Lakeland Medical Center - Parking Garage Expansion

Lakeland Health officials needed an infusion of new parking at their St. Joseph hospital to accommodate the $160 million expansion project that is underway. The Planned Unit Development allowed for an additional floor and a roof on the hospital’s existing parking garage. The deck and roof, which would add 10 feet to the height of the garage, and screening, would make the top floor of the parking garage accessible year-round.

Protection from the weather is an important feature for parking structures during Western Michigan’s severe winter months. The parking garage roof and screening would make 274 additional spaces available all year. Winter weather typically eliminates 150 spaces on the grounds. Additional parking was needed to accommodate the increase in demand expected following the completion of the expansion that includes a five-story, 260,000-square-foot patient tower with new space for the surgical department, intensive care unit, the heart catheter lab and the endoscopy department.

"The projects are designed to replace aging facilities, some of which date back decades — in one instance the early 1950s in an administrative building, and the early 1970s at a patient tower …planning followed a goal of “how do we make an exemplary patient experience in a way that a patient feels comfortable and confident in the health care that we provide locally…It’s very, very hard to do that in old and inadequate infrastructure,” Hamel said. “It’s very important to us in health care. You need to keep up with your infrastructure.” - President and CEO Loren Hamel said.

Careful production coordination with the fabricator was essential because of a tight erecting schedule. Several pre-construction meetings between the fabricator, architect and galvanizer avoided slowdowns due to any galvanizing design requirements. Trailer staging at the galvanizer for “no wait” pick up and drop off of loads along with early ability to handle galvanized product helped achieve the schedule goals. Unlike thick dense concrete structures, the hot-dip galvanized steel framing provides an open, naturally lighted, functional, space that will be maintenance free for decades to come.

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