Carolinas Medical Center: Mercy

By: Payton Guion, staff writer//December 2, 2013//

Carolinas Medical Center: Mercy

By: Payton Guion, staff writer//December 2, 2013//

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Carolinas HealthCare System is renovating the south wing seventh floor of its Mercy medical center to create a 38-bed orthopedic unit. Photo by Payton Guion

CHARLOTTE – The Mercy branch of Carolinas Medical Center, founded in 1906 by the Sisters of Mercy as the first Catholic hospital in the state, has seen some changes over the years.

The most recent of those changes began several years ago, when Mercy received a Certificate of Need from the state, allowing them to send 45 acute-care beds to CMC Pineville, which Michael Moore said was completed a couple of years ago. Shortly after that transition, the state issued another Certificate of Need allowing Mercy to replace the 45 lost beds with 38 new beds.

So now Carolinas HealthCare System is in the midst of a roughly $3.2 million renovation project to convert the entire south wing of the seventh floor from a long-term, acute-care facility into an orthopedic unit, said Moore, the director of project and construction management for CHS.

Construction started in September on the renovations, which Moore said will amount to a gutting of that part of the hospital and a complete re-do. The only thing that will remain the same are the window locations, he said.

Gone will be the old walls. The 45 small, private patient rooms are being converted into the larger rooms necessary for orthopedic care and the equipment that comes along with it.

“There were originally long-term acute-care rooms on the seventh floor that are going to be orthopedic care rooms with more square feet that are 100 percent handicap compliant,” Moore said. “That’s what this renovation is doing, bringing everything up to code, up to current (regulations), as well as making the conversion.”

When the Mercy buildings were built, the accessibility codes that exist today weren’t around, Moore said. The doorways were originally three feet wide, but the renovations will allow them to be four feet wide.

“We’re dealing with people with mobility impairment, we had to make some changes,” he said. The renovation project will also add a gym for physical therapy, as required in orthopedic wings.

Moore said Hostetter & Keach, the Pineville-based general contractor, is about 80 percent done with the interior demolition. After demolition is complete, electrical, mechanical and plumbing activities will commence, followed by the framing of the walls. The final steps in the process are hanging sheet rock and furnishing the orthopedic unit. Moore said mechanical units and nursing stations already have been ordered, preparing for the furnishing phase.

Renovations are set to wrap up in April or May on the 19,000-square-foot orthopedic wing, Moore said.


Project description: A former acute-care hospital wing is being converted into an orthopedic-care unit for 38 patients.

Address: 2001 Vail Ave., Charlotte

Square footage: 19,000

Project cost: Roughly $3.2 million

General contractor: Pineville-based Hostetter & Keach

Construction started: September

Expected completion: April or May, 2014



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