June 26 , 2006
Clifton Road project begins
BY Ron Sauder
The longest journey begins with a single step.
The 10-year march toward Emory’s capital projects that underpin the strategic plan, including up to 10 new undergraduate residence halls, several science buildings, a new theology complex, a new Emory Clinic and a new Emory University Hospital, has begun.
The first element of the new healthcare complex will begin in the summer of 2007, with the demolition of the Turman Residential Center at 1770 Haygood Drive. The 1964- and 1982-vintage buildings have not aged well and need either massive renovation or replacement, says Vice President for Campus Services Bob Hascall. The decision to remove them sets the table for many ensuing changes, all of which are designed to support Emory’s vision while keeping the clinic and hospital operations running like clockwork for faculty, staff and patients during the period of major construction.
“This is an exceedingly interesting project for the University and Emory Healthcare, both because of the project’s scale and because of the intricate staging and sequencing that will be involved,” said Michael Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration. “Peer universities have proved that major additions and renovations to academic medical centers can be accomplished while maintaining normal clinical operations. We will benefit from their experiences and introduce a few new wrinkles of our own.”
John Fox, CEO of Emory Healthcare, added that, “the trustees have made it clear that we must proceed through this process in a deliberate step-wise fashion with periodic reality checks on funding, feasibility and advisability. We will always be planning many steps ahead, but our ability to get to the end depends on world-class execution at every stage. Convenient and accessible transportation for our patients, doctors, nurses and staff will be job one, and that’s where we are starting.”
With the Turman checkers removed from the board along Haygood Drive, space will be cleared for construction of a new 720-space parking deck. That deck, in turn, is expected to be available to support the clinic and hospital needs by summer 2008. It will be connected by a pedestrian tunnel to the eventual site of the new clinic and hospital on the east side of Clifton Road.
The new spaces will be needed to replace parking which will be lost, in the physicians and Scarborough parking decks and in one-third of the Lowergate deck beginning in 2008, when site preparation is scheduled to begin for the new clinic.
“That will be step two,” said Fox. “First we get step one right.”
“We are building a world-class University, including facilities for transforming health and healing in the 21st century,” said Michael M.E. Johns, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of Emory Healthcare. “That new model of healthcare depends totally on our ability to provide a new level of convenience, satisfaction and quality for patients. That in turn hinges on our ability to work in more highly-integrated teams of doctors, nurses, staff and allied health professionals. Everyone is important, and we are paying heightened attention to the everyday logistical needs everyone must solve to be effective at their jobs.”
Turman residence halls currently house nearly 600 undergraduates who will be accommodated elsewhere, including the first new freshman residence hall and Clairmont Campus, beginning in the fall semester of 2007. The name of Pollard Turman—an Emory alumnus, Sports Hall of Fame member, and long-time trustee of the University—will continue to be honored with the naming of the first new residence hall in the Freshman Village, now under construction next to the Dobbs Center.
Emory officials emphasize that all of these projects, while approved conceptually as part of the master plan, must still come back to the board for architectural design and funding approval. Step by step.