Dameron Hospital

Central Utility Plant to Come Online Next Year
New facility will provide for higher capacity medical care and programs, as well as increased seismic safety.

central utility plant rendering8/02/04 - STOCKTON , CA - Through the years change has been a constant at Dameron Hospital , as we've grown to accommodate the healthcare needs of our community. Next year, change will once again be the order of the day as Dameron completes a series of renovations necessary to comply with new California safety laws included in Senate Bill 1953, an extension of the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Seismic Act of 1983.

In March of 1998, the SB 1953 became effective. The Alquist Act emphasized the need for hospital facilities to remain intact and operational after a seismic event. The Bill further directed that both structural and nonstructural components of all hospitals in the state of California should remain intact and operational for the provision of acute care in the event of an earthquake. It is because of this that Dameron has made such a grand effort to relocate and keep the central utility plant up to date.

The first phase of complying with The Bill is moving and upgrading the 40 year old plant currently used by the hospital. According to Nicholas Arismendi, COO of Dameron, the central facility is expected to be online in early 2005 at a cost of $10 million.

Although the decision for the plant has been developed over the past two years, discussion began in 1998. Stockton architect Tom Bowe has been working hand in hand with COO Nicholas Arismendi to make sure that the central utility plant will fit perfectly to the needs of Dameron. "Bowe was chosen because he has done projects in our community and showed great capabilities of working for Dameron on this project. Dameron greatly appreciates local talent and will be happy to take it when we can."

The new central plant will allow Dameron to upgrade with new, higher capacity equipment, capable of serving the facility in its long range plans for construction of new Maternity, Surgery and Emergency Departments. The 16,293 square foot central plant facility would include central chillers, boilers, medical gas, vacuum systems, electrical equipment and emergency generators for the entire hospital facility. Plant functions involve central heating, cooling, emergency power, electrical equipment, medical and other gas storage and maintenance functions. The facility would also include new office space for plant administration. The plant will be fueled by electrical and gas energy.

The project includes relocation of the existing Dameron Hospital central utility plant facilities to a new building immediately west of Edison Street and south of Magnolia Street , in what was a hospital parking lot. One of Dameron's objectives while building the plant is to reduce the parking impacts of the project by improving the efficiency of existing parking areas surrounding the project site. The long term objective of the project is to provide adequate space for both existing and potential future central plant needs as the hospital facility expands. "Making sure that we have enough parking is a primary concern for Dameron. Because we are located in a neighborhood, parking is very limited. It is important to us to ensure local, safe, and easy parking for our patients and their families.", COO Nicholas Arismendi stated. The parking reconstruction portion of the project would occupy the remainder of the block bounded by Magnolia, Harrison , Acacia and Van Buren Streets. The total project site is approximately 1.83 acres, 1.4 acres would be occupied by the parking lot and .43 acre by the central plant facility.

While putting together the central plant project, Dameron considered the needs of the neighbors and surrounding citizens of the hospital. Working with engineers, architects, energy specialists, and the Stockton City Council, a task force has come together. It's goal is to make sure that the construction gets necessary attention for a safe environment as well as keeping the needs of surrounding neighbors in the forefront of Dameron's agenda. Some issues decided on include noise regulations, foliage additions surrounding the construction site and an extra effort being given to keep Dameron neighbors informed on future construction of the hospital.

The SmithGroup is managing Dameron's SB 1953 project as a whole. The central utility plant is only one part of a larger picture. The SmithGroup houses a dedicated practice studio for healthcare master planning and programming. They have led hospital projects internationally and have completed over 60 hospital facility plans in the past ten years. The SmithGroup is more than well equipped to help manage the SB 1953 project. Crothall Assets Management is helping consult Dameron to ensure that the design and construction of the facility will conserve energy and help the hospital as well as Stockton with their energy reserve. A.F. Toccoli is doing the actual construction on site and has done many projects for Dameron in the past.

The central utility power plant for Dameron is a large step in beginning to comply with the Senate Bill 1953. It is also the first step towards making Dameron a safer, more emergency equipped institution. As COO, Nicholas Arismendi stated, "The central utility power plant is the backbone to the function and running of Dameron Hospital . With renovation of the new towers for energy and power for the entire hospital, this is one of the most important changes that we will make to keep our patients and their families well equipped for what may come in the future."

For more information, contact the Media Office at (209) 461-7547 or send an email to d.vigil@dameronhospital.org.

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