April 9, 2012

A local jobs generator

MaineGeneral Medical Center’s new regional hospital

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — The $312 million hospital rising on a hillside in north Augusta is being built by people likely to use it.
And this past week, the number of workers topped 300 for the first time. The hardhat count will rise to between 400 and 500 over the summer.

click image to enlarge

Donny Morin grinds smooth a welded joint on a door frame he is building recently at J/R Metal Frame in Belgrade. The company is building door and window frames for the new MaineGeneral regional hospital being built in Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

One of the welded metal door frames built by J/R Metal Frame of Belgrade is seen installed last week at the new MaineGeneral regional hospital being built in Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Additional Photos Below

Hospital vitals

Size: 640,000 square feet over four floors

Capacity: 192 patient rooms, all private

Framework: 4,500 tons of steel

Concrete: 23,000 cubic yards, or 1,900 truckloads

Source: MaineGeneral Health

New arrivals find flush toilets and sinks with running water inside the heated building shell. They can use safer, finished stairways at the north and south ends of the building. Symbols painted on concrete decking show locations for electrical outlets, door swings, countertops, ceiling heights and room numbers.

Headwalls — with lots of pre-plumbed gear — and bathrooms for the patient rooms are being assembled on the ground floor. Waterproofers are wrapping the building. Windows are being installed, and the bricklayers have begun work on the east exterior wall.

For most of the local contractors doing the work, it’s the largest, longest and one of the most satisfying projects they’ve undertaken.

“It’s by far the largest,” said John Scott, vice president of HP Cummings, which has offices in Winthrop and is partnering with Alabama-based Robins & Morton on the construction management. Scott is senior project manager at the site of MaineGeneral Medical Center’s new regional hospital.
Local business owners echo those words.

“It’s among the largest we’ve ever done,” said Douglas Newman, of Newman Concrete Services, Inc. in Richmond. “We just recently competed the bulk of the foundations in the last few weeks.”
The biggest pour was 600 cubic yards for a retaining wall’s cap.

Newman’s work force peaked at 75 people; 25 continue to work at the site next to exit 113 of Interstate 95.
“We generally work right through the winter; the mild weather certainly helped both the schedule and obviously made it more pleasant for the guys,” Newman said.

The same weather helped speed some aspects of construction — while the resulting mud impeded others — and now the hospital is projected to open before the end of 2013, about six months earlier than originally anticipated.

‘I live around the corner’

On Tuesday, workers scooted over newly poured concrete, riding in machines that resembled air boats with fans on the bottom. Concrete workers are expected to continue working there throughout the summer.

“It definitely was a great situation for guys that work for me,” said Newman.

His company once employed 125, and ramping the numbers working on the hospital up to 75 allowed Newman Concrete to get some of those employees back.

Newman lauded the hospital’s commitment to employing local people and firms on the project.

“We’ve been excluded from a lot of large projects,” Newman said. “Out-of-state companies bring in out-of-state concrete guys; we get cut out of a lot of this work. The hospital didn’t show any real preferences, but they made sure Maine companies got a shot and Maine companies have done pretty darn good.”

The value of the hospital contract makes it the largest project ever done by Standard Waterproofing Inc., of Waterville, in its 20 years of operation, said its vice president, Theresa Thompson.“We have such a large scope of work there, and it’s so diverse we’ll be on this job from start to finish,” Thompson said. She said the firm’s long-term work relationship with HP Cummings helped it gain the contract.

“It’s great they have made a commitment to working with Maine subcontractors, and when largest construction project hits the area they’re sticking with local contractors. We basically insure that the building from basement to roof line is basically water tight,” she said.

(Continued on page 2)

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Workers from Newman Concrete Services, Inc. in Richmond, finish recently poured concrete last week at the new MaineGeneral regional hospital being built in Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

The new MaineGeneral regional hospital continues to take shape in North Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

A G&E Roofing worker moves an insulation board into place last week at the new MaineGeneral regional hospital being built in Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Further Discussion

Here at KJonline.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)