Construction will begin next month on a project to renovate and reconfigure 65,000 square feet of first-floor corridor space that will connect John Sealy Hospital and six other medical buildings at UTMB. The work will cost about $15.3 million and is expected to be completed by July 2013. In the end, the area will have:
- Modernized and flood-resistant concourse areas and corridors that provide uninterrupted space between buildings.
- Separate corridor routes for the public and clinical personnel.
- Independent climate and utility systems for the ground floor and upper floors.
“The concourse will be a patient-friendly crossroads and strategic centerpiece that links the many locations in our clinical care areas as well as the east and west sides of our campus,” said Steve LeBlanc, assistant vice president for facilities risk management. “It is designed to help visitors find their way, shorten walking distances, provide a pleasant environment and add features to minimize flood damage.”
Building engineers learned several lessons from Hurricane Ike in 2008 and its damaging floodwaters that rose as high as 2 feet in some campus buildings. Concourse and corridor walls, for example, will be tiled and made of water-resistant cement board rather than conventional drywall. Heating and cooling systems on the ground floor will be isolated from systems that supply air to the upper floors.
In addition, the staff corridors will have sealed concrete floors. Public corridors will have terrazzo and tile flooring, and color-coded themes to help visitors find restrooms, elevators and other parts of the buildings.
The buildings that will be affected by the project include the Clinical Sciences Building, John W. McCullough Building, John Sealy Annex, John Sealy Hospital (main entry and Main Street corridor), R. Waverley Smith Pavilion, Research Building 6 (formerly Children’s Hospital), and UTMB Health Clinics.
Entrances to buildings connected by the concourse will be closed at varying times and notices will be published as construction advances.