Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital Begins Large Expansion

By Roxanne Squires

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Turner Construction Company recently announced that work on a $48 million, 95,623-square-foot vertical expansion of Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro has commenced.

The plan is to build three floors vertically onto the existing structure, which will be able to house 72 medical-surgical patient rooms along with one floor for possible buildout in the future. Additionally, a two-story horizontal expansion will add on four operation rooms, central sterile space and materials management.

In 2010, Turner Construction completed work on the original 286-bed Saint Thomas Rutherford hospital while putting provisions in place at the time to mitigate any utility interruptions during the future expansion.

The team executed the original project under integrated project delivery (IPD), aiding them in completing the project two months ahead of schedule and also saving $4 million.

Largely, these projects are part of a greater expansion plan to meet the long-term needs of the growing Rutherford County population.

Currently, Turner Construction has been collaborating with Nashville-based Gresham Smith, the handler of the architectural and engineering work, to allow the hospital to remain operational during construction of the new expansion.

To ensure this, Turner worked closely with Gresham Smith to take every possible measure during construction to reduce the impact it has on the hospital’s existing space. Moreover, Turner scheduled the project in order for work within the existing medical-surgical wings below the expansion will take place during a low volume periods for the hospital.

To achieve minimizing noise and disruption, electric cranes are being used for the project, and all construction personnel will access the work area from a bulk hoist along with not being permitted to enter through the hospital.

“The safety and comfort of our patients is our primary concern, so we were pleased by the extensive amount of planning on Turner’s part to ensure that this project will allow Saint Thomas Rutherford to continue providing unimpeded service to patients throughout,” said Gordon Ferguson, president and CEO of Saint Thomas Rutherford. “We look forward to our increased capacity to provide medical care to our community once this expansion is complete.”

The 52,000-square-foot, three-floor addition to the west patient tower will increase their capacity to 358-beds, improving patient flow and providing additional space for all patient services.

Process efficiency will be reflected in the layouts by utilizing flexible nurse stations, which will create an adaptable space for clinical needs and staff collaboration while promoting safety.

Large windows will flood the space with natural light, creating a healing environment that influence positive patient outcomes.

Turner Construction is also currently working on similar vertical expansion and overbuild work at three actively operating hospitals in Tennessee: Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville and Methodist University Hospital and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to continue working with Saint Thomas Health, a leader in our community that has been a great partner to us over the years,” said Paul Lawson, project executive for Turner Nashville. “It’s an honor to continue to be a part of this organization’s mission to provide high-quality health care to its community.”

Substantial completion is slated for April 2020 for the expansion of Saint Thomas Rutherford’s tower and operating room unit, along with the new space expected to open in summer 2020.