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East Grand Rapids : Development News

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Blodgett Hospital's $98 million expansion includes rooms with a view

Deborah Johnson Wood

The $98 million expansion of Grand Rapids' Blodgett Hospital converts the entire facility to private rooms – many of which will have a lake view.

"It's an enormous pleasure to look out the windows, because some of the rooms face Fisk Lake," says Derrick Brown, project manager for Spectrum Health Hospital Group. "It's just breathtaking to see the lake and the gorgeous homes. This is the only healthcare facility that I've ever worked on that's had a significant view like that."

Brown says the 162,000-square-foot addition converts the entire hospital to private patient rooms and adds eight operating rooms, bringing the total operating rooms to 14 with space to add four more, if needed.

The four-story LEED project is on budget and on schedule for public tours the week of September 20 and seeing patients the week of October 10, 2010.

The drywall installation is complete on all floors, with final painting and wall coverings underway. The first floor construction is completed and awaiting the arrival of cabinets and nurses' stations, says Brown.

The original plans did not include a basement, but Brown says that was added after construction began.

But even though everything is on schedule, the project has presented its own set of challenges.

"The site has very limited space and we haven't had "lay down" space for building materials," Brown says. "Some portions have been built offsite and brought over; other things, like the steel, came precut and prepped so we were able to move a lot faster."

Throughout the length of the project Brown says Spectrum Health has kept neighbors apprised of what to expect.

"The Blodgett campus is a community hospital, and any time the work will be noisy, create vibrations or we've had to shut down a street, we've communicated that by going door-to-door," Brown says. "I've done this type of work at other hospitals for a number of years and nowhere have we had the interaction with the community that we've had here."

Source: Derrick Brown, Spectrum Health Hospital Group

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Development News tips can be sent to info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

$790,000 Reeds Lake Trail phase 2 makes strides to keep walkers, cyclists safe

Deborah Johnson Wood

Phase 2 of the Reeds Lake Trail will break ground as soon as weather permits, providing an off-street walking and cycling path along the east side of Reeds Lake when completed in July.

The path will connect the existing Reeds Lake Trail at Kate Avenue SE between Reeds Lake and the East Beltline and run 0.75 miles northwest along Reeds Lake Blvd. to Manhattan Road SE. Users can then connect to sidewalks to complete the loop around Reeds Lake.

"This phase involves both East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Township and has been over five years in the works," says East Grand Rapids City Manager Brian Donovan. "It's taken so long because of fundraising and the wetlands plan."

The wetlands plan involved having to eliminate one-half acre of wetlands along portions of the trail. Donovan says the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality required creation of a full acre of wetlands to replace it. The project will create that acre of wetlands near Waterfront Park on the west side of the lake. The city has five years to make the wetlands changes.

Completion of the trail loop allows users to travel off-street for the entire four-plus miles of the loop around the lake. Just north of the trail along the East Beltline, users can connect with Grand Rapids Township trails. In East Grand Rapids, bike lane markings on Wealthy Street run from Gaslight Village to the west city limits, where Donovan says Grand Rapids officials propose to continue the lane markings to downtown Grand Rapids.

Nearly $600,000 of the trail completion's $790,000 price tag is from private donations. Donovan says the project is within $3,000 of its goal. Those interested in providing a donation can contact the city of East Grand Rapids for more information.

Source: Brian Donovan, City of East Grand Rapids

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Have a development news tip for Rapid Growth? Contact us at info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

Grand Rapids athlete invents warming product for cold weather runners, cyclists

Deborah Johnson Wood

Dan Socie is an all-around guy – a freelance graphics and web designer by trade, and an amateur endurance athlete by hobby. And now he's an inventor.

Socie has invented an embrocation for use by runners and cyclists to warm up their muscles before they run outside in cold weather.

An embrocation is a warming liniment that's applied topically. Socie's embrocation consists of shea butter, capsaicin, black pepper and menthol. He and his business partner Geoff Kuyper are marketing it under the brand and business name Soigneur (swan-yer).

"Soigneur is French for 'an assistant,'" Socie says. "In professional cycling, a soigneur is an assistant that gets water, arranges for or does massage therapy, gets the food, and is basically the athlete's personal assistant. I wanted to make a product to take the soigneur role for amateur athletes."

Socie says cyclists who bike in cold weather have used European embrocations, but he plans to market his product to runners and skiers as well. He says athletes apply the embrocation to their legs before running, biking or skiing. The shea butter keeps the product on the skin, and body heat activates the capsaicin that warms the skin. That warmth penetrates to the muscles.

"Your legs are warm and it's nicer to go out in the cold with warm legs," Socie says. "It enhances the experience. When you go for a run or ride in the cold weather, it takes 20 minutes, half an hour to warm up. This product speeds up that process and you can get to the more enjoyable part of your workout sooner."

Socie says he spent the past year working with a Scottsdale, Ariz. laboratory and manufacturer to develop the product.

The embrocation is available for advance order online at www.soigneur.net and will begin shipping at the end of February. A launch party to introduce the product is planned for February 24 at Richard App Gallery from 6 to 10 p.m.

Source: Dan Socie, Soigneur

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Have a development news tip for Rapid Growth? Contact us at info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

66 East Grand Rapids Articles | Page: | Show All
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