Despite an unusually wet fall and a frigid winter, the flagship building of the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences in Fishersville is on track for completion on time by May 1.
Brent Douglass, director of facilities management at Mary Baldwin, is overseeing the project and says 70 percent of the building is finished. Its structure and exterior masonry are complete, 80 percent of the windows are installed, permanent roof installation is half-finished, and framing of the glass curtain walls on the north and south sides of the atrium is in progress. Interior partitions are framed, and drywall is being installed on the first and second floors. All mechanical systems are complete, and permanent electric, water, and gas service installation are underway. Landscaping and site work around the building should start in March.
The swift development of MDCHS has not come without its challenges, however. Kjellstrom + Lee Construction workers have been laboring six days per week for months.
“They continue to do a remarkable job keeping the project on schedule, in spite of higher than normal rainfall last fall and abnormally low temperatures this winter,” Douglass said.
The first group of students in the doctor of physical therapy and doctor of occupational therapy programs will start courses in mid-June. Murphy Deming faculty recently toured the building with Kjellstrom + Lee’s construction superintendent, reviewing each lab and classroom to ensure specifics regarding those spaces were in place. Equipment for the labs has been ordered and is expected to arrive in early May.
According to Linda Seestedt-Stanford, vice president for health sciences, the vision for the building was reinforced during that visit.
“Lots of light, views of the mountains, and well thought-out classrooms and lab spaces complement this innovatively designed building,” she said, “Faculty and staff are excited about welcoming our new students to the state-of-the-art building in June.”