PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Construction on a $20 million project to build a new emergency department and a 30-bed inpatient surgery unit at Camden Clark Medical Center begins Monday.
Camden Clark Chief Executive Officer David McClure announced the start date and details Thursday afternoon with Ryan Taylor, president of Pickering Associates in Parkersburg, which designed the expansion.
“I think we have built a long-term solution for the Mid-Ohio Valley,” Taylor said.
A new emergency department has been on the hospital’s radar for a while as the consolidation of what was formerly known as the Memorial Campus and the St. Joseph’s Campus, previously St. Joseph’s Hospital, was planned, McClure said.
The addition, dubbed “Your Destination of Choice,” is being built on to the South Tower, the newest portion of the hospital. McClure said that site was selected because of the flat landscape, the fact that it was built with expansion in mind so mechanical needs and support services are in place and it provides convenient access to operating rooms and critical care units for emergency patients.
The new department will have more than 40 rooms, including three specifically for trauma patients, several for highly critical patients and others that are flexible, McClure said. For patients who don’t need to be lying in bed, some rooms will have comfortable chairs.
Commonly needed services like a laboratory and CT scanner will be placed in the emergency department for easy access.
“All laboratory work that needs done will be done right there in the unit,” McClure said.
Pickering’s team worked with two physicians with experience in emergency room design and sought feedback from the hospital staff, McClure said.
“They actually worked with our staff to design an emergency department that can accommodate our patients for the future,” he said.
An elevator will directly connect the ground-floor emergency department with the first-floor operating room, which is on the same level as the new medical/surgical inpatient beds. All of those will be in private rooms.
“My ultimate goal is to get as many private rooms as possible,” McClure said.
Construction is expected to take 12 to 16 months.
“This time next year we will be finishing things up,” Taylor said.
Pickering will oversee the project, with Grae-Con Construction of Marietta as the general contractor, Davis, Pickering & Co. of Marietta handling electrical duties and the Dougherty Company from Charleston doing plumbing, mechanical and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. Taylor said the majority of contractors and vendors on the project will be local.
The possibility of building the new department separate from the hospital was considered but ultimately dismissed, McClure said.
“(Patients) really need all of the services that are available at the hospital,” he said.
The current emergency department will eventually be renovated to allow the hospital’s main lab, pharmacy and ambulatory infusion units to move over from the Medical Office Building.
While the project is meant to improve convenience and efficiency, McClure and Taylor acknowledged there will be some inconveniences during construction.
The South Tower parking lot will be cleared starting Sunday night, Taylor said. A shuttle service has been established to help people get where they need to go while that lot is closed, although patients can still be dropped off and picked up at the South Tower. A new entrance has been established at the cafeteria.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure patients get where they need to get to and families and visitors are inconvenienced as little as possible,” McClure said.
Traffic on Ann Street will be impacted with one lane closed during part of the construction. A portion of Sixth Street will also be affected.