvements around the new Hospital.

This is a very complex phase of the civil engineering design services.  This phase of work incorporates all of the detailed site construction around the new hospital.  Some of the aspects of the phase of work are

  • Soundwalls for adjacent residential areas
  • New 18’ high, curved, retaining walls for the outdoor eating area
  • Truck loading dock
  • Site utilities
  • Underground fuel storage tanks
  • Underground fire sprinkler storage tank
  • Mobile technology (i.e., MRI) trailer location
  • Ambulance parking

Extensive coordination with the architect and other design team members is critical to make sure that all of the pieces fit together properly.

Phase 5 – Demolition of Laurel Grove Hospital and New Parking Lot

The demolition of the existing Laurel Grove Hospital and the construction of new parking on the site are the major components of Phase 5.  Currently, Laurel Grove Hospital is physically connected to an existing medical office building to the north of the project.  In order to remove the hospital, it will be necessary to provide minor reconstruction of the adjacent office building.  The removal of Laurel Grove is expected to occur in early 2010.  Its removal is critical to the construction schedule, as the site will be used for temporary construction staging and parking for the next two years.

Phase 6 – Demolition of the Existing Hospital

The removal of the existing hospital – after the new hospital is complete and everything is transferred over — will present some unique challenges.  When the building is gone, there will be a very large hole in the ground that will need to be filled and a foundation that will likely remain intact.   The civil engineering plans need make sure that these structures will not adversely impact the new parking lot that will be constructed on the site of the old hospital.

Phase 7 – Construction of the Main Parking Lot

Once the existing hospital has been removed, construction of the main parking lot can begin.  Phase 7 and Phase 4 are the two most complex parts of the civil engineering package.  The most notable aspect of the Phase 7 civil design is the stormwater control system.  This system provides required treatment to rainwater run-off.  From the public’s point of view, the stormwater control system looks like regular landscaping.  In reality, it is a complex filtration system that helps to keep pollutants and debris out of the public creeks and storm drain system

So, there has been a lot going on in the civil engineering world.  The design process will continue throughout the first half of 2010 until all aspects of the design are complete.

I welcome your comments and questions.

Employees enjoy the Groundbreaking Ceremony

By George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center

It’s finally begun! Twelve years of planning, ten years of actively working, and finally, ground was broken on Wednesday July 1, 2009, for the new hospital on the Eden Medical Center campus. It has been an extraordinary effort by so many to get us here. Persistence, patience and untiring efforts have paid off.

The first phase of work involves relocation of the helipad, a necessary step to clear the way for development of the hospital and medical office building. It will be challenging throughout and very difficult at times.

The immediate impact is loss of on-campus parking. Not a lot, but unfortunately in a place where it is needed. This work is occurring adjacent to the Emergency and Trauma Services entry points. Ambulance bays remain accessible and the existing helicopter landing site remains functional throughout this phase. Parking for patients and visitors is affected and will be relocated a couple of times as work progresses.

Already there is activity in other areas of the broader construction zone. An apartment building facing Stanton Avenue was reduced to rubble in a matter of two days. The neighborhood is experiencing the onset of three years of traffic associated with the project, as debris is removed and equipment and supplies arrive.

Work was temporarily interrupted and the worksite cleaned up for a brief but well received ceremonial groundbreaking event on July 1. Employees, physicians, the project team and Eden Medical Center as well as Sutter Health leadership officially christened the site with the photo-op tossing of dirt. It was an exciting moment for those who have waited to so long for this day.

As the work progresses, our official site for tracking the work will keep those who check in up to date. And coming July 20, there will even be a webcam for viewing the work as it proceeds.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Campus View from Main Entry

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

After what has seemed like a very long journey, we now have permits in hand, and contractors have already mobilized on the Eden Medical Center campus to get it ready for construction of the highly anticipated new hospital. We want to keep you informed about the project, and let you know what you can expect in the next week and throughout the month of July.

Fencing around the perimeter of the construction area is almost complete! The fencing goes along our property line on Stanton Avenue, through our campus, and along the adjacent apartment buildings. We are also installing a gate at one of our Stanton Avenue entrances to limit access to the area only to construction vehicles.

Tree stump removal on the future helipad site will begin later this week.  The new site is approximately 150 feet north of the present location, as close as possible to the Eden Medical Trauma Center. Two days have been allocated for this work. Grading of the new helipad site will begin as early as June 26th, and will take up to three weeks to complete.

Demolition of the vacant Pine Cone Apartments on Stanton Avenue will begin July 1st. The structure will be demolished in one day, and it will take about two full weeks to break down and remove the debris.

Hours of work will be from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, but is subject to change as work moves into subsequent phases.  We will keep you posted on construction schedules.

The Alameda County Fire Department has requested use of the vacant Pine Cone Apartment building for training purposes on June 29 and 30, prior to demolition. Firefighters in training often use vacant buildings to practice search, rescue and simulated fire control.  You will see firefighters on site on these dates, using smoke generators (no real fire) and equipment. Their life-saving work is a benefit to the community and we are proud to support their efforts.

If you have any questions or concerns about the preparation phase of construction, please comment on our blog, and we will respond promptly.

Main Entrance

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

After much debate and public input, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to certify the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and approve the zoning and land use entitlements for the new hospital to replace 54-year-old Eden Medical Center.

Passage of the EIR and land use entitlement approvals is a major milestone for the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project—and the communities that will be served by this new, state-of-the-art hospital and adjoining medical office building.

About 20 speakers addressed the Board of Supervisors about the new hospital as well as concerns about future plans for San Leandro Hospital. Eden President & CEO George Bischalaney expressed to the Board members the overwhelming support for the new hospital, even among those who encouraged rejection of the EIR to “save San Leandro Hospital.” Bischalaney and others urged Board members not to delay approvals in order to meet “a very tight project timeline” and advised the Board not to tie the new hospital project to the uncertainty around San Leandro Hospital’s future.

In the end, the Board of Supervisors maintained that its obligation was to make a decision on the land use entitlement proposal before them. However, Board members promised to continue to work with Sutter and the District to come up with an optimal plan for San Leandro Hospital, and to meet the health care needs of the communities.

We are grateful to the many people of Eden Medical Center, San Leandro Hospital and our communities for participating in this process. We had tremendous support at both Board of Supervisors meetings, through the petitions, and all the phone calls and letters of encouragement.

What Happens Now?

The Board’s approval clears the way for SMCCV to use the designated property to build the new hospital, which will be on the northwest side of the Eden Medical Center campus, adjacent to the existing hospital.

In the coming weeks, we will file the appropriate permits to begin work on the land, including the demolition of the vacant apartment building and other site improvements, and the foundation work for the actual construction of the new hospital. Oversight and approval for the further construction is handled by the
California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development.

The immediate work around the campus will get the land ready for construction and help minimize delays so we can proceed with building the new hospital as soon as possible in order to meet the deadline for State-mandated earthquake safety requirements.

We look forward to moving ahead with the project. As always, your questions and comments are welcome on this blog and on our social networks!

Jeff Moore

By Jeff Moore, Co-Owner, Greenwood & Moore, Inc., Civil Engineering

Many of you may be wondering why we chose the existing site of Eden Medical Center to build the replacement hospital. In Chapter V of the Environmental Impact Report, the project architect and environmental impact report consultant (ESA) prepared and analyzed alternative sites and concluded that 20103 Lake Chabot Road was still the best choice for building Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, an affiliate of Sutter Health.

However, building a new hospital next to an existing one presents some interesting challenges. The construction and design teams had to come up with a multi-phased approach to building the medical campus while keeping the existing Eden Medical Center in full operation. The construction of the hospital is to occur in seven main phases. So, it is necessary to provide seven sets of civil construction drawings where one set is normally provided!

For example, phase one begins with the demolition of the Pine Cone Apartments at 20004 Stanton Street, and four existing medical office buildings located next door to Eden. Right now, we have no access to portions of the site because certain structures are in the way. Demolition of existing buildings is a logical and intuitive start to the construction process.

Phase two consists of what is referred to as “make ready” work. This is work that must be completed before construction on the main hospital can even begin. A good example of “make ready” work is the relocation of the existing helistop (helicopter landing pad, used for the emergency transport of trauma patients). The existing helistop is located next to the new hospital. Helicopters cannot land safely at the existing helistop location during construction of the new hospital. Therefore, the helistop must be moved just 150 feet before work can start on the new hospital. In order to move the new helistop, we need to level a hill, provide drainage, provide flight path clearance, ensure adequate lighting, etc. And remember, full access to the new or existing helistop must be maintained at all times during the construction process!

Other types of “make ready” work include:

- Construction of a large retaining wall to surround a portion of the site. The wall supports a critical roadway around the new hospital site.
- Construction of a temporary path from the new helistop to the existing Eden Trauma Center so that patients can have access to the existing Trauma Center
- Build a new bridge from the new road to the existing parking garage (where handicap parking will be relocated during construction)
- Finally, demolition of the current helistop.

These are just a few examples of “make ready” work that will need to be performed. As you can see, it can get pretty complicated. The need for significant construction phasing is what creates a lot of the site design complexity.

We estimate that phases one and two will take six to eight months to complete! Hospital construction can begin in earnest upon completion of the “make ready” work.

Where are all the pipes & wires?!

Even more complex than all the preparation to erect the new hospital is figuring out where all the underground utilities are. We’re talking about 50-plus years of modifications of pipes, wires and sewers, some of which have been abandoned and no one knows exactly where they are. The contractor needs to know where all critical utilities are located so they can abandon or re-route them to fit the needs of the new construction. In order to locate them, the contractor needs to “pothole” (dig them up) to make sure that they are located where we think they are. This is an expensive and time-consuming process. We’ll also have to build a temporary storm drain system to capture rainwater during construction. The final storm drain system will not be completed until 2012, with the completion of the new hospital.

Taking Down Eden—It’s Not a Quick Good-Bye!

Demolishing the existing hospital—a process we call deconstruction because of the selective, targeted work involved and the recycling process—won’t take place until the new hospital is up and running and all patients have been safely transferred. Since the main entrance road to the new hospital is just ten feet away from the existing hospital building we can’t exactly get in there with a wrecking ball or explosives! So special safety precautions will be provided by the contractor to ensure that the hospital is removed safely and efficiently. We are all concerned about getting things done safely, so deconstruction will be slow and methodical over a six month period.

Being in compliance with environmental safety laws also presents challenges during deconstruction. Eden’s ripe old age means that there will be a certain amount of hazardous material that needs to be removed and properly disposed of before demolition and recycling of the old materials can begin.

North View When the deconstruction is finally completed, the bottom basement floor will most likely be left in place (to save money) and stay intact since it will be located underground. So you could say, a little bit of Eden will remain forever!

If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below this post. (Click on the title of the post, and the comment box will appear below it.) We will respond as quickly as possible. We want to hear from you.

Jesus Armas

By Jesús Armas, Government Affairs Liaison

Imagine trying to build a new state-of-the-art hospital while keeping the existing one open. This is exactly the challenge confronting Sutter Health as it is pursues construction of our new hospital while keeping Eden Medical Center open to meet the health care needs of the community. How is this being accomplished? By expanding the area available for construction.

A few years ago, Sutter Health purchased the Pine Cone Apartments, a 42-unit complex on Stanton Avenue, slightly west of the existing hospital. By removing the buildings and combining the vacated space with some nearby land, Sutter is able to create a parcel large enough to allow Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley to be constructed and to keep Eden Hospital open to serve the community.

What about the residents at the Pine Cone Apartments? Sutter Health considered the apartments more than just a collection of buildings. The organization recognized that the apartments are home to many families, and that the residents would need time to find a new place to live; and that once they found a suitable place, they would incur certain expenses to move to their new homes.

So, this past April, Sutter Health representatives met with the tenants to make them aware of the project. At that meeting, Sutter committed to providing tenants a reasonable period of time in which to move. In addition to time, Sutter also agreed to provide some form of financial assistance to lessen the burden of moving. Although not required to do so, Sutter Health agreed to provide the cash equivalent of two months worth of rent to tenants who vacated their units by the end of December, 2008. For those who move afterwards, a reduced amount would be provided. Tenants who move after February, 2008 would forgo the ability to receive any financial assistance. As of this writing, most of the tenants have availed themselves of the assistance provided by Sutter Health.

If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment box on this post (click on the title of the post, and you’ll see the comment box below it), or visit the Contact page to email someone on our team. We appreciate your comments and will respond as quickly as possible.


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