Located at the center of the hospital campus, the new space will be 60,000 square feet, three times larger than the current emergency department, which now suffers from patient congestion. It will have 72 treatment bays that flex up and down to accommodate a growing seasonal population.
One of the implementation challenges will be to complete the project within a fully-functioning hospital, while minimizing disruptions to existing operations, access and patient care as utilities and services are relocated.
Building on the site of the older East Wing was a more complex solution for the near term, but will best serve the hospital’s goals for the long term. Equally significant, the introduction of the new Emergency Department and Future Tower in this location will mend the fractured layout of the hospital, improving overall performance of most activities. The team used simulation as a means to demonstrate the improved hospital metrics.
The design is primarily vertical. It digs down two levels to provide a basement and parking, with the potential to rise four additional floors to provide additional patient capacity. Consideration has been given to the hospital’s growth and capacity needs, and the plans allow for adaptability and flexibility should more floors be needed.
One of the project’s most distinctive features is a grand main lobby that will serve as a welcoming gateway to the hospital 24 hours a day. A vast glass exterior will provide abundant light. Four walls of simple massing will be made of clean lines and timeless materials: glass, metal, metal panels, smooth-faced stone, and white porcelain panels, with contextual stucco. This provides a simple, yet sophisticated, modern ambiance. Another distinguishing feature is an elevated steel heliport that will be built to military standards and able to accommodate two helicopters.
As a whole, the new emergency department will be an attractive, highly functional addition to a hospital that has a long tradition of serving the Yuma community.