Construction Updates | Published June 15, 2011

Alexander Building Construction and Mount Nittany Medical Center Receive Building Achievement Award for East Wing

Alexander Building Construction Co. and Mount Nittany Medical Center received the Construction Management Association of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s Project Achievement award in the Private Sector Projects over $20 Million category for the overbuild addition to the East Wing. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of CMAA covers all of Pennsylvania east of Pittsburgh, Delaware, and Central and Southern New Jersey. The CMAA annual awards program presents awards in eleven categories with one winner chosen from each category. The selection of winners involves an extensive review process which analyzes how successfully a project was managed by the construction manager and the owner. The CMAA judges the specific ways a project is an example of the successful application of construction management principals and standards. It also judges how the specific needs of the project or owner were addressed by using construction management. The Mount Nittany Medical Center East Wing project included a 52,000-square-foot overbuild addition that adds 68 new single patient rooms and increases the number of licensed beds by 25%. Despite challenges – such as a 10 week stop work order in fall 2008 and the need to keep the campus fully operational during construction – the project was completed within 4 weeks of the original schedule, under budget and of the highest quality, while exceeding national safety measurables. “The new rooms on the east wing of the Medical Center were a first step in providing a facility to match the level of care provided by our physicians and clinical staff,” said Steve Brown, FACHE, president and CEO, Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College, Pa. “This award marks a community and staff effort to make the east wing a reality. We are pleased to receive this award with Alexander.” The overbuild addition, which is above an Intensive Care Unit on the floor below, is 4 stories high (second, third and fourth floors plus penthouse) and involved the construction of a 43,000 SF addition, 9,000 SF mechanical penthouse and 6,700 SF renovations. The new second floor is a 12-bed Medical Intensive Care Unit and a 9-bed Acute Care Nursing Unit with telemetry monitoring, all in single-patient rooms. The new third and fourth floors are used for medical and surgical care with Acute Care Nursing Units, 24 single-patient rooms on the third floor which has become part of the Medical Center’s Center of Excellence for Orthopedic in-patient care and 23 single-patient rooms on the fourth floor, used for the Medical Center’s in-patient care for Medical Oncology. Extensive upgrades to the infrastructure were required at the central utility plant which included a new utility tunnel with 12” chilled water mains, two new 1,000 KW emergency generators with paralleling gear and switchgear, a new above ground (AST) 15,000 gallon fuel tank, changeover to a new 12kV electrical service and two new chillers and cooling tower. “We’re thrilled to receive the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of CMAA Project of the Year Award for our role in helping to advance Mount Nittany Medical Center’s health care services to the State College community. We faced several challenges during this job including an economic downturn that impacted our ability to move forward during an important phase of the project,” says Chris Magent, General Manager of the State College office for Alexander Building Construction Co. “Because of our highly talented, professional team and the coordination with Mount Nittany and their expert staff, we overcame these challenges and brought the project in under budget and with minimal disruption to their ongoing operations. This award is a gratifying response to our efforts.”Alexander’s team has extensive experience working in the controlled environment of healthcare facilities with 17 different healthcare providers and 150 years of combined experience in Project Management, Estimating and Field Supervision in Central and East Central Pennsylvania. The addition was built directly above an active Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit and adjacent to occupied patient areas. Renovations included phasing for breakthrough points to the existing hospital involving 7 different departments. Nursing Managers were involved with planning and communications regarding plans for breakthrough and chase work which helped us complete the project with minimal impact on hospital patients and staff and no lost time accidents. Complex site logistics involved installing a new steel column from the ground up through Pre-Operative Holding, adding steel plates to another column from the ground up through Administration Offices, erecting steel above the ICU, keeping the roof above the ICU dry from leaks until the addition was enclosed, installing sanitary piping in phases above the ICU ceilings while it remained fully occupied, and duct main tie-ins at the surgical unit that was completed working 24 hours a day over a 4 day period.Alexander’s approach as the Construction Manager is based on the team concept where Mount Nittany Medical Center, the design team and Alexander worked together toward the common goals of quality, speed and economy. The success of the project is the result of the teamwork, collaboration and planning of a dedicated team that worked as a unified partnership. Team members shared expertise and responded to problems and changes in a coordinated manner. A team-oriented outlook with the trade contractors enabled the constructors to provide invaluable input with respect to the on-going constructability details encountered in both the new and renovation areas of the project. The Addition to the East Wing is a high profile project in the State College area and is an outgrowth of Mount Nittany Medical Center’s commitment to the community. Alexander received the Project Achievement Award during the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of CMAA’s Annual Award Banquet at the Union League in Philadelphia on June 9, 2011.Alexander Building Construction Co.’s sister company, Alvin H. Butz, Inc., also won a CMAA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Project Achievement Award in the Higher Education Project under $20 million category for the renovation and additions to the Muhlenberg College Seegers Student Union Center in Allentown, Pa.