Friday, 18 December 2009 00:00
Last week, NuHealth System’s President and CEO Arthur A. Gianelli announced the start of construction for the new emergency department that will be located on two floors of the Nassau University Medical Center.
He also announced the Project Labor Agreement with the Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council and all the local unions affiliated with the council and a commitment by Plaza Construction to achieve a goal of 25 percent minority/ women owned business enterprise (MWBE) in the emergency department construction.
The emergency department construction has been funded through a New York State Department of Health grant with Nassau County matching the grant funds with funding from settlements with the tobacco companies.
The construction project will be completed in agreement with the PLA – the first such agreement ever entered into between the NuHealth System and the Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council.
Following an invitation for construction bids of the emergency department, NuHealth chose Plaza Construction Corporation of New York City as the lowest responsible bidder. Plaza Construction was given a contract for $14,990,000 to build the emergency department of approximately 45,000 square feet, on the ground floor and first floor.
An additional $5 million will be provided to improve accessibility to the new emergency department from Hempstead Turnpike, as well as providing enhancements to the Nassau County Police Department Medical Control Unit. The first floor of the new emergency department, to be built in the former employee cafeteria, will include adult and pediatric acute care, level I critical care and an imaging center.
The ground floor includes the adult and the pediatric fast track program, prisoner treatment area and expanded emergency behavioral health. The imaging center will serve the emergency department, also providing a state of the art 320 slice CT scanner and a new radiology room to serve the needs of our outpatients. The brand new behavioral health area will include emergent adult and child psychiatry and full capability for emergent addiction services. The construction, expected to be completed by the end of Oct. 2010 for the first floor and late spring 2011 for the remainder of the project, will provide construction employment for as many as 75 union trades workers.
“The emergency department design will result in an efficient, attractive and code compliant operation that will offer the community the latest in emergency services, with a state of the art 320 slice CT scanner and increasing our treatment spaces from the existing 28 to 54,” said Gianelli.
Due to an increase in projected emergency department visits from 75,000 in 2008 to a capacity of 100,000 future yearly visits, along with an increasing, undersized and inadequate facility that has not seen any major renovations since 1974, NUMC’s expansion project will increase from the existing 26,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet. The new emergency department will have separate traffic patterns and entries for walk-in patients and ambulance patients. The helipad will remain in its existing location.
“The Nassau County Police Department Ambulance and Air Bureau administrators have been involved in the emergency department planning and voiced their support, with the NCPD Medical Control Unit permanently stationed at NUMC,” added Gianelli.
Steven Fisher, chairman and CEO of Plaza Construction, who joined Gianelli during the announcement, stated, “Plaza Construction is proud to partner in building the new emergency department at NUMC. When finished, this state-of-the-art facility will deliver first class emergency care to the community for years to come. We look forward to its successful completion and positive long-term relationship with NUMC.”
Gilbane Building Company, NuHealth’s construction manager, has entered into the PLA on NuHealth’s behalf with the Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council and all the local unions affiliated with the council.
Gianelli, in praising the board’s decision to enter into a comprehensive PLA for the start of the emergency department construction, stated, “Our emergency department construction is of major importance to the residents of Nassau County who deserve enhanced state of the art emergency medical services and to the building trades, it is particularly significant with the construction jobs created during this economic downturn. With Gilbane, our construction manager, Plaza Construction, our construction firm, has committed to meet our target of 25 percent Minority/Women Business Owned Enterprise participation. The PLA, in setting uniform terms and conditions for the project, will promote a planned approach to labor relations, help to predict labor cost and schedules and promote productivity and efficiency.”
“The purpose of the PLA is to promote labor harmony, obtain the best work at the lowest possible price, prevent favoritism, fraud and corruption and other considerations such as the impact of delay and the possibility of cost savings. The PLA will cover three projects on the NUMC campus: the emergency department, the 14th floor psychiatric unit renovations, and the Veterans Administration outpatient clinic,” stated Neil Heyman, senior project executive for the Gilbane Building Company.
Steven J. Walerstein, MD, FACP, executive vice president for medical affairs for the NuHealth System, explained how this construction project will benefit the health of all LI residents: “The new facility will now provide the state of art environment to complement the state of the art health care, historically provided by our ED staff.”