July 01, 2021
Press Releases & News

Clark Construction Reaches Key Milestone in Clovis Community Medical Center Expansion

Clovis, CA – Clark Construction Group recently completed structural steel assembly for a new entrance to the Clovis Community Medical Center. This signature architectural element is one of several significant construction milestones achieved by the general contractor and Clovis Community’s facilities planning and construction department over the past year as part of the hospital’s Phase C expansion.

An essential piece of the healthcare infrastructure, Clovis Community serves residents throughout California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. The Phase C project marks the team’s fifth collaboration on the medical center campus in Clovis and includes the construction of a new five-story patient tower, as well as an expansion to the hospital’s emergency department, pharmacy and laboratory, materials management, loading dock, and dining and nutrition services. A new lobby building and 617-space parking structure are also included in the scope. With 144 new patient beds, including 24 ICU beds, 7 in-patient operating rooms, and 12 Emergency Department beds, the new expansion will help the hospital system accommodate steady inpatient growth that is expected to continue.

The team switched over to a new capacity oxygen tank just before Christmas Eve, increasing the hospital’s oxygen capacity four-fold.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Clark and Clovis Community teams safely advanced the $430 million project, furthering the hospital’s long-term goals for added capacity while simultaneously supporting life-saving operations as the pandemic surged and pushed the facility to its limits. The four-year expansion and renovation project was nearing the half-way point when the pandemic first took hold in March 2020. Amid a state-wide shelter-in-place order, Clark and Clovis Community determined how to move construction forward while safeguarding patients, hospital staff, and construction crews.

“Clark has served as a trusted partner to Community Medical Centers for nearly two decades. Our ability to navigate the events of the last year and support the rapidly evolving needs of this community, would not have been possible without the trust and teamwork that exists between our two organizations. We are incredibly grateful for Clark’s partnership and for the perseverance of our trade partners who helped us move this project forward under extraordinary circumstances,” said Craig Wagoner, executive vice president & chief operating officer, Community Medical Centers.

As Covid-19 cases rose steadily during the fall of 2020, the Central Valley was among the hardest hit regions in the state. Community Medical Centers’ two acute care hospitals cared for more COVID-19 patients than all of San Francisco County’s hospitals combined. To reach construction milestones while maintaining critical hospital services, Clark and Clovis Community:

  • Ensured Safety was a Shared Priority. Clark worked closely with Clovis Community leaders, construction trade partners, and Cal/OSHA representatives to chart a plan to safely continue construction while minimizing the risk of virus spread. The hospital’s ever-changing set of circumstances demanded intensive stakeholder communication and coordination with myriad hospital departments to choreograph construction operations in and around active Covid-19 treatment areas. As demand increased for PPE nationwide, and wildfires sparked across the Central Valley, and trade contractors struggled to secure face coverings for their workforce and grappled with the added costs of safety, hospital leaders stepped in to provide support, ensuring that work could commence safely and that craftworkers had the equipment necessary to feel comfortable coming to work.
     
  • Accelerated Work to Provide Critical Support for the Medical Campus. In December, the hospital’s Respiratory Department reported that they were at 80 percent capacity with oxygen levels. With Clovis Community’s ICU nearing capacity, and surge bed conversions increasing, the demand for oxygen was outpacing the hospital’s regular output. Anticipating an after-Christmas surge, the Clark and Clovis Community teams worked to re-sequence and accelerate construction of the bulk oxygen yard to meet the urgent need. With time of the essence, Clark and its trade partners committed to completing two months’ worth of work in one week. Working through the night, the team switched over to a new capacity oxygen tank just before Christmas Eve, increasing the hospital’s oxygen capacity four-fold.
     
  • Brought Key Trades to the Table to Ensure Trust, Transparency, and Team Alignment. To foster an open dialogue and ensure alignment among key stakeholders, Clark and Clovis Community instituted weekly meetings with the lead project manager and superintendent from each major trade. These sessions served as a forum to discuss changes in hospital operations, construction sequencing, and safety protocols; they also provided a platform for trade contractors to raise issues and concerns about schedule and workforce changes, work conditions, and other hot topics that, if not addressed in a timely manner, could have caused disruptions to the job. The meetings forged trust among the project team and gave Clark and its trade contractors the confidence to not only continue work, but to grow the workforce on site by nearly 300% over the ensuing months.
     
  • Engaged Regulatory Agency OSHPD to Gain Expedited Approval for Critical Elements of Work. The typical OSHPD sign-off period for work associated with an oxygen yard is close to a month. As the team developed plans to accelerate this element of work, an imperative piece of the puzzle was getting early buy-in and support from OSHPD officials. Clovis Community contacted OSHPD to convey the gravity of the situation. Through those early conversations, OSHPD pledged to expedite the operation on the new tank, which would increase the hospital’s oxygen capacity. OSHPD officials signed off on the new oxygen system on Christmas Eve, enabling the hospital to support increased demand for the lifesaving gas throughout the holiday season and into 2021.
     
  • Provided Early Vaccination Access for the Construction Workforce. As vaccines became available in early 2021, Community Medical Centers deemed Clark and its trade partners as essential vendors to the hospital and provided early access for more than 300 construction team members to the vaccine.