St. Charles Prineville campus building on track


Despite an initial delay, plan remains to open during September 2015

Photo Credit: BILL MINTIENS - The steel skeleton of the new St. Charles Prineville Campus being erected.

Jeanie Gentry, the chief executive officer of Pioneer Memorial Hospital and St. Charles Madras, is happy about the construction progress on Prineville’s new $30 million hospital.

“We have worked well with the general contractor and subcontractors, all of which have been very committed to probably a September 2015 move-in date,” said Gentry.

Matt Wycoff is St. Charles Health System’s Construction and Real Estate Department Project Manager. Initially hampered by a project delay, he’s now pleased with progress to date.

“We haven’t had any current challenges, but initially, we actually had the project on hold even before we had the groundbreaking (April 9). We had significant budget overages as a result of having to deal with and dispose of contaminated groundwater. The project was initially delayed as a result.”

Josh Smith, Senior Planner with the City of Prineville, has been observing the construction process.

“While I am not directly involved in the construction of the building, no project goes off without a hitch. From what I heard there were some initial delays in the concrete tilt up walls that were ironed out and everything seems to be running smoothly now. These types of issues are typical and not in any way detrimental to the project,” said Smith.

A drive by the Combs Flat Road site shows a lot of activity — walls being erected, equipment moving in every direction, an overall sense of a project running smoothly.

“We’re in the process of erecting steel and laying down our metal decks. Very soon we’ll be pouring concrete for our raised floors,” said Wycoff.

So far the elements have been kind to the workers, allowing warm weather construction processes to continue unhindered.

“We’re doing some exterior framing now in order to beat the (winter) weather on some of the critical masonry walls. Really, anything other than snow and cold is good for construction,” added Wycoff.

Fabrication and laying out of the mechanical systems has already begun and plans are to begin installation of those systems soon.

While The Neenan Company is the design and build contractor on the project, many other subcontractors are hard at work.

R.F. Stearns, Lake Oswego, is doing the steel fabrication and erection. Cascade Heating & Specialties, Bend, is fabricating and installing the mechanical and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Twin Rivers Plumbing, Redmond, is in charge of plumbing and Tomco Electric, Bend, is powering the project.

Northwest Quality Construction, Bend, is pouring concrete for the floors while Joe Floyd & Sons, Prineville, is supplying the precast concrete structural walls.

Latham Excavation, Bend, is performing building excavation/preparation as well as backfill for structural footings. Taylor Northwest will be doing sewer line work and improvements to Combs Flat Road.

Both Latham Excavation and Taylor Northwest are working directly for the St. Charles Health System, not as a subcontractor through The Neenan Company.

“Latham will also be doing the construction of our Fifth Street entrance, which will come off Combs Flat on the south end of our property, which includes the utility infrastructure,” said Wycoff.

“And Taylor Northwest has a big offsite sewer line that they’re going to be bringing in about a mile north (of the hospital site). They’ll be starting that work after the (Ochoco) irrigation canal closes down for the year. Taylor will also be doing our Combs Flat Road improvements, widening the road, adding some turn lanes, basically improving the efficiency of the road,” added Wycoff.

ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) plans to replace the bridge that crosses the irrigation canal south of the hospital site on Combs Flat Road. A wider bridge will be necessary to meet the expanded width of the road.

Project plans also include a multi-purpose trail for walking and biking that will course through the entire site, south to north, ending at Third Street.

One of the unique features of the site plan is the addition of hotel-like rooms for visiting physicians.

“We’re providing additional sleep rooms, separate small hotel rooms in a small building on the back side of our main building, for visiting physicians. They will be hotel-like with showers, beds, and all the amenities a doctor would need for a short stay,” said Wycoff.

While construction continues on the hospital, St. Charles administration is already preparing to serve patients in the uniquely-designed facility. Gentry and her team are training for the transition.

“We’ve been working on the process changes that we need to put into place in order to fit into the new hospital’s layout. There’s no central registration desk in the hospital. Our intent is that we do point-of-care registration for our patients. As an example, if you are going to have a lab test, all your paper work will be done at the lab. Our number one goal is to make the patient experience better in every way that we can,” said Gentry.

The St. Charles Prineville Campus construction project has provided jobs for many local people, something that Jeanie Gentry is proud of.

“Many of the subcontractors and workers on this project have been local people so it’s been a real good boon for the local economy to have this construction project going on.”