Project category: New construction (completed August 2005)

Chief administrator: Jack Dusenberry, President and CEO, (319) 272-7302

Firm: InVision Architecture, Ltd., (319) 233-8419

Design team: Ron Teisinger, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Eric Ritland, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Kate Payne, Assoc. AIA, Project Manager; Roland Ganter, Assoc. AIA, Design Team Member; Julie Etheredge, Assoc. AIA, Design Team Member

Photography: Dale Photographics

Total building area (sq. ft.): 234,369

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $134

Total construction cost (excluding land): $31,309,182

Covenant Medical Center's West Ninth Street Expansion was conceived as a major addition to the hospital to create a “one-stop shop” for women's healthcare services. The hospital administration wanted to update the birthing center and provide space for the hospital services associated with women's health and physicians' offices. Additionally, new privacy regulations and growth required updates to the Ambulatory Surgery Unit and the Outpatient Clinic areas. The result was a single new building adjacent to the existing facility that could be fully constructed and opened for use without any disruption of hospital services.

The decision was made to build the structural frame using precast concrete. This provided a fast erection time and didn't limit construction by seasonal concerns. Once the frame and footprint were determined, the design concept layered services vertically: parking on the lower two levels, outpatient and ambulatory services on the level connected to the existing facility, and women's services on the top two floors.

LDRP rooms were developed with significant input from the birthing center staff. The rooms include space for a sofa bed in addition to the birthing bed. Because staff wanted all the clinical apparatus to disappear when not in use, to create a more comfortable environment for patients, hinged panels were designed to hide the medical gas and electrical outlets. The warming light for the infant bed was also hidden in a cabinet.

The project was completed on time, with little disruption to ongoing hospital services.