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Capital Project Solutions – January 2012

An Amazing Recovery - The Phoebe Sumter Medical Center Roman Buckner, Senior Consultant

At 9:15 pm on March 1, 2007, a powerful E-F3 tornado tore a thirty-eight mile path through Sumter County, Georgia. The city of Americus bore the brunt of the storm loosing many of its homes, businesses and schools. Sumter Regional Hospital was completely destroyed by the devastating twister. Now, almost five years later, the community has recovered and the new Phoebe Sumter Medical Center has emerged from the wreckage. When planning began, the goal of the new medical campus was not to rebuild what had been destroyed or to create a small version of a large hospital but to build a new paradigm meeting the specific needs of the community. The project team of KLMK Group, Gresham Smith Partners and Brasfield Gorrie provided the design, direction and management needed to move the project forward and aid in the healing of the community. This month’s edition of Capital Project Solutions provides insight to the new health village and shares details of how the project was able to finish on budget and ahead of schedule. The Phoebe Sumter Medical Center is a 240,000 square foot health village located in Americus, Georgia. The new replacement campus was designed and constructed with a sustainability initiative and is targeting a LEED Silver Certification status from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The medical facilities are built on 32 acres within a 272 acre “green-field” site. The campus is comprised of five structures including a 190,000 square foot Hospital, a Wellness & Education Center, a Women's & Family Medical Building, a General Surgery & Oncology Building and a Central Energy Plant capable of cogenerating electricity for the facilities. The Hospital is a four story structure (plus basement) that houses 76 patient beds of all private rooms and is providing medical services to the City of Americus and surrounding Sumter County.

Scope & Budget Management One of the first orders of business for the team was to validate the scope for the new campus. A Launch Gap Analysis was conducted to evaluate the proposed size and ensure that all aspects of the project had been vetted. Ultimately, through a collaborative effort involving the project delivery team 1


Capital Project Solutions – January 2012

and leadership from both Phoebe Putney Health System and Sumter Regional Hospital, all of the gaps were identified and addressed and a course was set on a common vision. This process aided in “right-sizing” the scope and fine-tuned the pathway for the development of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. The total Master Program Budget for the facility was set at $125 million, with a Construction Budget of $81 million. Funding for the project came from primarily three sources: An insurance payout due to the total destruction of the previous 150 bed facility A partnership/merger agreement with Phoebe Putney Health System Federal Aid Funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) These combined resources allowed for the new health village, to relocate to a “green-field” site that was significantly larger than the existing site. Taking advantage of the new location, the project team worked to “right-size” the facilities in order to maintain the current healthcare needs of the community provide greater opportunity for future growth and enhance profitability. In addition, leadership made a solid commitment to sustainable and responsible construction and developed a budget that would support pursuing LEED certification for all new facilities. Though sustainability can add cost to a project, the benefits far out way the initial investment. This is reflected in the 24,000 square foot vegetated or “greenroof” and 80,000 gallons of underground storage tanks that harvest rainwater to irrigate the campus landscaping. Currently, the Women's and Family Health Building has received LEED Silver and the other certifications are pending. In order to minimize changes and maintain the program budget, full scale “finished” mock-ups of each patient room were constructed at an offsite location. Having the spaces “finished” enabled the project team and staff to visualize the size/feel of each room and to examine the operational aspects of the space. In addition, it allowed for modifications to be made to the placement of fixtures, finishes, and hardware. Being able to adjust the mock-ups saved a considerable amount of time and money as opposed to having made changes in the field or in the midst of construction. The finished mock-ups were also used for training purposes and aided in familiarizing the clinical staff with the new facility and equipment. Ultimately, this process proved beneficial in streamlining facility activation as staff was more comfortable with their new surroundings. Finally, once finished, the mock-ups were used as a tool for physician 2


Capital Project Solutions – January 2012

recruitment as well as for public relations - community members were allowed to get a glimpse of the new facility prior to completion.

Schedule & Facility Activation The construction and activation schedule for the project was originally set for 25 months. This time duration included the completion of all construction activities, IT infrastructure, medical equipment procurement, staff training and ultimately the patient move/relocation. Through a collaborative team effort, the project was delivered a full three months ahead of schedule without impacting the Master Program Budget. As each floor and building phase was completed, they were issued a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO’s) and delivered to the owner and facility activation team. With the cooperation of State and Local authorities, this strategy allowed for the inspection and approval of each floor or phase independently and thus the team was able to mobilize and install the final fixtures, furniture and equipment. Once an entire floor was completed, staff could begin to train and familiarize themselves with the new building and layout. Therefore, the project team was able to reduce the typical lag time from construction completion to building turnover and facility activation. The ribbon cutting for the new hospital was held on December 10, 2011, three months ahead of schedule.

Conclusion The Phoebe Sumter Medical Center now serves as one of the finest examples of a successfully executed health village with all the modern amenities and ability to provide world class healthcare. Collaboration and commitment on behalf the project team enabled delivery that exceeded the client’s expectations. This rebirth has aided in healing a community and will serve the residents of Americus for years to come.

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