Construction of new Altru hospital is on schedule

Altru Health System’s new hospital

Construction on Altru Health System’s new hospital, located on Columbia Road, is on schedule, according to the hospital’s public relations office.

Work on the pilings — a noisy component to the construction — is now finished until around January, according to the construction update found on Altru’s homepage.

“The initial piling activities at the construction site were very successful and completed a bit ahead of schedule, with a few remaining piles to drive late 2019 or early 2020,” Sally Grosgebauer, public relations officer, told the Herald.

Construction crews are working on the foundation walls of the western and eastern side of the construction site, as well as adding piling caps to the western side. Crews also are preparing to demolish the underground tunnel which connected the hospital with the old clinic and the Cancer Center, as well as relocating underground utilities.

Though construction can be noisy, the hospital has not received any noise complaints, said Grosgebauer.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the lack of communication we received due to the noise generated by the piling process,” she told the Herald. “We closely monitored noise and vibration throughout the process and are thankful to have nearly completed this portion of the project with very little disruption, if any, for our patients and the neighborhood.”

In the past, Altru has notified people residing within a half-mile radius of its campus through postcards, of upcoming community meetings. About 1,100 postcards were sent to members of the community.

“The previous community and neighborhood meetings have been successful and productive,” wrote Grosgebauer in an email to the Herald. “We were able to ask the community and our Columbia Road campus neighbors how they preferred we stay in touch with them regarding project updates and found they preferred electronic communication. Our next community meeting is not scheduled, although as the project progresses we plan to engage the community and our neighbors.”

Though construction is underway, it is still early in Altru’s timeline. Construction is expected to finish in early 2022, though the $305 million, 528,000-square-foot hospital won’t be up and running until later that year.

With the piling activities finished slightly ahead of schedule, construction on the project as a whole is on track with its proposed timeline.

“Overall, the project is performing well in regard to the schedule and we feel comfortable with the project position entering the winter months,” wrote Grosgebauer.