The new, 14,700-square-foot Women and Children's Center at Vail Valley Medical Center accommodates seven LDRP rooms plus four additional private rooms for antepartum, postpartum overflow, GYN patients, and pediatrics. The center also includes a dedicated C-section delivery suite and recovery room, and a well-baby nursery with level II and isolation accommodations. The addition is constructed above the existing second floor of the hospital and is colocated with the existing PCU wing and future physician offices.

The existing labor and delivery suite located on the main floor of the building gives way to allow for the future development of more ambulatory care services on that level. The added benefits of building the new Women's Center on the upper level include occasional sharing of inpatient nursing and bed space with the PCU, colocation with future physician offices, and wonderful views of Vail Mountain from each LDRP room.

The new construction includes a skylight enclosure of the existing outdoor courtyard, which serves as a circulation space at Level Two and as additional public waiting space on Level One.

The major challenges of this project were to build the addition above currently occupied space and to provide a modified floor level to align with the existing PCU. To solve these logistical problems, a new superstructure was designed to span the existing structure and to match the existing PCU floor level. This also created an interstitial space, allowing utility penetrations below the new floor without disrupting ceilings throughout the occupied space.

Project category: New construction (completed August 2003)

Chief administrator: Stan Anderson, Senior Vice-President, Vail Valley Medical Center, (970) 479-7231

Firm: HLM Design, (720) 946-0276

Design team: Margie Snow, IIDA, Principal (Gallum-Snow); Daniels Construction; Doug R. Workman, Project Administrator (The Beck Group); Russell A. Sedmak, AIA, Principal-in-Charge (HLM Design)

Photography: Gary Knight, Gary Knight Associates, Inc.

Total building area (GSF): 30,500 (new); 30,500 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $380

Total cost (excluding land): $13,800,000