Scott & White Hospital Press Release — Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple will begin reconstruction of the exterior of its main facility, the Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM), in early 2013. This planned exterior reconstruction of the CAM was necessitated by the discovery of wide-ranging and systemic defects. The construction work is a necessary step to ensure the long term viability of the building, while maintaining the highest quality standards for patients and employees, according to Robert W. Pryor, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Scott & White Healthcare.
Scott & White will begin the reconstruction of the CAM in February or March of 2013. The expected duration of the construction is 18 months. Hospital officials expressed confidence that the work would be done without disturbing patient care provided at the facility. Cost of the reconstruction project is expected to exceed $20 million.
“After extensive forensic analysis of the building, we have come to the conclusion that there are significant defects in the building envelope that make it imperative that we replace the entire exterior of the CAM,” said Dr. Pryor. “For that reason, among
other measures, we will be replacing the copper façade at the CAM with a new masonry exterior.”
Pryor said that the health and safety of patients and employees at the main facility required Scott & White to take the extraordinary measure of reconstructing significant portions of the exterior of the CAM.
“We are taking all measures necessary to correct the defective building exterior. Once it became evident the defects were both wide-ranging and systemic, Scott & White was able to take appropriate corrective actions to ensure that no patients or employees were endangered in any way,” said Dr. Pryor.
It is anticipated that construction will occur in enclosed 30-foot sections in multiple locations around the building, in order to maintain quality control and limit the impact on patients and building operations. Upon completion, the entire copper façade will be replaced. Scott & White has already begun constructing a mockup of the new exterior wall at a location across the street from the CAM.
Scott & White is pursuing legal action against all parties responsible for the defects in this building, which was completed in 2008, less than five years ago.
“We will not wait on that litigation to fix the problem,” said Dr. Pryor. “We are proceeding in a thorough and responsible fashion. Patient and employee safety comes first.”
Scott & White has been taking quarterly air samplings of the patient care areas in order to confirm the facility is maintaining the appropriate air quality within the building. These samplings have been taken on every floor of the CAM and at different locations on the floor. Approximately 85 rooms have been sampled each time.
“We began and continue to maintain an ongoing air monitoring program that resulted in hundreds of air samples being taken at hundreds of locations throughout the facility,” said Dr. Pryor. “We have not seen any significant variations in the samplings. But we will continue an extensive air sampling program until this reconstruction project is complete.”
Building codes require that hospital air systems maintain positive pressure to the outside. As a result, properly ventilated hospitals should be pushing air out of the building rather than letting outside air push into the building. Scott & White has taken multiple pressure readings throughout the building to confirm that the CAM is correctly pressurized (pushing air out). This is a critical element to any building maintaining the correct air quality and allows for the control of temperature and humidity within the building at the correct levels.
Earlier, Scott & White officials brought in building forensic experts to examine areas of the building where there were known leaks. Those areas, and others, were completely disassembled, and in those areas examined, numerous defects were discovered. After confirming multiple problems in all these different locations, Scott & White leadership decided that a reconstruction of the exterior of the CAM was appropriate.
“Those problems are being corrected and we will continue to pursue our goal of being the most trusted and valued name in American health care,” said Dr. Pryor.