Keystruct Projects

Specialty Medical Center Gets Makeover to Meet New State Requirements

Kelly Tetkoskie July 16, 2020
Entrance to UPMC Specialty Care in York, PA

UPMC Specialty Care provides a unique level of comprehensive care for digestive concerns. The gastroenterology practice boasts physicians with advanced training in digestive and internal medicine, while the endoscopy center performs over 7,500 procedures each year for physicians across York County.

A recent update from the Pennsylvania Department of Health required that medical offices could not be combined in the same physical location as procedure or surgical facilities. So UPMC Specialty Care required a separation of these two practices that are housed in the same building. Keystruct was contracted to construct the necessary separation wall, as well as provide associated upgrades to both offices to bring the two facilities into compliance with the Department of Health requirements.

Of paramount importance to this project was the ability of both offices to maintain complete operation throughout construction. To accommodate this requirement the project was constructed in three (3) carefully planned phases. One of the biggest challenges during the phasing was the relocation of staff from areas scheduled for construction, so that workflows and patient care would not be impacted. A miscommunication between the owner and their furniture supplier caused a delay in delivery of the furniture to complete Phase One of construction. This created a three week lag between the completion of the gastroenterology practice areas and the ability of the staff to move into their new space. Keystruct adjusted the schedule on the fly, and used that downtime to work on exterior items, including the concrete sidewalks, so that the project stayed on schedule.

The existing 20-ft wall between the two practices did not extend the entire length of the 80-ft building. Additionally, the existing wall was not fire rated and included a large fish tank that the owner needed to remove. The dividing wall between the two practices had to be completed in two separate phases to ensure the full functioning of both practices. Therefore, the wall was completely finished on one side, including the painting. Then when Phase One work was completed, the staff moved to the opposite side of the wall to complete the wall during the Phase Two renovations.

Initially, the plan showed the fire rated wall running straight up through the trusses to the roof deck. Keystruct encountered unforeseen conditions when we accessed the area above the ceiling and discovered two (2) trunk lines for the HVAC and the main sprinkler line in that area. To mitigate this problem, the wall was placed in the planned location running above the ceiling height, then offset it by 2 feet around the HVAC and sprinkler lines, and continuing up through the trusses to the roof deck.

Because of the procedure rooms located on the endoscopy side of the building, full ICRA barriers were required from the initial demolition work until the project was completed. Of particular importance was protecting the equipment and surfaces in the procedure rooms from dust and debris during construction. Additionally, it was very important to not disrupt the patients and staff during their procedures. In order to complete this work with minimal impacts to the staff and the patients, the work was completed during evening and off hours. Keystruct would enter the facility, cover all of the endoscopy equipment and surfaces with plastic, then uncover everything at the end of the work shift, returning the space to its normal appearance and functionality for the next day’s procedures.

A new vestibule was constructed with separate entrances for the gastroenterology practice and endoscopy center. Because this new vestibule could not be used by the public before the work was completed during the 2nd phase at the endoscopy center, Keystruct constructed a temporary entrance and waiting room for the gastroenterology practice. This kept the public away from the active work area and minimized noise distractions to patients and staff. To make this work for the owner, Keystruct took a window from the exterior and cut a temporary door and hallway, creating an entrance with a hallway leading to the conference room that was used as the temporary waiting area. Extensive signage and barriers were used to direct patients to the temporary entrance until the new storefront entrance was completed for both facilities.

Parking for site workers was limited throughout construction, necessitating on street parking for vehicles. Additionally, because the parking lot had to be reserved for patients and practice personnel, there was no area on site for staging and material deliveries. To solve this problem, Keystruct built a temporary parking lot for the staff, then used the staff parking area for staging and deliveries.

The new HVAC system required custom ductwork, made specifically for the space. To accomplish this work, the old ductwork was removed and measured, then new pieces were built to replace the old parts. While the new pieces were being built, the HVAC system was down for approximately a week. During that time, the outside temperatures dropped unexpectedly below 30 degrees, making it very cold inside the building. To keep the owner’s staff and their patients comfortable, Keystruct rented heaters and humidifiers that maintained the correct temperature and humidity inside, so the facilities could remain operational.

The newly renovated spaces create two complete practices, separated by a one-hour fire wall, that completely adheres to the Department of Health requirements. The updated waiting rooms and entrances provide modern, fresh finishes that focus on patient comfort. By keeping this facility fully functional with minimal impacts to everyday operations, Keystruct met the owner’s requirements, which was key to the success of this important project. UPMC Specialty Care is now positioned to fulfill the needs of the York County community for years to come.