2009-05-16 / Top News

Construction Work Is in Full Swing at New Hospital in St. Ignace

By Karen Gould

The new $37.2 million Mackinac Straits Hospital on North State Street in St. Ignace is beginning to take shape Wednesday, April 29. Between 40 to 50 crew members work at the site each day. The hospital is expected to be completed by April 2010. The new $37.2 million Mackinac Straits Hospital on North State Street in St. Ignace is beginning to take shape Wednesday, April 29. Between 40 to 50 crew members work at the site each day. The hospital is expected to be completed by April 2010. Before 7 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, trucks begin lining up at the construction site of the new hospital in St. Ignace. Red and white trucks deliver 200 yards of cement, pumping it through a long tube into a second floor window and onto a steel sub-floor, where crews in tall boots and rubber gloves finish it to a smooth surface.

On the ground floor, where cement will be poured May 11, front-end loaders move dirt, and trenches await plumbing and electrical systems. A large hole is the beginning of a water therapy pool.

Construction of the $37.2 million hospital and tribal health clinic is expected to be completed by April 2010. The 85,000-square-foot building has a sweeping view of Moran Bay, and from the ground floor to the roof, inside and out, between 40 and 50 skilled workers are on site daily.

Standing ankle deep in concrete, a crew spreads and levels the substance. About 200 yards of concrete was poured Wednesday, April 29, on the second floor of the future hospital building. Standing ankle deep in concrete, a crew spreads and levels the substance. About 200 yards of concrete was poured Wednesday, April 29, on the second floor of the future hospital building. "It's going great," said Charlie Livernois, senior superintendent of Skanska, the hospital construction management company from Southfield. "We haven't run into any problems. We're on time and it's a great place to work; it is so beautiful."

At the north end of the second floor, a man sprays fireproofing material onto the steel beams and walls. On the roof, a crew glues sheets of foam insulation to the steel, in preparation for a rubber membrane that will cover it.

The facade is covered with green, exterior-grade drywall which, in turn, is being covered with yellow foam insulation. A crew of bricklayers climb along scaffolding lining the north side of the structure and eventually will make their way to the front of the building.

In front, an excavator is removing a row of trees in preparation for electrical lines that will bring power to the medical facility.

Justin Benser (left) snakes rows of glue over the roof and James Grider prepares to add a sheet of insulation. A protective rubber membrane will seal the roof. Justin Benser (left) snakes rows of glue over the roof and James Grider prepares to add a sheet of insulation. A protective rubber membrane will seal the roof. The roof will be completed within a week. Second floor work over the next month will include more concrete, fireproofing, interior walls, and installation of ducts and electrical systems. Brickwork outside should be done in several months.

There is room in back for a long term care facility, on a plateau that will allow the facility to be connected by a pedestrian bridge to the second floor of the hospital.

The hospital board, which meets privately, continues to study the feasibility of a long term care unit, said hospital CEO Rod Nelson.

Wood frames mark the elevator pits and the therapy pool on the first floor of the new hospital. An excavator works on leveling the dirt floor, and underground plumbing soon will be added before concrete flooring is poured. Wood frames mark the elevator pits and the therapy pool on the first floor of the new hospital. An excavator works on leveling the dirt floor, and underground plumbing soon will be added before concrete flooring is poured. A layer of fireproofing material is sprayed onto walls and steel beams. Scaffolding offers more mobility for the job. A layer of fireproofing material is sprayed onto walls and steel beams. Scaffolding offers more mobility for the job. Dust flies into the air, creating a fog as Ron Peak of Maleport Construction of Sault Ste. Marie uses a saw to cut bricks to fit installation requirements. Dust flies into the air, creating a fog as Ron Peak of Maleport Construction of Sault Ste. Marie uses a saw to cut bricks to fit installation requirements.

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