Here We Grow Again...

LGMC Begins Construction on ED/OR Expansion Project

The constantly improving look of Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) will continue its evolution as the next phase of expansion and renovation begins in earnest. This new development will enhance the appearance of the hospital as it enlarges and upgrades its emergency department and surgical platform, and adds a new parking garage in the parking area between the hospital and the Heymann Performing Arts and Convention Center.

This $52.5 million construction project will erect a new ground-level facade facing the interchange of South College Drive, Coolidge Boulevard and Bendel Road, a prominent perspective of the hospital many commuters are familiar with. What passersby won’t see are the improvements to the interior of the hospital.

The emergency department (ED) and operating room (OR) expansion will increase ED bed capacity from 31 beds to 45, and two new trauma rooms will be added. A new elevator will add direct access from the emergency helipad landing area on the West Tower roof directly to the new emergency department and surgery areas below. This will make LGMC the only facility with such direct access, helping to conserve precious life-saving time in helicopter transplants and other emergencies.

"Air Med Services recognizes and appreciates the progressive efforts of the administration and emergency room staff of Lafayette General Medical Center for moving forward on the new construction of an ‘Express Trauma Elevator,’” says Erroll C. Babineaux, Vice President of Air Med Services. "This new ‘Trauma Elevator’ is one more step in improving the Emergency Medical Services response sequence. Every second we can save helps the paramedics, nurses and doctors in the emergency room deliver time critical care to give our patients the best chance of survival."

The new surgery area will now have 13 state-of-the-art operating rooms, in addition to three existing OB-GYN surgical suites in LGMC's Pavilion for women & children.

LGMC’s ED sees over 60,000 patients annually and is one of the five-busiest ED’s in Louisiana. This expansion will allow the facility to continue to provide excellent service as well as expand to meet the growing needs of the community.

The new six-level parking garage will contain approximately 343 spaces and will face South College Drive. A new eased turn lane will be added on South College for traffic to access the garage.

During construction, visitors can access the parking tower adjacent to the Burdin-Riehl Ambulatory Care Center located across from the hospital on Coolidge Street, or use the hospital’s free valet parking service at the main entrance. Employees are being encouraged to carpool, or use a temporary lot that will be located next to the Wellness Center on Pasa Street and ride a shuttle to work from there.

Award-winning architects Washer Hill Lipscomb Cabaniss (WHLC) have designed a modern and refined exterior that will give the ED/OR frontage a metallic sheen and sleek curvature. The new addition will follow the contour of South College Drive and provide a broad, convenient overhang for covered access to the emergency department entryway.

Interior Designer Marie Olivier Lukaszeski, who designed the renowned warm and plush interior of the Pavilion for women and children at LGMC, was reacquired for this project as Designer and Construction Project Manager. This will be Lukaszeski’s third project at LGMC since 2009, all of which received INDesign Awards from The Independent weekly magazine honoring facilities that preserve or beautify the architecture of Lafayette.

For the 2009 construction of the Pavilion, architects Beazley Moliere and Lukaszeski were honored by INDesign with Gold awards in the "Architecture-Commercial” and "Interior Design-Commercial” categories, respectively. The 2011 renovation garnered WHLC a Gold award in the "Architecture-Commercial” category, while a Silver was awarded to the joint venture of WHLC and Lukaszeski’s Interior Design Solutions for "Interior Design-Commercial.”

LGMC recently completed a total facility renovation on all 10 floors of the main tower facility in 2011. That project added restrooms with showers to each patient room (where restrooms did not exist prior) and increased the size of each patient room in an effort to modernize patient care infrastructure. It also dramatically changed the traditional appearance of the hospital from a red brick, 1960s Mid Century-style exterior to a brighter, more contemporary aesthetic of painted brick and glass curtain wall system. The International Interior Design Association-Delta Regional Chapter (Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana) donned the Patient Tower Renovation as 2012 Design Excellence – Health Care.

The new ED/OR addition will give the facility a fresh, modern identity that unifies the character of the entire campus, and maintains the building as a progressive icon of the Oil Center business district. This new expansion will free up approximately 23,227 sq. ft. of space in the existing hospital structure, which will eventually be put to use as needed in coming years.

LGMC’s facility has continuously changed with the times. The original building, built in 1911 on the corner of St. John and Versailles streets downtown, was a red-brick colonial-style building intended to give a home-like appearance. The hospital’s move to its current location in 1963, on land donated by businessman and philanthropist Maurice Heymann, allowed LGMC to build a facility capable of growing and expanding for years to come. The original seven-story tower was designed to allow additional floors to be added later, and the hospital grew to 10 floors in 1975. Since then, major additions to the sprawling facility include the 10-story West Tower completed in 1983; the four-story Physician’s Office Building completed behind the hospital in 1986; and The Pavilion for women and children addition in 2006, which created a new entrance and main lobby for the hospital.

Since 1963, LGMC has invested more than $230 million in building a regional health care campus that remains centrally located and easily accessible for all of Acadiana. No other facility can match LGMC’s investment in health care for the people of Acadiana, and no facility has the capacity to care for as many people as Lafayette General.

LGMC going for Gold again

Construction projects recently completed at LGMC were distinguished recipients of The Independent’s INDesign Awards, intended to honor and celebrate the architects, designers and projects that help preserve or beautify the architecture of Lafayette.

For the 2009 construction of the Pavilion for women and children and renovation of the main hospital lobby and entrance, architects Beazley Moliere and Marie Olivier Lukaszeski were honored with Gold awards in the "Architecture-Commercial” and "Interior Design-Commercial” categories, respectively.  The overall hospital renovation project, designed by architects Washer Hill Lipscomb Cabannis (WHLC) and completed in 2011, received a Gold award in the "Architecture-Commercial” category, while Interior Design Solutions garnered a Silver award for "Interior Design-Commercial”.

With that record of success, LGMC is proud to have WHLC serving once again as the architect for the new ED/OR and parking tower addition, with Lukaszeski repeating as interior designer.  The Lemoine Co., contractor on the previous two projects, was also reacquired for this project.

ED/OR Expansion Facts:
  • Increase ED bed capacity from 31 beds to 45.
  • Two new trauma rooms will be added to the ED.
  • New parking garage will have 343 spaces.
  • The six-level garage will face South College Road and Coolidge Street.  A new eased-turn lane will be added to South College for safe and easy access to the garage.
  • A new elevator will add direct access from the emergency landing area on the roof directly to the Emergency Department and Surgery areas.
  • State-of-the-art Operating Rooms facility-wide will total 16.
  • The expansion will free up 24,000 square feet of space currently used for Surgery.
  • Total Estimated Project Cost: $52.5 million.
  • The project will add approximately 94,583 square feet to the existing total of 505,902 square feet of the main structure.
  • The expansion will be capable of adding a 5- to 10-floor high rise in the future with the capacity of taking the hospital up to 545 beds.
  • Guests attending events at the Heymann Center will have access to free, covered parking in the new garage.
  • As many as 200 workers could be on site at peak construction.