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18 Months of Construction, 1,700 Jobs, and Counting

January 28, 2014 By: Chris DeFrancesco

The UConn Health campus continues to be a hotbed of construction activity, as the projects to build the Bioscience Connecticut infrastructure progress on schedule and on budget.

Since the first groundbreaking 18 months ago, the projects have created nearly 1,700 construction jobs. Almost 80 percent of the contracts have been awarded to Connecticut companies.Structural steel has been going up for a month now, and the skeleton of what will be the new emergency department and operating room suite is taking shape. Later this year, work begins on a precast concrete garage that will have approximately 400 spaces for hospital parking.

Construction of the new hospital tower is on pace to be complete by early 2016. The final phase of the project involves moving hospital operations into the new tower and renovating the current John Dempsey Hospital. The full renovation and relocation are scheduled for completion by late 2017. A year after the start of construction, the eight-story, 300,000-square-foot building that will consolidate the majority of outpatient services into a single zone on the lower campus is nearly enclosed. The completion of exterior glass and glazing will enable the interior construction process to proceed.

An aggressive schedule enabled the November opening of the adjacent Garage 1, offering approximately 1,400 spaces for patient, visitor and staff parking. Garage 1 connects to the Medical Arts and Research Building with an enclosed walkway on Level 3. There also is a patient drop-off circle on Level 2, for easy access to the building’s Farmington Surgery Center.

Another enclosed walkway will connect the garage to the outpatient building, which should be complete by year’s end. It’s scheduled to open to patients in 2015 following a transition period for the relocation of outpatient services. With an abundance of natural lighting, it’s designed to be an energy-efficient building worthy of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Renovation of the easterly section of Floors 4-7 of the L Building is scheduled to be complete in about two months. Two more phases of the work will follow, each requiring the relocation of researchers and their labs. The work includes an upgrade of the mechanical and exhaust systems and refitting each floor to create larger, more open lab space.

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