SAN DIEGO – C.W. Driver, a premier builder serving the Western U.S. since 1919, has completed construction on the renovation and modernization of the East Tower Nursing Unit at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, located just east of San Diego in La Mesa, California. The $26 million project delivers facility upgrades local taxpayers approved on the June 2006 voter ballot. Construction on the 71,000-square-foot project began in May 2012 and completed in October 2015.

Originally built in 1974, the seven-story hospital tower required upgrades to the infrastructure and renovation of its second through fifth floors. Partnering with architecture firm, Stantec, Inc., C.W. Driver completed renovations at each level, including upgrades to nursing units, entry corridors and elevator lobbies, in addition to the conversion of four semi-private patient rooms to meet Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility (ADA) guidelines and the replacement of patient utility management head-walls. To modernize the infrastructure, C.W. Driver upgraded mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), updating all elevator cars and controls, the hospital information system, and the building’s lighting and finishes.

“As with most hospital renovations, the need to keep existing areas and systems operational during construction presents a considerable challenge to the project team,” said Rich Freeark, senior vice president of C.W. Driver’s San Diego operations.  “As such, C.W. Driver worked closely with Grossmont Healthcare District to coordinate the delivery of each phase of construction in order to minimize the impact to the hospital’s staff and patients. The result of our successful collaboration is a modernized facility that will serve the La Mesa community for years to come.”

With the renovation located directly above active operating rooms, C.W. Driver worked with the hospital operations team to design a plan to mitigate any disruptions to the hospital’s on-going operations. Throughout the duration of the project, C.W. Driver carefully coordinated with sub-contractors, to properly contain noise, vibration, dust and handling of construction materials.  Demolition was performed during off-hours and all carts were covered to diminish any potential contamination in the corridors while debris was being removed.

To further limit the construction’s impact on hospital operations, noise and vibration activities were identified in the project schedule and communicated in advance to the Sharp team members to properly coordinate necessary stoppages. C.W. Driver also established specific protocol for unplanned requests for such stoppages, including appropriate steps to be followed.

In addition to Freeark, the C.W. Driver project management team members include Greg Palmer, project director; Eric Schultz, project manager; Daniel Moreno, superintendent; Mike McConkey, senior superintendent; Peter Kovacs, quality control manager; and Mike Zoller, safety manager.

The renovation and modernization was financed by taxpayers at the publicly owned hospital, which opened in 1955. The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County region, serves as landlord of the hospital’s property and buildings on behalf of taxpayers. The East Tower’s renovation cost was financed through Proposition G, a $247 million bond measure sponsored by GHD and approved by East County voters on the June 2006 ballot. Prop. G passed by more than 77 percent, well above the two-thirds required. As proposed in the hospital’s Facilities Master Site Plan, Prop. G is funding several infrastructure construction hospital improvements, including the East Tower project. The bond-financed construction began in 2007, and is scheduled to continue over the next several years.

The Grossmont Healthcare District project at Sharp Grossmont Hospital is one of a number of projects in which C.W. Driver has been involved within the healthcare industry, including the 7,600-square-foot Ramona Ambulatory Care Center outpatient medical clinic in Ramona, California; and the 56,000-square-foot Meridian medical office building for Kaiser Permanente in Riverside, California; and the 32,200-square-foot Foothill medical office building for Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, California.