So, it looks like Wold Architects and Engineers leaked a video online featuring a walk-thru of the new hospital. If you have 11 minutes to kill, it's a pretty fun trip. Please, share this blog across social media. This is something to be excited about.
Keep checking this blog for news and updates on the new hospital project.
You've probably seen the below image in some form, but perhaps not the final conceptual design. Well, here it is - Wrangell's future healthcare campus.
Click if you want to enlarge, or if you're like me you can set it as your desktop wallpaper and imagine your new office space. This is the final design, including updated signage and a handful of modifications after running the plans by WMC staff, the SEARHC team, and varius members from Wold Architects and Engineers. For reference, I've included a similar shot of the clinic as of today, April 17, 2019.
Below are a few more images from this week, just to give you an idea of how many trees have fallen and how much earth they've moved. If you're cautious of machine traffic, it's pretty cool to swing by the Clinic and peek at the progress. Reminder: the Clinic is open for business throughout the duration of the project.
A little bit about Dawson. We'll be seeing a lot of this company between now and January 2021, when the new hospital opens for business, so we might as well take a look at their body of work.
WALTER SOBOLEFF CENTER
Located in the heart of bustling downtown Juneau, the Walter Soboleff Center (or Sealaska Heritage Building) is one of the more breathtaking pieces of architecture in the State. Combining modern safety and technology with classic Northwest coast design has created a building that is less like a building and more like a cultural experience. The Soboleff Center houses not only the Sealaska Heritage offices, but classrooms, shops, exhibits, and even a clan house.
KETCHIKAN AQUATIC CENTER
Our neighbors to the South, Ketchikan, have Dawson to thank for a swimming pool that would make some water parks envious. The 35,000 sq. ft. Ketchikan Aquatic Center features not one, but two pools - one for competition, the other for recreation. There's even a couple waterslides for the kiddos. Combined, the Aquatic Center and adjacent Rec. Center provide K-town residents with top-shelf indoor recreation opportunities.
Here's a project from their portfolio that was in our backyard - Heritage Harbor. Dawson came to town to almost 10 years ago to complete Phase II of the project, which was constructing the remaining fingers and stalls with a hard deadline of getting out of there before fishing season.
Other healthcare projects
And if you're curious, this won't be Dawson's first healthcare facility rodeo. If you've had the opportunity to visit PeaceHealth in Ketchikan, that was a joint project Dawson participated in. That included renovation of the existing medical center, as well as construction of the four-story addition, all while the hospital was fully occupied.
If you've had to take your child to Juneau to see the SEARHC Pediatric Dentist, you've also stepped foot inside a Dawson-made healthcare building. The six-station, state-of-the-art clinic space remains functional, while inviting to young patients. Like the PeaceHealth project, the existing clinic on the floor above remained fully operational throughout construction.
SEARHC has scored us a contractor with experience not only in healthcare facility projects, but one who has also worked in our backyard, and has proven they can complete top-quality work while not disrupting an operational facility next door. For more info on Dawson projects, head on over to their website and view their portfolio.
You may have noticed about a half-dozen dump trucks show up into Wrangell's traffic cycle last week, now circulating perpetually between Wood St. and the Spur Rd. Or maybe you passed one of the dozens of traffic signs peppered along the route of said convoy. Those rigs are loaded with earth, making way for the new hospital.
Below is the Traffic Control Plan, issued by Dawson, the awarded contractor for the joint healthcare campus project. They're aiming to be wrapped with the civil-work-portion the second week of May. They plan to hit that target by going hard - 7am to 7pm, Monday thru Saturday. On Sunday, the convoy will rest.
If you would like to download a copy of the TCP, click the image above.
All of this to say - watch out for trucks. Beautiful trucks that are grubbin' to make a pad for our brand new hospital.
After three and a half years leading WMC, and the past year adding 'navigating the SEARHC transition waters' to his daily duties, Robert Rang is leaving his post as WMC Administrator. Rang will continue his career at the Providence Seward Medical Center.
Effective this Friday, April 12, Leatha Merculieff will assume the position of WMC Hospital Administrator. Merculieff has spent the last four-plus years serving as SEARHC Vice President/Executive Administration. Previously, she worked in leadership and executive positions with the Alaska Native Medical Center/Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium focused on the patient/customer experience.
"I really found a passion around healthcare and patient experience," Merculieff told the Wrangell Sentinel. "Number one, they're our family and friends. I want everyone to have a positive experience, no matter the medical outcome"
Rang stated he had four goals when he showed up in Wrangell; improve the hospital's reputation within the community, address financial concerns,, repair the culture within WMC, and land a new hospital. He feels as if he's leaving WMC having checked each item off of his list.
"We've gotten five-star ratings with CMS, we've won numerous quality awards within the state, we've been recognized twice by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best nursing homes," Rang told the Wrangell Sentinel. "Those accomplishments, although I get credit for them because I'm sitting in this office, it's the work that the team's doing,"