Up We Go: Creating a new pathway to TMC Emergency

A new entry boulevard is partially complete, and is already carrying traffic into the Tucson Medical Center campus at the intersection of Grant Road and Beverly Avenue. Two-way traffic has been restored as vehicles use newly installed pavement at Grant and Beverly.

Now, work begins on rebuilding the remaining old roadway and parking spaces.  The area directly in front of the main TMC Emergency entrance is temporarily torn up, so all foot traffic for the west end of the hospital is using the side entrance just past the main Emergency door.

Emergency Department access will always be maintained via the side door just north of the temporarily closed main Emergency doors.

New parking spaces for patients and visitors are now available in the improved parking lot in front of Emergency, and access has been improved to the new 600-space parking garage just to the west.  Right in front of the temporary Emergency entrance, visitors can pull into a patient drop-off area, or use the FREE valet service, available seven days a week.

These final phases of road work will create a direct path for patients and visitors who will use the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, opening next spring with patient rooms, orthopaedic clinics, and advanced high-tech operating rooms.

Up We Go: Restoring the Erickson Building’s Stateliness

A few steps away from the construction zone for the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower is a charming two-story stucco and brick house.  Temporarily hidden behind a shroud of plastic sheets and scaffolding, the Erickson Building is filled with carved woodwork, balconies and history.

The Erickson Building, designed by architect Henry Jaastad, was built in the 1920s as a residence for a wealthy New York couple, Anna Edith Erickson and Alfred William Erickson. On this site, the Ericksons helped create the Desert Sanatorium, a tuberculosis treatment facility that eventually was donated to the community in the 1940s to become Tucson Medical Center.

Now, decades later, TMC has embarked upon extensive renovation projects for the Erickson Building and several other historic properties on the campus.  Significant tasks are now under way at the Erickson site, focused on stabilization and repair of the exterior of the building.  This phase of work, scheduled to finish by the end of the year, includes:

  • removal and replacement of stucco
  • removal of non-essential or period-incorrect appurtenances
  • structural repairs to walls and roof
  • revamp of existing grading to prevent water damage

One affirmative observer is Donald Shropshire, TMC president emeritus who lived in the Erickson home during part of his quarter-century tenure as TMC administrator.

“This building represents a major philanthropic act by Mrs. Erickson,” Shropshire said. “Because of her generosity, it stands as a very important building within the TMC campus.   I couldn’t live in it without feeling the presence of Mrs. Erickson.

“It’s more than a home.  It is a symbol of true community spirit and a substantial gift that has truly paid dividends for Tucson.” 

Up We Go: Make a Virtual Visit to the New TMC Tower

You don’t have to have knee surgery to see what the new patient rooms will look like in the TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower. And you don’t have to be a surgeon to explore the workings of the new high-tech operating rooms now under construction.

With just a quick click of the mouse, anyone can ‘tour’ the four-story building, which will be the first hospital center dedicated to orthopaedics in Southern Arizona.

Among the highlights of the new “Up We Go” virtual tour:
• Expansive operating rooms with ceiling mounted screens and equipment for 3-D imaging
• Inpatient rooms designed to accommodate patients, caregivers and family members without crowding
• Dedicated pediatric areas that are child-friendly and child-sized, with staff specially trained in pediatric procedures
• Environmentally sensitive features that help TMC conserve resources while providing 21st century care

“While this project is under construction, it would require hardhats and safety equipment to enter the facility, but thanks to our online capabilities, we can welcome the public to our new virtual tour right now,” said Julia Strange, vice president, Community Benefit.

“We are excited to share the news about all the new services this facility will allow us to provide to the people of Southern Arizona.”

Click on the Interactive Tour by taking the ‘Campus Redevelopment’ link at the TMC website, www.tmcaz.com.


Up We Go: Construction Milestones Keep Climbing

Many tons of mechanical equipment will be needed to support clinical activities in the TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, opening next spring.  Massive air handlers and electrical infrastructure will sustain the state-of-the-art facility.

And now, the major heavy machinery is all in place, above the top floor of the four-story structure. A huge crane recently hoisted the final payloads, including a 13,000-pound chiller that will enhance the critically important cooling system for the tower.

Also on the way up is the stonework on the building’s exterior. Natural stone will be a notable part of the new building’s appearance, and masonry craftsmen are creating the stone features of the edifice.

To make sure that everything would go smoothly, sample stonework was first installed on a small mock-up structure next to the main building.  The trial area allowed workers to test the stonework, windows and other surfaces to confirm their weather-proofing and esthetic characteristics.

All the elements will come together in the spring when the building opens with clinic space for Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, private rooms for TMC orthopaedic patients, and 24 high-tech operating rooms for TMC’s surgical procedures.

Parking Garage on West Campus Takes Shape

Construction on TMC’s west campus is going vertical, as work crews and cranes erect a multi-level parking deck. When finished, the garage will provide more than 600 spaces for TMC visitors, patients and physicians.

Next to the garage, ground has been cleared for the new four-story pavilion that will add upgraded clinic, surgery and patient care areas. The facility will support a partnership between TMC and Tucson Orthopaedic Institute to create a world-class orthopedic specialty center, to be managed cooperatively by TMC and TOI.

Steel for the hospital tower will start to rise in mid-December.

During the project, remember that visitors and patients headed for Outpatient Services will use the Emergency Department entrance and follow the corridor north to the reception desk. The hospital will always maintain direct access to Emergency and outpatient services during the project. Traffic signage will help patients reach drop-off and parking areas near the West Entrance.

Construction underway on TMC’s west campus

With site preparation under way for TMC’s new West Pavilion hospital wing, vehicles and pedestrians still have access to the Emergency Department and the West Entrance.  A temporary loop is designated for patient drop-off near the Emergency entrance, serving those headed for Emergency or other Outpatient Services.  Watch for signs to direct traffic – and free valet parking is available every day right at the drop-off point.

Meanwhile, work is under way for utility upgrades and widening of the loop road along the north edge of campus, from the Northeast Entrance to the Beverly intersection, and beyond.

The current projects at the west end of the hospital, with an estimated investment of $100 million, will add upgraded surgery and patient care areas in a four-story pavilion, and a patient/visitor parking deck. The facility will support a partnership between TMC and Tucson Orthopaedic Institute to create a world-class orthopedic specialty center, to be managed cooperatively by TMC and TOI.

To open in the first half of 2012:

  • More than 600 spaces in Parking Garage

Planned for occupancy in mid 2013:

  • 26 operating rooms, plus future option for two more rooms to be completed later
  • 40 private patient rooms, designated for post-surgical care
  • Lobby, support services and physician offices on ground floor
  • Total size of building, more than 200,000 square feet

TMC also will widen the hospital loop road on the west and north sides of the campus, upgrade the campus entryway at Beverly Avenue, and construct a Founder’s Park to honor important figures in TMC’s history.

Removal of modular building to clear way for construction

The parking area across from Tucson Medical Center Emergency and the West Entrance – Lot 19 – will lose a long-time resident after Labor Day, when the modular MHC clinic building is dismantled and removed. It will take up to two weeks to complete the process.

Through the years, the modular building has been used by TMC Emergency, Employee Health, Human Resources & Benefits, and other functions. The current occupant, MHC Healthcare physician offices, will move out before Labor Day, as the practice moves across Grant Road into the Tucson Medical Park.

Expect traffic and parking patterns to change as crews prepare to haul out the modular sections. Other crews will begin working on other parts of the parking area in preparation for the four-story hospital unit that will be built on the site. In the coming weeks, watch for temporary detours near Emergency during some of the required trench work.

Pedestrian Alert: Take steps to detour around construction

Construction projects on the west end of the hospital will continue to affect traffic for months to come – and this includes pedestrian traffic, as well as vehicular.

For everyone’s safety, pedestrians must not walk through construction areas or use the streets as walkways. To safely navigate around the west campus construction, employees can follow the recommended path across the loop road just north of the Moqui Building, which will link the area near the Square & Compass clinics to Lifegain Park and the sidewalks that connect to other hospital areas – as shown in the map below.

Pedestrians should particularly avoid the stretch between the Erickson Building and the Warehouse, where the new parking garage and new hospital wing will soon rise. (Remember that traffic on that stretch is restricted to one lane, alternating north and south, until approximately Aug. 19.)

Also, note that additional road work will begin later this summer and this fall on the northern leg of the loop road, near the Alamo Building and the CCRS / Square & Compass building.  Watch for more advisories for vehicles and pedestrians in the coming weeks.

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461