Banner Health injects vigor into the valley’s health care construction market.
Despite the recession, health care projects have been healthy in the Phoenix area.
Two Banner Health hospitals were completed in the last two quarters of 2009: the Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa and Ironwood Medical Center in Pinal County.
In addition, construction and renovation projects at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, which includes the Cardon Center, are ongoing.
Phoenix-based Banner Health, with 22 hospitals in seven states and 11 in Arizona, is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems and the state’s third largest employer.
The seven-story Cardon Center opened in November. It was designed by the Phoenix office of Omaha, Neb.-based HDR Architecture and built by Kitchell of Phoenix.
The approximately $200-million center increases Banner Desert’s pediatric capacity to 248 beds and expands its intensive-care units for newborns and children, operating rooms and emergency space.
Kitchell also built the first two floors of a future 368-bed tower.
Jim Pullen, the company’s project director for Cardon and the ongoing projects, says his team confronted two major obstacles during the early stage of design and construction.
First, prior to building, Salt River Project changed the flood plain of its nearby Pima-Maricopa irrigation canal to incorporate the Banner Desert Hospital campus, which also negated the planned 25,000-sq-ft basement. HDR redesigned the foundation system and designed a replacement 30,000-sq-ft ancillary building, and that meant Kitchell had to rework its schedule.
In addition, the original plan called for an expanded neonatal intensive-care unit as a third-story addition east of the existing NICU. In early 2008, Kitchell had added 20 beds to the NICU in the existing building as Phase I.
However, the city of Mesa had recently adopted the International Building Code in lieu of the Uniform Building Code, reducing the structural-load capacity on the existing building.
As a result, the only option was to build Phase II as a third-story addition on the roof north of the existing NICU above the existing surgery department. “This meant this phase had to be completed prior to the new Cardon Children’s Center because we couldn’t reach this area with a crane once the new hospital was built,” Pullen says. As part of Phase I, Kitchell also built shell space in preparation for Phase II.
Success meant closely coordinating the new children’s hospital with the existing, and functioning, medical center. The two structures are connected along the north elevation of the original building.
“It was our job to make sure that we always kept the patients and staff safe, so that departments could continue to provide patient care and minimize disruptions to their day-to-day business while we were building the new hospital next to their departments,” Pullen says.
With the Cardon Center open, Kitchell is completing $23 million in projects that will upgrade areas of Banner Desert and integrate the new children’s hospital with it.
Scheduled for completion through 2010 and into 2011, the projects include creating three new operating rooms in the renovated operating rooms area; renovating the existing adult pharmacy and medical records; redoing...