by Jeff Palmer
Pierce Care, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, recently broke ground on its renovation project along with Moser Pilon Architects, Construction Solutions Group and C.E. Floyd Company.
Let’s step back a few years: It’s 2019 and the Pierce Care community is looking forward to their long-awaited renovations. It had been 50 years since their last renovation, and they’ve spent the past six years working with Moser Pilon Nelson Architects and have chosen Construction Solutions Group as their OPM. Then COVID happens and, along with the rest of the world, the project is put on hold.
Next comes the struggle the AEC industry is all too familiar with: How do you continue the project while keeping residents, staff, and communities safe? Luckily, Pierce Care had a major advantage: The majority of their rooms are private and contain their own bathrooms. This is an absolute game changer from an infection control standpoint as residents and patients are able to be isolated and kept safe while construction occurs on campus.
C.E. Floyd was then able to step in and help Pierce Care use this advantage to create plans and procedures to continue their much needed renovations. With their private en suite rooms and thorough preplanning with an emphasis on containment, Pierce Care was able to secure approval from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Social Services to proceed with construction.
Minimizing the impact on residents and staff was the main priority. During the first phase of work, renovating six resident rooms, C.E. Floyd used hospital-grade STARC RealWall panels to help contain the noise, dust, and debris of construction, and negative air machines to ensure the air quality remained adequate. Weekly COVID testing of C.E. Floyd staff and their trade partners was conducted and tracked via spreadsheet, and colored stickers were used for hard hats.
With these protocols in place, it was crucial that a phasing plan was put into place and communicated to the staff, residents, and their families. We held weekly meetings via Zoom in which we ensured the staff was up to date on what construction was to occur and where. The use of LEAN boards helped keep everything organized. With preplanning and stellar communication, we were able to move six residents and their belongings into their newly remodeled homes in just two hours.
The initial round of renovation is complete at Pierce Care and C.E. Floyd has moved onto the next phase, which includes a new main entrance and elevator, as well as renovations to the entire existing building: 60+ bedrooms, an assisted living wing, and common spaces.
Jeff Palmer is director of Connecticut operations at C.E. Floyd Company.