The concept for this freestanding surgery center was developed from the hospital master plan to provide state-of-the-art surgical facilities in an outpatient setting, freeing existing hospital operating rooms from the outpatient burden. The state Department of Health (DOH) was involved from the concept phase. Preliminary design discussions were held in Harrisburg to coordinate the anticipated adoption of AIA's 2001 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities into the design of the surgery center. The DOH was also integral in obtaining accelerated approvals for foundations and structural steel prior to final plan approval.

This Design/Build_Fast Track project was successful from several viewpoints. The owner's program needs were met under budget and on time. The facility administrator was hired before the programming phase, so staff needs were represented from the beginning. All project team members were involved at all levels of design and construction.

The Hamot Surgery Center provides an environment that includes public spaces with a human scale. These spaces are readily accessible from the exterior public areas serving the surrounding hospital campus and business district.

Warm, neutral colors with selected accents and varied ceiling heights lend a homelike atmosphere to family waiting areas, which translates to a relaxed feeling in clinical areas. Operating rooms are a minimum of 480 square feet, with windows that provide a connection to the outdoors. The prep areas have space for the patient and family, as well as direct access to the five operating rooms and three procedure rooms. All clinical spaces are equipped with infrastructure for phone and data capacity to accommodate future technologies.

Designing a single-story building in an urban context proved to be a great challenge. The site soils were not suitable for a multiple-story structure, which would have been preferable for medical offices. A site wall was designed to maintain the urban edge. The facility was also strategically placed on the site to allow for green space in the foreground and to continue the hospital's desire to expand and mirror an existing green space directly across the street


PROJECT CATEGORY New Construction (completed February 2001)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Pamela Sudano, Administrative Director, (814) 453-3900, ext. 228

FIRM Weber Murphy Fox, Inc., (814) 836-1616, ext. 231

DESIGN TEAM Kevin P. Ronayne, CHE, Vice-President, Operations (Hamot Health Foundation); William J. Helsley, AIA, Project Architect (Weber Murphy Fox, Inc.); David Bacci, PE, Project Engineer (H.F. Lenz Company); Kenneth E. Kuehm, PE, Structural Engineer (Gensert Bretnall Associates); Peter O. Smith, Construction Manager (H. Platt Company)

PHOTOGRAPHY Art Becker Photography


TOTAL BUILDING AREA (SQ. FT.) 25,880 (gross)