By Eric Althoff
NEW YORK—Earlier this year, the design firm Skanska signed an agreement with the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation for the Swedish firm to retrofit the North Central Bronx Hospital, which is located in the Norwood neighborhood of the borough.
New York was especially hard hit during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic this spring, necessitating the addition of more intensive care unit beds throughout the city, including at North Central Bronx Hospital. While the overall project timeline called for the retrofit of North Central to be completed by September, the virus’s deadly sweep through New York expedited the timeline for completion of the new ICU area at the hospital, according to the Bronx Times, which also reported that the medical facility only had 15 ICU beds prior to the expansion.
Since the expansion, North Central now has an additional 120 ICU beds in its complement. Even though the pandemic has largely subsided in the nation’s largest city, health experts have anticipated a fall spike, and thus it was crucial that the hospital be prepared for such an eventuality.
The Bronx Times report said that North Central was accepting covid-19 patients from nearby Kings County (which encompasses Brooklyn), Queens, as well as other areas of the city, including Elmhurst and Lincoln, and even Coney Island, during the height of the outbreak in and around New York City.
Accordingly, construction on the new intensive care area was expedited in April, and the new ICU beds were finished only a month later, thus meeting the demand before the number of patients in the city gradually began to subside during the summer.
According to data released by Skanska, the project for the redesign is valued at $64.8 million (SEK 606 million), and the renovation entails 71,000 square feet of medical design space. In addition to the extra ICU bed space, as part of the buildout within the existing hospital structure, extra support space for the administration staff will be added for the fall.
Skanska is working on the healthcare renovation project in collaboration with architect Lothrop and demolition firm Northstar.