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Portneuf Medical Center Holds Grand Opening Events

May 4, 2011

The new 353,000-square-foot Portneuf Medical Center, which is located in Pocatello, Idaho and being lauded by some as "the jewel of the Gem State," officially opened with grand opening events April 28, 29 and 30. The hospital held a Community Day celebration for local residents on April 30. A hospital official said that close to 14,000 people celebrated its opening by taking tours of the new medical center.

Layton Construction Co., Inc. was the general contractor for the project, which was designed by Ascension Group Architects. The project involved a complete campus expansion to the existing Portneuf Medical Center that essentially created a new hospital that brings the highest level of healthcare services to Pocatello, paralleling the growth of the area and keeping pace with advances in healthcare technologies. The new medical center includes a six-story patient tower along with a helipad and attached hangar. The hospital features all private patient rooms, 187 acute care beds, a 25-bed emergency department with dedicated cardiac and trauma rooms and a Fast Track triage, and 16 newborn intensive care unit (NICU) beds. The medical center offers a full range of healthcare services, including cardiovascular, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine services, oncology, orthopedics and pediatrics. Additionally, the hospital has been designed and built to LEED® Certification standards and utilizes sustainable building strategies to reduce operating costs, provide a healthier work environment and reduce the overall environmental impact of the project. Green features on the project include the use of low emission materials, recycled materials and a low reflectivity roof.

The project, which broke ground in June 2009, was designed and built on a very aggressive, fast tracked schedule. Layton overcame several challenges to complete the project, namely that all construction was performed while the facility remained open. The existing Cardiovascular Operating Room (CVOR) had to remain in operation at all times and could not be impacted or disrupted by the construction process. Additionally, the existing patient wing of the hospital had to remain occupied for the first four months of construction. Heavy structure, deep beams and numerous angle braces were required due to the hospital's seismically active location, adding an additional layer of complexity to the overhead coordination process.

Despite the challenges, the team completed the project in an astonishing 23 months, nearly two months earlier than scheduled. The project was successful because of constant teamwork and communication between Layton and the design team from Ascension Group Architects.

"This new hospital addition project is one of the best I have seen and that we have built anywhere in the USA," Ed Davidson, vice president of design and construction for LHP Hospital Group, owner of Portneuf Medical Center, said in an email. "Thanks for all the hard work by Layton [Construction], the subs, and the great teamwork and...management by the Layton team! Great job by everyone!"

The heart treatment area of the new hospital is taking care of patients now. The remainder of the medical center will open for patients May 10.

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