September 10, 2007
Montfort Hospital project reaches halfway point
When government and the private sector work together, they can accomplish a lot in a short period of time.
That was the message at Ottawa’s Montfort Hospital, Ontario’s only French language teaching hospital, as the project reached its midway point.
Construction at the hospital is more than 50 per cent complete and the exterior structural work on the new east and west wings is finished. To date, more than 21,000 cubic metres of concrete have been poured and 3,150 tonnes of steel rebar have been installed.
The redevelopment, an alternative financing and procurement model involving EllisDon Corporation has added more than 420,000 square feet of functional space to the hospital. When work is completed, the hospital will have 750,000 square feet of functional space, more than double its current size.
“I would like to recognize and give credit to all the construction workers, the 300 and more construction workers who are here on a daily basis and who continue to be here to make sure that this construction is terminated on time and within the budget,” Ottawa-Vanier MPP Madeline Meilleur said during a recent ceremony.
The most noticeable feature in the redevelopment aside from the additional space is the extensive use of glazing to maximize the availability of natural lighting.
“We’ve gone all throughout North America to get the best concepts,” said Gerald Savoie, Montfort president and CEO.
“There will be a lot of lighting and way-finding that is facilitative. By looking outside you will be able to orient yourself a lot more. Each of the internal courtyards, there are four of them on each side of the hospital, is designed differently. The cafeteria is fully windowed, with a solarium type of effect, and it leads into a courtyard that anyone can use,” Savoie said
The use of natural lighting not only provides a therapeutic value for patients, but also creates a healthy workplace for the hospital’s employees.
“The quality of the workplace is exceptionally important,” added Savoie. “People choose a hospital because it is well equipped, because it has best practices, and because (the staff) take care of them.
“If we take care of our employees well, they will take care of the clients and patients equally well.”
When you look at where the hospital was a year ago, the progress that has been made is astounding, Savoie marveled.
“Twelve months ago we didn’t even have a hole in the ground. These are milestones. We had a barbeque yesterday to thank the workers for building the best hospital possible.
“Our staff is energized through this. This tells them it is coming, very fast in fact. It helps us gear up because it takes time to transfer in all these best practices.
“These milestones are symbolic, but they are very important in saying ‘You know what? We’re on pace and we’re going to get there.”
The newly constructed east and west wings are scheduled to open by the summer of 2008, with the project expected to be completed by the fall of 2009.
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