Sentara Leigh Hospital West Tower opens to patients on Wednesday
Wednesday brings the opening of a second new patient tower at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk. At about 6:00 a.m. on April 8, the first inpatients will begin transferring from the 1977-era, three-story wing at Sentara to the five-story West Tower, the hospital said in a press release.
West Tower is almost a mirror image of the East Tower, which opened in November 2013. According to Sentara, the East Tower is the site of the largest clinical trial in the world on whether copper-infused hard surfaces and linens will help prevent hospital-acquired infections. The West Tower also isoutfitted with the copper-infused materials.
After the patient move is completed, B-wing will be handed over to primary contractor Whiting-Turner for demolition and replacement with a two-story atrium lobby due for completion in 2016 with outpatient areas, education spaces and a new gift shop. The project also will provide a new entrance to a 48-year-old hospital that is being replaced and/or modernized within its own footprint.
The hospital said the project has been an engineering challenge due to the need to demolish segments of the old structures and drive hundreds of piles to build new facilities just a few feet from active patient rooms. Previous projects doubled the size of the emergency department, added new operating rooms and modernized sterile support.