Cobalt Medical Center recently broke ground on a $22 million rehabilitation hospital in New Orleans. Construction of the 64,000-sq-ft facility is expected to take twelve months with an opening scheduled in summer 2015.

Courtesy of Ascension Group Architects
Cobalt Medical Center's $22 million rehabilitation hospital in New Orleans is scheduled top open in summer 2015.

Peter Cacciapaglia, Cobalt vice president of design and construction, says the two-story building will feature a full service kitchen, dining area, administration offices, loading dock, emergency room department and 60 beds.

The facility will consist of typical steel and concrete construction with an exterior skin comprised of stucco, thin adhered calcium silicate tile and architectural features. The first floor will house the emergency department and a 16-bed Traumatic Brain Injury Unit. The second floor will house a 44-bed unit along with a lab, pharmacy and gym.

All patient rooms will feature windows with access to natural light and views. Cacciapaglia says the facility was designed to create a warmer atmosphere than typical hospitals.

"We're trying to focus more on the hospitality in healthcare and making the facility inviting instead of a cold, institutional feel," says Cacciapaglia.

Additional elements in the medical center will include three elevators, roof mounted HVAC units, a loading dock area, an emergency generator system and a site parking lot with 158 spaces.

The project is expected to support 165 construction jobs with 165 permanent jobs in three years. It is being constructed in the city's BioMedical Corridor to complement the University Medical Center and VA hospitals. Those projects, which are still under construction, are generating almost $3 billion in construction activity.

Naples, Fla.-based DeAngelis Diamond Construction is serving as the general contractor and Ascension Group Architects out of Arlington, Texas, is the architect of record.