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McCarthy Gets Physical in Colorado

Fri March 24, 2000 - West Edition
Troy M. Hawks

When the design/build team of Gerald H. Phipps Inc. of Denver, CO, and McCarthy of St. Louis, MO, won the $79.2-million bid to construct the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion in Denver, they wasted no time in getting started. In fact, with a projected completion date of March 2001, it will have taken the team just over two years to build the 43,650-square-meter (485,000 sq. ft.) building.

As Project Manager Jerry Willis explained, plans for the 1,400-room facility were first drawn in February 1999 and the groundbreaking came just three months later. Willis added that the design/build project was put on a fast track building schedule, which meant crews are working six days a week, and occasionally nights to meet the completion date.

“The main challenges,” said Willis, “have been in getting information and materials to the field.”

The project is one of two buildings that will comprise the Anschutz Centers for Advanced Medicine and is the first phase of a $1.5-billion medical complex that will make up the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

The Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion, located on the 500-acre site of the former Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in the Denver suburb of Aurora, will house all of the University of Colorado Hospital’s primary and specialty ambulatory care and diagnostic services, and patient support and pharmacy services.

The building, designed by architecture firms of H+L Architecture and HDR Architecture, features steel framing, metal decks and concrete topping. Willis said that the project required 3,192 cubic meters (4,200 cu. yds.) of footing concrete, and 4,408 cubic meters (5,800 cu. yds.) of topping concrete which required 35 separate pours.

Yet particularly useful on this project, according to Willis, was an 888 Manitowoc crane. The Manitowoc features maximum lift capacities from 72 to 315 metric tons (80 to 350 tons) and boom lengths from 64 to 100 meters (210 to 330 ft.), giving it the reach and strength to erect the steel beams from one location.

This was especially important on this project as crews were forced to share the job site with contractor Haselden Construction, who was already busy building the second building, the 9,540-square-meter (106,000 sq. ft.) Anschutz Cancer Pavilion. The $19-million building, scheduled for completion in November 2000, will house all of the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s outpatient cancer treatment, prevention and early detection, and new cancer treatment development.

“There were many times that we were interfacing with another contractor, and at many times we were virtually sharing the same job site,” said Willis. “Normally this would not be a good situation, but in this case, it worked out real well. It was an instance of two contractors working together to share the same job site.”

These two building connect on the first and second levels, and a third building, the 4,140 square meter (46,000 sq. ft.) Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute, scheduled for completion March 2001, will also connect. The buildings all are planned for potential horizontal and vertical expansion and for connection to the future inpatient hospital and research centers.

Once complete, the facilities will utilize the latest in computer technology to provide patient-friendly service. In fact, according to the Denver Rocky Mountain News, Colorado University officials hired consultants from Disneyland who offered their expertise in customer service.

“We’re not making it into a theme park,” medical director of informatics at the Health Sciences Center Dr. T.C. Lin told the Denver Rocky Mountain News, “but Disney has made a science of how to serve their customer. They’re terrific at it.”

In addition, 60 employees comprised of doctors, nurses and staffers met every two weeks to discuss ways in which patients can be more effectively served. Ultimately, patients will be able to register and schedule their own appointments online. They will even be able to review a picture of their doctor, and print out a map of the most convenient place to park.

As the patients enter the parking lot, a bar code scanner will identify them, and notify hospital staff that the patient has arrived. The staff is then able to make the preparations for their visit.

Once examined, patients can utilize computers within the hospital to review their medical records, find more information about their symptoms, or supply more information to doctors and nurses about their condition. Finally, patients receive a bill along with an insurance statement and an option to pay by credit card.

Earlier, the project received somewhat of a surprise as Denver business tycoon Phil Anschutz donated $25 million to help build the cancer-research and outpatient-care clinics. In honor of the gift, the clinics were named The Anschutz Centers for Advanced Medicine.

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