In January 2011, The Lemoine Co. completed major renovations on the Lafayette General Medical Center, originally built in 1963 and last updated in 1983. The renovation, expansion and exterior upgrade was completed while the existing facility was in operation.

"Bed count was critical for the hospital, so the planning that was involved in making a systematic plan that would not disrupt patient care was critical, as was the schedule," says Cecil Zachary, health care business unit leader at Lemoine. "You break this down into basically 42 sequences of construction. Each sequence represented a floor or wing, and we had to get a certificate of occupancy for every sequence. On that type of project, what happens is you schedule to take down a floor, then the hospital has to relocate patients, then you work the floor, stick to the schedule and then those patients come back into the renovated area. This was going on in a three-week cycle."

The $56-million project included 3,271 sq ft of dialysis space and a 4,265-sq-ft expansion of the new rehab department, along with new fireproofing and insulation worth $365,000.

"In terms of schedule, you can never get ahead at the job, you can only get behind." Zachary says. "On the 42 sequences that we had, we were never behind on any one of them."

Coordinating construction personnel to keep them out of public areas was another challenge the contractor faced.

"The hospital originally offered the use of service elevators in the center of the hospital, but we didn't want construction personnel and materials to get into those critical areas just to get to the service elevators," Zachary says.

The construction team devised a personnel and material hoist plan "that would take people from the ground level up to the roof on the second level and then through a platform to go across the roof to the tower and then to a buck hoist on the tower. And we had a system like that set up on each wing," he says.

While undergoing the renovation, the medical center actually received its highest-ever patient satisfaction score.

Key Players

Owner: Lafayette General Medical Center, Lafayette, La.

General Contractor: The Lemoine Co., Lafayette, La.

Lead Design: Washer Hill Lipscomb Cabaniss Architecture LLC, Baton Rouge, La.

MEP: Associated Design Group Inc., Lafayette, La.

Submitted by The Lemoine Co.