Fuss & O’Neill helps Elliot Health System expand services, parking

Elliot Health System: Expanding the Regional Cancer Center; building a new parking garage.

Elliot Health System, working with local developer Dick Anagnost, approached engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill in early 2018 to assist with two significant goals for the Elliot Hospital Campus in Manchester.

The first goal was to aid in the development of a comprehensive Regional Cancer Center. This meant designing an addition to the existing Elliot Regional Cancer Center, which currently features radiation oncology. The new facility would incorporate medical oncology services, in an effort to provide exceptional care for all patients under one roof. The second goal was to provide additional parking capacity to an already busy Elliot Hospital campus.

Before the Cancer Center expansion could be realized, a suitable on-site location needed to be identified. The addition would add approximately 20,000 square feet of new building area, more than doubling the center’s size.

Working with Elliot Health System and the design-build team of Bond Brothers Construction and E4H Architecture (Environments for Health), Fuss & O’Neill helped select a location that met the challenging site conditions, and blended well architecturally, with the existing hospital. Site challenges included steep grades and buried utilities (the main steam line for the hospital, water mains, electrical, and fiber optic cables) that would need to be protected or relocated.

Elliot Health System also wanted to provide an aesthetically-pleasing outdoor space for those recovering from illness. Fuss & O’Neill designed a healing garden located outside the infusion bays, which will be incorporated into the urban campus to give a peaceful oasis for patients during treatment. The design-build team will provide a cohesive, practical new building addition that meets the needs of patients, visitors and staff alike.

In order to appropriately site the Cancer Center addition, approximately 50 parking spaces would be lost from a hospital campus that experiences high demand for services daily. To address existing and new parking demands, a parking garage was proposed at the corner of Cypress and Massabesic Streets.

While this area is close to the hospital, significant site challenges existed, including a 30-foot elevation change and a large concrete stormwater pipe running through the site. Structural engineer Simon Design Engineering worked closely with Fuss & O’Neill to design a unique parking structure that would work with the terrain, provide suitable access to each level of the facility, and meet additional on-site challenges.

The three-level parking structure provides access independently on each level, and allows overhead clearance to access large pipes for maintenance. Providing expansive employee parking in the new garage will allow patients and visitors to park conveniently in the lots closest to the hospital entrances. The lower two levels of the structure can be accessed from Cypress Street, and the upper level can be accessed from a new bridge off of Elliot Way.

During construction of the parking structure, at the request of Bond Brothers, the design-build team worked on-site in the same field office one day each week to allow for hands-on collaboration and communication. This “lean” approach to design and construction aligns the needs of the Elliot Health System with regard to budgets and schedule, to produce the highest quality results while cutting waste in real time.

The parking structure is nearing completion. The Elliot Regional Cancer Center upgrades are set to begin in the spring.

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