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Topping Out ceremony for Akron Children’s medical tower comes 2 months early

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Akron Children’s Hospital joined Welty Building and Boldt companies on April 2 to celebrate the topping out of the new 368,735-square-foot, 7-story medical tower. Despite challenges imposed by this year’s weather, the project is currently ahead of schedule.

“The celebration today is a testament to the excellent job of the project team in delivering a top-notch facility ahead of schedule,” said Stephen Powell, consultant for CBRE Healthcare. “For a project in northeast Ohio to be able to say we made it through this past winter 2 weeks ahead of schedule and still beat cost targets is a testament to the process and team we have in place.”

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The $200 million campus expansion has been constructed using a non-traditional approach called integrated project delivery (IPD). This approach seeks input from everyone involved in the project – including patient families and staff – before anything is designed.

In addition, contractors are hired at the start of the project and work together through all aspects of the project as a united team.

This was never more apparent than this winter.

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“We have had 72 significant weather days, when we only planned for 55,” Powell said. “Yet, we are still 2 weeks ahead of schedule, a 6-week swing from what we had originally planned for on paper.”

For each day the project is completed early, the hospital saves about $7,500.

As the structure team handed over finishing work to the interior teams, the various teams and hospital leaders celebrated the magnitude of the job.

According to Tom Conti at the Boldt Company:

  • 148,900 cubic yards of dirt were moved on the site
  • 6,130 feet of storm and sanitary pipes were installed
  • 21,845 cubic yards of concrete was poured using 2,731 concrete trucks
  • 1,296 tons of rebar was installed
  • 30 miles of conduit runs throughout the structure
  • 32,000 survey points are located throughout the building

“It is so great to see the building take shape on our campus after all the months we spent planning it,” said Grace Wakulchik, chief operating officer at Akron Children’s Hospital. “Everything about the building is so well thought out and it is all about providing the best care to our patients and their families.”

The new tower will be connected to the existing hospital in February 2015 and will be open to patients later next spring.

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