Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge is nearly halfway through construction a $20 million medical center in Plaquemine, La. The 43,000-sq-ft facility will bring much needed services to a parish that has been without a hospital since 2008 when River West Medical Center was forced to close due to damages from Hurricane Gustav.

Courtesy of Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge Inc.
Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge is constructing a $20 million, 43,000-sq-ft medical center in Plaquemine, La.

“We're right on schedule at roughly 40 percent through it and anticipate a completion date in the winter of 2014,” says Keith Keller, vice president of operations for Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge Inc.

The world-class facility will feature 24 patient exam/procedure rooms, a lab and a radiology service area that will include x-ray, CAT scan, MRI and ultrasound. The building will also feature an emergency backup power supply and a large helipad to accommodate large military helicopters during emergencies such as hurricanes.

The building itself is being constructed with structural steel and cast-in-place concrete, flat roof, and a brick facade with stucco panels. Keller says glass and glazing will cover approximately 40% of the building's exterior.

Keller says a challenging aspect of the project is that the 27-acre facility site sits on an old sugar cane field. Lincoln drove 1,000 piles to provide a solid foundation for the facility. The 80-ft piles consisted of 63 ft of timber along with a 17-ft can compacted with concrete at 4,000 psi.

Due to heavy rains during that phase of the project, Keller says they reversed the process by driving piles to grade, pouring all concrete beams and footings, then filling and compacting the earth to grade.

“It was the best way to overcome the challenge, otherwise we would have had extended weather delays trying to dig and deal with muddy conditions,” says Keller.

Keller says Lincoln is working with approximately 60 sub contractors and vendors on the project. The lead architect of record is Grace & Hebert Architects from Baton Rouge.