Kent's surgical center nears May completion


Think of the latest addition to Kent Hospital – the 30,000-square foot ambulatory surgery center slated to open in May – as an apple.

Yes, it’s red, but that doesn’t make it the apple. It’s what’s inside the second floor of this freestanding building, connected to the hospital by a corridor that will make it Kent’s apple.

The ambulatory surgery center is built around a “core” of eight surgical suites. The design embraces versatility, efficiency and accessibility. Rather than being limited to specific procedures, surgical suites can be customized to meet specific needs with the use of carts that fit into specially designed enclosures.

“This will be a leading example of ambulatory surgical facilities in the Northeast,” said hospital spokesman James Beardsworth, who joined a recent tour of the facility conducted by James Bendokas, project manager for Dimeo Construction.

The center occupies the second floor of the building. The first floor, which is also 30,000 square feet, will house medical offices.

“It’s about making the experience as comfortable as possible,” Beardsworth says as Bendokas guides the tour in what will become the footsteps of a patient going from a reception and intake area to rooms where patients would be prepared for their specific procedure. The center will house 27 pre- and post-operation beds and, as Beardsworth emphasizes, “state-of-the-art” equipment.

Beardsworth explains that Kent is partnering with Seavest Healthcare Properties that owns the building and leases it to the hospital. The cost for the medical offices portion of the project is expected to be $14.5 million. Kent Hospital is also partnering with developer Trammell Crow Company, architect Steffian Bradley and Dimeo Construction. The project, including the ambulatory surgery center, short stay unit with 10 rooms and the new lobby, will cost $15 million.

Beardsworth further notes the center is designed to offer patient and staff tracks enabling a smooth flow of operations. That may be hard to envision as crews put finishing touches to flooring and men on stepladders wrap insulation around pipes that are above ceiling tiles. But a lot is in place, too, like the stainless steel units that resemble giant clothes washers used to sterilize equipment.

Bringing it all together is a “coordination process,” says Bendokas who has been managing construction projects for 19 years. Medical projects like that at Kent require extensive system checks and testing to gain certification. Checks are required of gas and electrical systems.

“There’s a lot more to it than building an office suite,” he said.

Construction on the center started last May after the shell of the building was completed. Upwards of 70 people have worked on the project.

Bendokas put the center at more than 90 percent completed. He put the completion date as early this May.


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