Construction has started on a $24 million rehabilitation center in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. When completed, the Cobalt Medical Center will be a state-of-the-art medical facility and rehabilitation hospital to treat traumatic brain injuries, concussions, Parkinson's Disease and other services. While the project officially broke ground in the summer of 2014, construction was delayed for a year and recently resumed in late July.
The two-story, 64,000-sq-ft facility will feature 60 beds along with a full service kitchen, a dining area, administration offices and an emergency room department.
Cobalt Medical Development Vice President of Design and Construction Peter Cacciapaglia says the facility will consists of steel and concrete construction with an exterior skin of stucco, adhered calcium silicate tile and architectural features. Rooms will feature natural lighting and views, something Cacciapaglia says was intended to make the facility “warmer” and provide a more “hotel-like environment” than typical hospitals.
“We're trying to focus more on the hospitality in healthcare and making the facility investing, instead of a cold, institutional feel,” says Cacciapaglia.
Cacciapaglia says the first floor will feature an emergency room and a 16-bed Traumatic Brain Injury Unit. The second floor will be constructed to support a 44-bed unit along with a pharmacy, laboratory and gym. The facility will also feature three elevators and 158 on-site parking spaces. To better withstand storms, the center will be constructed with roof-mounted HVAC units and a robust emergency generator system.
Ascension Group Architects out of Arlington, Texas, is the architect of record and DeAngelis Diamond Construction of Naples, Fla., is serving as the general contractor.
Cobalt Medical Center is being constructed on a vacant lot in the Biomedical Corridor near the new VA Hospital and University Medical Center. It is set to open in late 2016 and expected to create 165 construction jobs.