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TCHC revamp going strong

Mark Knopf, a carpenter with Young & Davis Drywall, cuts a section of metal Tuesday as part of renovations to Tri-County Health Care.

Work on $3 million renovations to Tri-County Health Care  (TCHC) has reached a fevered pace as construction crews were busy Tuesday altering both the first and second floors near the hospital’s entrance. As part of this phase of construction, which began in March, specialist exam rooms, obstetrics rooms and surgery exam rooms will be built on the second floor in what used to be the hospital administration space. The first floor will house a redone waiting area, gift shop, and coffee kiosk as part of Phase 4.

TCHC CEO Joel Beiswenger said the current construction phase, Phase 3, was approximately 40 percent complete. On Tuesday, the stairwell that will connect the first and second floors was delivered in prefabricated sections, Beiswenger said. TCHC Facilities Director Nate Hendrickson said later that the stairwell was installed in a single day. 

The phase’s completion date was pushed back slightly from mid-August to September, and the number of specialist exam rooms on the second floor was shaved down from 17 to 16 in order to provide a larger surgery waiting area. However, there have been no other notable changes to the design plans so far.

Beiswenger said he was particularly impressed with the carefully organized way construction crews were maintaining their worksite, calling it “one of the cleanest project sites I’ve ever seen”. Construction Supervisor Brian Smith of Kraus-Andersen Construction said that the work crews are making a special effort to keep dust from wafting from the construction site into the rest of the hospital by means of negative pressure machines, which alter the air pressure to ensure that particles flow into the site but not out of it.  

Renovations also included TCHC’s brand new Rehabilitation Center,  which began providing physical and occupational therapy in a building just south of the main hospital in  late January.