Final beam placed in UNHS clinic
The new UNHS Montezuma Creek Clinic building passed a major milestone in its completion last month with the placement of the final steel beam, in what was called the topping out ceremony.
Dignitaries from most of the contractors working on the project to date, along with UNHS administration and staff gathered at the construction site to witness the ceremony. Prior to the beam’s placement, UNHS staff and administration, along with other workers, signed their names to the beam and left personalized messages by their names. The 225 tons of structural steel beams were erected in just 24 days, after the concrete for the building’s floor was poured. According to Orlando Blackhorse, foreman of the steelworkers from Pioneer Steele, Inc., of Newcastle, Colorado, a crew of twelve steelworkers and a huge crane put in long hours under 100 degree heat, some days as high as 107 degrees, to complete the job in less than five full weeks. He praised the work his crew did, noting that they all knew their jobs and worked hard to complete their portion of job. Five of the 12-man Pioneer Steel crew were from the Farmington, New Mexico area, while the rest were from the Montezuma Creek area.
Chuck Eubanks, Superintendent on the job for Korte Company, told a gathering that if you worked 40 hours/week for 50 years you would still not match the man hours put into the project, explaining that the building would take about 100,000 man hours to complete. The completed clinic will be 55,000 square feet, making it the largest health facility in the county.
“There are 4-½ miles of electrical piping, 20 miles of electrical wiring. There’s also 21,000 feet of plumbing piping in the building, there’s 225 tons of structural steel in the building is what you’re looking at right now,” Eubanks said. “1,620 cubic yards of concrete, 73,482 tons of rebar. That’s what it takes to build this building. Our workers have been working in 107-degree days. They started ahead of schedule and they gained time while they’ve been here, and they worked really hard to do it.”
According to Eubanks, crews were to start framing walls the next week. Work on the roof was expected to begin in August and be finished in September.
“You won’t believe the difference you’ll see from day to day,” Eubanks added.
UNHS CEO Michael Jensen also addressed the gathering and praised the workers who had been working on the project.
“This isn’t going to be the big celebration because that’s coming early next year, but this is kind of a mini-big celebration,” Jensen told the gathering of UNHS employees, contractors and workers. “This is the last beam and it’s tradition with large projects we are going to bring the group together and celebrate that beam going in. Hopefully, everybody got a chance to sign it before it goes in. Our signatures and little messages will be like a time capsule. They will be here for the life of the building. I would like to start off by saying thanks to our workers.
“You know right now we are ahead of schedule. We can literally move in early next year, which is really exciting, and we’re under budget. When you think of big projects, they are never under budget and they are never ahead of schedule. We’re both,” Jensen continued. “I really want to give a big thanks to these awesome workers. We’ve got folks here from Korte, from Redd Mechanical, Northern Electric, Inter-mountain Wall System, Jackson Excavation, XL Concrete, Pioneer Steele, Inc., and United Rental Equipment. They’re out here working in 100 degree heat every day and working hard, so we’re going to have a beautiful clinic here shortly.”
Jensen went on to explain about the new clinic building, noting that it’s going to have 30 exam rooms on the medical side, 10 on the dental side, and some very nice behavioral health rooms, including family counseling rooms. It will also allow additional providers to see patients, reducing wait times. He also talked about a dietary area, where staff can get food, a drive through pharmacy, and great administrative space.
“It’s really going to transform and change how we do health care here in Montezuma Creek,” Jensen added. “It’s going to be very, very exciting. It should reduce wait times, give better access for our patients, and be a better environment for healing. It’s just going to be fantastic. We’re really, really excited.”
Following a large group photo opportunity with the last beam, it was lifted into place with an American Flag as a decoration by the large crane and bolted into place by two Pioneer Steel workers Albert Grey and Andrew Harvey, Jr. UNHS staff and administrators then toured the building to see the progress that had been made, before enjoying a nice luncheon provided by Korte Company.
UNHS officials have also announced that plans for the new UNHS Blanding Family Practice Clinic building are nearly complete and work could begin on the 30,000 square foot building early in 2018. There is hope the new facility will be ready for use in spring of 2019.