By AMBLE SMOKER
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Robins & Morton, a construction and engineering company based out of Birmingham, Ala., is literally moving mountains to complete the new Cherokee Indian Hospital construction project. To date, the project has moved 547,573 total cubic yards of dirt, which would fill one football field 309 feet high and take an F-250 pickup truck 238,075 trips to move.
“With the site work out here, we’ve literally taken a mountain, carved out a side of it to make a flat building area. We’ve moved about 600,000 cubic yards of earth so far,” said Marshall Scott, project manager with Robins & Morton.
The construction site, located above the current Cherokee Indian hospital, is separated into five areas; each sectioned off with a letter in buildings A through E. The project is moving along with the steel erected in building A, complete with an elevated concrete slab on the first floor. Once the second floor slab is poured, the interior and exterior crews will be able to begin work immediately to reduce downtime while other phases of the project are completed.
“Right now, we are installing the structural steel,” explained Scott. “We have done all of building A and are erecting steel on building D, where we will be working for a couple more weeks. But, we don’t wait until the steel is complete. We phase that stuff, so as soon as one activity is done we’re working on the next activity in that area to help expedite the schedule to make it as efficient as possible.”
The new Cherokee Indian Hospital construction is slated to be complete and ready to see new patients by January 2016. Building A, where the steel and concrete slabs are almost complete, will be ready for the owners to begin moving in equipment around early May 2015 and ready for use in June 2015. The complete project as a whole will be a new 150,000 square foot healthcare facility.
Scott commented, “What has been nice is working with the Tribe. We’ve been able to move a lot of this material over to this site (where the construction offices are located), which I think has been called the Wal-Mart site. We didn’t just move it over here and dump it. As we’ve put it in place, we’ve compacted it and are making this property a lot better than it was previously. This will be a good compacted, buildable site over here. It was a win-win for both of us. We didn’t have to go off-site and use on-road trucks to spoil the earth we are moving. We were able to bring it next door and improve this site. It should make this property more valuable for the Tribe in the future.”