UHC Set to Begin Near $3.4 Million Expansion Project

By Jeff Toquinto on March 04, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

It’s not even eight years old, but Bridgeport’s United Hospital Center is about to grow once again. On Feb. 15, a permit was pulled for WVU Medicine/United Hospital Center for what will be a $3.369 million expansion at the facility located just off of Jerry Dove Drive.
 
According to UHC Vice President of Support Services Geoff Marshall, United Hospital will soon be adding on a surgery center. Marshall said the hope is to begin the multi-million dollar project in the middle of March.
 
“It’s primarily and addition to the operating rooms that’s going to add one fully functioning operating room, one shelled space for an operating room and room for two more in the future,” said Marshall. “It’s something we need and we’re addressing that need.”
 
Marshall added that the shelled room will be framed out. While it would need additions made before becoming functional, it could be put on line quickly if another room is needed.
 
The addition is roughly 8,600 square feet, he said. The general surgery addition will be done on the second floor.
 
That, of course, may lead one to wonder how an expansion is going to take place on the second floor of the existing building. Marshall said it’s easy to explain.
 
“When the current facility was constructed, the steel structure was designed below to support additional weight,” said Marshall. “The stud up the columns up through the roof and over them and that sets the stage to allow for the expansion above an existing floor.”
 
Unlike many expansion projects in buildings utilized by the public, Marshall said he doesn’t anticipate problems with existing operations. He said UHC staff and contractors should “be able to work around everything.”
 
The contractor for the project is March-Westin Co, Inc., out of Morgantown. Gresham, Smith and Partners are the architects/engineers on the project.
 
As referenced at the beginning of this article, UHC has already done millions in expansions, additions and even renovations. Among the higher-ticket projects include redoing the main entrance way (enclosed the bridge walkway), a remodeling of the Cecil B. Highland, Jr. & Barbara B. Highland Cancer Center, construction of the $15 million Bruce Carter Orthopaedic and Spine Center, the addition of a PET Scanner among others.
 
“We’re still growing,” said Marshall. “We’re doing well here, but even more important is that the community is doing well with us. That, along with us being part of WVU Medicine, means the future looks pretty strong to us too.”
 
Community Development Director Andrea Kerr agreed.
 
“This is a substantial project for the hospital and for Bridgeport,” said Kerr. “To show the need for expansion again just a few years after the building has opened shows the region is being well served by the hospital. This is good for the hospital, Bridgeport and the entire region.”
 
Marshall didn’t have an exact time line for completion. However, he said he did anticipate it being finished by the end of the year.
 
UHC opened in Bridgeport on Oct. 3, 2010.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Community Development Director Andrea Kerr. Bottom picture, courtesy of UHC, is of their Vice President of Support Services Geoff Marshall.
 


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