Despite the snow and the cold, the sun and the mud, The Memorial Hospital Project is on time and on budget, construction and hospital officials said.
Construction of the 80,000 square foot, 25-patient-room building began in October 2008. The $42.6 million project is scheduled to be completed in mid-November and open for patients in December.
"This project is going extremely well," said John Albert, vice president of project management of American Health Facilities Development and owner's representative for the hospital project. "This is the high-water mark."
Albert said he has worked on a large number of hospitals but that TMH's project has been one of the best he has been involved with.
"I've worked on almost 300 hospital projects and built almost 100 hospitals," he said. "I wish I could clone this project and copy it all over the country."
Rob Kerns, project superintendent, said construction is moving along just as he had planned it.
"We've started putting down the slabs on the roof, and the exterior frame is about 35 percent done," Kerns said.
With a break in the snow, workers have been able to construct the roof. Beach-ball sized Styrofoam blocks have been cemented, and the membrane is being placed on top of the roof.
Right now, there are about 85 workers at the site, Kerns said.
During the project's peak, there will be 130 to 150 workers on-site, and "roughly 40 percent will be local. And by local, I mean Western Slope," Kerns said.
Albert said that the project still is following the $42.6 million budget that was approved more than a year ago.
"It's all on schedule," Albert said. "We're five months into the project now, and we're happy to report that we're on time and on budget."
The stone fireplace near the front of the hospital is almost finished, and the masonry around the building is ongoing.
The landscaping work will be done quickly to allow plants to take root before the December opening, Albert said.
One of the last things to be completed will be the ceiling, Albert said, because of the heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and special systems that need to be installed.
Working in Craig has been easy, Albert said, because the community has worked hard for the new hospital.
"I've worked almost continuously since 1976, and it's been a chore to get a new hospital but I've never seen a community work so hard for a new hospital," he said. "And this community deserves it. We want to make this hospital the best you can get for the money."