The Bendigo Hospital Project will provide residents with a world-class hospital from the ground up. Right now, in early 2016, it’s the largest regional hospital development in Victoria.
Currently the project has 650 workers on-site, including engineers and specialised consultants.
Internally, marked changes to the building are emerging, with the fixtures and fittings phase well underway. Vinyl floor coverings, joinery, partitions and ceilings are in various stages of completion as the project enters the last year of its ‘stage one’ building phase.
A focus for the project has been the application of durable finishes which have been carefully chosen to ensure the interior environment is of a high quality. Nearing the fit-out completion stage are areas such as the accident and emergency bays, the oncology area, recovery bays and intensive care rooms.
Workers have been testing and commissioning the four diesel standby power generators, and with cooled water now being produced by the new chillers in the hospital’s basement, the air-conditioning systems are also in a test and commissioning phase. Internal areas are being ‘energised’, so as electrical power becomes functional; the lights can be turned on, as the builders start stringent checks on the ‘finishing’ aspects of the construction.
Incorporated into the design, is what the project terms as the ‘street’, an impressive entrance designed as an internal atrium. Right now, there is scaffolding masking this area, as work is conducted on the feature ceiling and walls.
Externally, roadworks are a focus. Mercy Street is closed to traffic, as a significant level change is completed, while drainage and road resurfacing progresses. Mercy Street will serve as the entrance to the new hospital, and its thoroughfare to Monash School of Rural Health, the Good Loaf Café, La Trobe Rural Health School and Bendigo Health’s services will be back to normal in April.
Landscapers are also working on the 44 courtyards and balconies throughout the new hospital, a solid example of how the architectural design has been mindful of the therapeutic benefits of nature and natural light.
Beside the Anne Caudle building, the external and structural renovation of the ‘old lying-in’ hospital is near completion, ready for its fit-out, which will see this glorious heritage building integrate into the whole project. Bendigo Health has removed the paint, restored brickwork, removed pressed cement cladding, replaced the roof and reinstated the original double-storey verandah.