$30M Heart of the City Health Center on track to serve 27,000 patients in Grand Rapids' urban core

Construction of Grand Rapids' $30 million Heart of the City Health Center is on schedule to serve an estimated 27,000 patients annually, beginning in August 2011. A project of Cherry Street Health Services, Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance and Touchstone Innovaré, the center will provide low-income patients with one-stop access to complete medical and mental health services.

After demolition of several buildings on the corner of Cherry and Sheldon streets SE, excavators removed 100,000 cubic feet of fill to make way for two levels of underground parking. Crews temporarily diverted the ground water flowing through the site using a dewatering system until they completed installation of the 22- and 32-foot-deep foundation system.

The foundation concrete contains Xypex and the rebar is epoxy coated -- waterproofing features that keep the material from degrading.

"Every downtown project is unique because you're limited on deliveries and staging because of the surroundings," says Justin Bialik, project manager for Pioneer Construction. Bialik has worked on urban medical construction that includes Spectrum Health and Pine Rest facilities.

"We saved about two months off the project by using precast for the parking structure, which is a new product in this area," he adds.

Bialik says the 430-space parking structure is 80 percent complete, and the two-level healthcare facility that sits atop it will soon sport exterior walls with façade surfaces of stone, metal panels and a glass curtain wall.

To qualify for the projected LEED Silver certification, the project includes a white roof system to reflect summer heat, five inches of insulation rather than the usual three, and in-floor heating in a 10-foot-wide perimeter of the building, which Bialik says will increase heating efficiency by 20 to 30 percent.

Besides the three partners, the complex -- bounded by Sheldon Avenue (west), Cherry St. (north), LaGrave Avenue (east) and the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese (south) -- will house a number of nonprofit healthcare providers, including Grand Rapids Pediatrics and the Ferguson Adult Center.

Source: Justin Bialik, Pioneer Construction; Heart of the City Health Center web site
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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