Planning underway for Shands' new cardiovascular, neuroscience hospital
Published: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 5:50 p.m.
Before ground is broken for UF Health’s new cardiovascular and neuroscience hospital, anticipated in December or early next year, a huge amount of pre-planning must take place.
UF Health just appointed Swedish-based company Skanska to undertake pre-construction services, in a contract worth $225 million, according to a Skanska media release.
“They are helping us estimate and work out logistics of design so we can go to the board of directors in September and they can approve it or not,” said Brad Pollitt, the vice president of facilities development for UF Health Shands Hospital.
“They are working hand in hand with the architects and engineers so we get the right estimated amount of materials and cost of labor,” Pollitt said.
Politt added that this pre-planning method is usually much more cost-effective and efficient than sending the project directly to the architects because if anything has to be redone, it could cause delays of a year or longer.
Pollitt said Skanska, which has operations in the U.S. and has done several projects with health care centers, including the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, is working with Flad architects and Affiliated Engineers, both of which have local offices.
They have finished the schematic design phase and are in the middle of the design development phase, Pollitt added.
He explained that eventually, UF Health physicians also will weigh in on certain design features, since both the cardiovascular and neuroscience departments require sophisticated equipment to do high-tech procedures.
Deep-brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease is one example in the neuroscience department; they also are prepping the cardiovascular unit to carry out TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedures, a minimally invasive approach to implanting an artificial heart valve that replaces open heart surgery, Pollitt said.
“We need to provide world-class space to these cutting-edge programs,” he added.
Apart from the sophistication of the services that the new units will provide, they also will meet the rising demand for patient beds.
“The hospital’s full, so we need to have additional space. And these are two services which are busy services,” Pollitt said, adding that Shands intends the new units to have 20 operating rooms and 216 beds, split evenly between cardiovascular and neuroscience.
Pollitt added that the expansion will allow for continued growth of the UF Health Children’s Hospital and also open up more space for other departments in the North Tower of UF Health Shands Hospital to grow.
The Children’s Hospital inaugurated a pediatric ER almost three years ago and then added private beds for its pediatric oncology unit. Last fall, it opened the pediatric congenital heart unit.
Renovations to the neonatal intensive care unit are scheduled to begin next month, with the help of a recent gift of $100,000 from the James M. Cox Foundation, which will be presented Thursday to hospital administrators.
Work is also ongoing on a new, separate entrance to the pediatric hospital.
“Our goal is never to have a pediatric patient or family member have to walk through the adults’ entrance,” Pollitt said, adding that they want to make people feel that they are immediately in an environment that is healing, engaging and comforting.
The total cost of the new cardiovascular and neuroscience units is estimated at $400 million, making it the most expensive recent expansion. Constructing the Cancer Hospital cost less than $380 million.
The hospital board of directors will vote on the pre-construction plan in September; if the board approves, construction will begin in December 2014 or early January 2015, Pollitt said.