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📅 Wed January 09, 2013 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson - CEG CORRESPONDENT
After years of discussion and planning, construction finally began this summer on the first phase of a new hospital for the citizens of Davie County, just west of Winston-Salem, N.C.
The new Wake Forest Baptist Health — West Campus is located off I-40 at N.C. Highway 801, near the Yadkin River in the Hillsdale-Bermuda Run area of Davie County.
The initial phase of work, estimated to cost $79 million, will include the construction of a 60,000-sq-ft. medical office building and a 101,000-sq.-ft. outpatient center. Within the outpatient center will be an emergency room, a surgery clinic and a diagnostic imaging facility.
Both structures are expected to be completed in 2013, with the office building, which will house doctors’ offices, set for completion in the summer; and the outpatient facility scheduled to be finished in the fall or early winter.
Phase 2 of the project will include hospital beds and is not expected to commence construction any time soon. It is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
The new hospital is designed to be a replacement for Wake Forest’s current — and largely outdated — Davie County hospital in nearby Mocksville, N.C.
Once services become available at the new medical campus next year, the old hospital in Mocksville will then be gradually shut down.
Work Began in
Various pieces of equipment, including bulldozers, backhoes and graders, began clearing the heavily wooded 88-acre site in late May. About half the site will be devoted to the hospital, while the rest will be dedicated to a commercial development called River Hill Commons. That development is slated to include a variety of shops, businesses, restaurants and even a hotel, although plans for that are still being formulated.
Cranes also are hoisting beams and girders in place on the four-story office building and adjacent outpatient center, according to Mike Stewart, director of project management for Summit Healthcare Group, which manages building projects for Wake Forest Baptist Health.
“The site work is ongoing, but we are in the steel erection phase now at Medical Plaza 2, which is the outpatient/healthplex component; and we are in the foundation phase of Medical Plaza 1, which is the four-story medical office,” Stewart said.
“The earthmoving will continue for quite some time,” he added. “We are creating large parking lots for those buildings and as part of the project there is a loop road that also will serve future outparcels that will be available for development either by outside entities or Wake Forest.”
Top Contractors Involved
The new Davie medical center is the first community hospital that Wake Forest Baptist Health has created from the ground up and is located approximately 15 mi. west of its huge main medical center near downtown Winston-Salem.
The architectural design of the new hospital will be contemporary and will make use of brick, stone and masonry, according to a press release from Wake Forest Baptist Health.
Rodgers Builders Inc., Charlotte, N.C., is the general contractor for Phase 1 of the new Davie hospital. Rodgers is widely known as one of the South’s top builders of hospitals and other medical buildings.
The company has provided a number of local subcontractors with jobs at the site and when construction activity hits its peak in the spring, as many as 150 workers could be onsite at any one time.
Some of the top subcontractors on the project include the architectural design firm of HKS Inc., Dallas, and Leach Wallace, a national consulting engineering firm with offices in Charlotte, N.C. In addition, Stimmel Associates of Winston-Salem is the landscape architectural firm that is balancing the site, according to Stewart.
Five Years in the Making
The new hospital was first announced in the summer of 2007, but had to undergo a rigorous approval process by the state before being announced as a $100 million, 50-bed community hospital in 2008. In addition, it was competing for approval with Novant Health’s Clemmons Medical Center just four mi. across the Yadkin River in Forsyth County.
In the end, both medical centers were given the green light to build by officials in Raleigh.
Besides having a new, state-of-the-art hospital within its borders, Davie County also can count on an economic boost from the project. Wake Forest Baptist Health — West Campus is projected to employ about 200 people once the first phase becomes operational in 2013.
In addition, the replacement hospital will not cost Davie County taxpayers a single dime. Wake Forest is paying for the new facility itself and will thus relieve the county of the $500,000 annual hospital management expense it incurred from 2001 to 2007.