SLU Hospital Expanding ER Department

ST. LOUIS — McGrath & Associates, based in St. Louis, was selected as general contractor on the $1.5 million interior expansion of the emergency department at Saint Louis University (SLU) Hospital. Work on the project began in February and will be completed in June 2013.

St. Louis-based BSA LifeStructures and Rock Island, Ill.-based KJWW Consulting Engineers are working as the design team.

The 4,000-square-foot project will expand the emergency department, adding five treatment rooms, a new nurses’ station, work and storage spaces, and a new two-station registration area with three offices. It will be constructed in two phases so that the existing registration area can remain in operation throughout the first phase.

The emergency department is located above the hospital’s main lobby, with escalators and a main reception desk next to and below the construction area. A main corridor will be relocated during the expansion. McGrath is coordinating construction to minimize interruptions during the electrical relocation and selective demolition process. They are also implementing strict contamination control measures to keep air quality clean for staff and patients.

The new space will give patients more privacy and allow for the hospital to except more patients, said Laurie Byrne, MD, director of emergency medicine at Saint Louis University, in a statement.

The emergency department is one of the region’s busiest, treating more than 100 emergency cases each day and more than 39,000 a year (10,000 more than a decade ago). As a Level I Trauma Center — licensed as a trauma center in both Missouri and Illinois — the hospital treats more than 2,300 trauma cases annually.

After construction, the 11,525-square-foot department will still be on the small side for its patient volume, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The patient volume has increased due to several area hospital closures, including Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital and Forest Park Hospital.