The Saint Clare's Health System's maternity facility renovation was the first project of a campus master plan. The renovation dramatically changed the 19,000-sq.-ft. facility.

The renovation converted semiprivate medical/surgery rooms into private postpartum rooms, with an emphasis on the hospitality look of an upscale hotel. Amenities for the 27-bed postpartum unit include a 7-ft. sofa/daybed for fathers, hardwired blow-dryers, medical gas outlets hidden behind artwork that easily slides out of the way when gases are needed, Internet connections, an additional phone line, and upscale finishes.

The 27-bed well-baby nursery and the six-bed NICU were located adjacent to each other and the nurses' station for staff cross-training and support. Interior windows give staff clear views through both nurseries and the nurses' station. The well-baby nursery incorporates youthful and fun colors. There are solid surfaces throughout for infection control. It was relocated to be near the mothers' rooms.

The NICU unit was designed specifically to provide a quiet and peaceful environment. NICU patient isolettes are located next to the windows for natural lighting, which helps in the recovery of jaundiced and sick babies. Rubber flooring and special acoustical ceiling tile were used throughout the NICU for noise control. A mothers' lounge within the NICU is provided, where mothers can nurse and bond with their babies. This room has two lounge chairs, privacy curtains, and indirect, dimmable lighting. Soft music is piped in to create a warm homelike environment.

The hallways have unique design elements. The overhead lights wash the opposite walls of the nursery to block light from the babies. The floors are decorated with a scroll design, and the furrdowns along the halls break up the length and width of the hall, making it appear smaller. The hardwood millwork around the nursery windows and wall borders adds to the hospitable feel. The photo plaques entice mothers to leave their rooms and walk. The photographs were taken by a local photographer and feature babies born in the hospital. Since this is a Catholic hospital, there are religious messages about children featured within each photo board.

A new nutrition station is also included in the department. Near the nutrition station is an open area where the hospital serves Sunday brunch.

Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed May 2005)

Chief administrator: Charles Finn, Chief Administrator, (973) 983-5586

Firm: Rees Associates, Inc., (405) 942-7337

Design team: Katheryn W. Potts, Project Manager; Francis Kubier, Project Architect/Construction Administration (Rees Associates, Inc.); Vicki VanStavern, Interior Design/Furnishings (VanStavern Design Group); Linda Woods, RN, Overall Project Coordinator for Owner; Cindy Hall, Interior Decorator, Owner's Representative for Interiors and Furniture Purchasing Coordination (Saint Clare's Health System); Les Jocelyn, Site Superintendent (Candor Construction Group, Inc.)

Photography: © Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.; Rees Associates, Inc. (before views)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 19,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $263

Total construction cost (excluding land): $5,000,000