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F&T Underway on SVMC Emergency Dept. Project

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) is investing $25.8 million to enhance its facilities and services, with a focus on improving patient safety, privacy, and infection prevention. The project, currently in construction, includes the complete renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department, Main Entrance, and other key areas. Fitzemeyer & Tocci (F&T) is providing MEP/FP and construction administration services and is working closely with SVMC, Lavallee Brensinger Architects, and PC Construction to ensure a smooth and efficient project delivery.

Ongoing construction at SVMC. Photo Courtesy of PC Construction

With the existing Emergency Department designed over 40 years ago to handle 14,000 patient visits per year but now serving nearly 25,000 annually, the need for renovation and expansion is critical. The project will double the size of the department, featuring vertical treatment areas for highly efficient treatment of low-acuity conditions, expanded mental health crisis care area, and increased telehealth connectivity with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. The extended emergency department will have 18 treatment spaces to further enhance patient care. In addition, the project includes renovations to the Main Entrance, café, outpatient registration area, Imaging Department waiting area, and phlebotomy and laboratory upgrades.

The MEP/FP design by F&T includes flexible negative pressure zones, arranged in pods, that can accommodate current or future pandemic concerns and maximize staff and patient safety, as well as flexible equipment that can adjust flow to accommodate the phasing. All available methods of existing condition verification were incorporated into the design; visual investigation, SD scanning & modeling, and existing (old) drawing research. Additionally, the hospital’s hot water heating plant system is upgraded to facilitate re-heat conversion from steam to chilled water; not only serving the project but also improving the overall hospital heating systems.


Undertaking this project is a huge challenge, particularly due to the phased approach required. The project team must coordinate and communicate effectively throughout the design and construction process, as they must complete the ED expansion while the existing ED area remains operational. F&T, Lavallee Brensinger Architects, and PC Construction have been flexible and responsive, while SVMC facilities staff, leadership, and the Skanska OPM group have made quick decisions to keep the project on schedule and within budget. The project is set to finish in early 2024 and will significantly transform SVMC's facilities and services to improve patient care.


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