Yes! There is a lot of exciting construction here in St. Albans and NMC will remain accessible throughout each of the projects. We are fortunate to have strong partners involved in the various construction projects which are happening near NMC to help ensure as little disruption as possible for hospital services.
The City of St. Albans has begun the reconstruction of Fairfield Street. This is a significant project and has required careful planning by the City, the engineers, and their contractors. As they put together their project, they were mindful of hospital accessibility and were in active communication with us about their plans. We appreciate this level of consideration and partnership. Two-way access to NMC via Fairfield Street should be maintained throughout the project, with only relatively brief instances when work is happening directly in front of our main entrance. We appreciate having the one-way traffic on Fairfield Street flowing east towards the hospital to help facilitate normal means of access for our patients and visitors. This is a very exciting project for St. Albans, as it represents a significant improvement in a major roadway and also a wonderful improvement in the walkability in this area.
Here on campus, the Doctors Office Common condominium association is currently conducting a sidewalk project as well. Access to NMC itself and Cobblestone Health Commons remains unchanged throughout this project. During April and May, and into June, contractors will be replacing the sidewalks and ramps which surround the two Doctors Office Common buildings. They have started at the north building, with the area in front of St. Albans Primary Care.
Over the next few weeks, they will be progressing around the exterior of the north building and then around the exterior of the south building. In each phase, access to a particular office will change slightly. Patients may be directed to come in a side door for a practice for a few days until that phase is complete. Parking will be pinched just a bit during each phase, but open spots should still be available throughout. There will be a brief time when the area in front of Northwestern OB/GYN is under construction and patients will actually be directed by the office staff to enter through the practice’s back door and parking in the NMC conference center lot will likely be most convenient for them. The practice will be reaching out to the patients to whom this relates to as that timing becomes more certain. Alternate entry to the other offices will be much simpler. There will be enhanced signage going into place to help clarify directions.
As these two neighboring projects get underway, NMC itself is gearing up for our own construction projects! As you likely remember, NMC will be implementing a Master Facility Plan to convert to all-private inpatient rooms to enhance our healing environment and patient experience; bring greater centralization to registration for efficiency; establish expanded space for restored access to needed medical specialty clinics; and create a new medical office building at the front of campus to improve access to Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Orthopaedics. This represents such a wonderful advance in aligning NMC’s campus with the future of Vermont healthcare. Our projects are nearly through Vermont’s permitting processes and we are on track to have all our necessary permits in hand in early May. The financial plan and financing for the projects has been approved. We are finalizing our contracts with our general contractor. With all of this coming together, we are on track to break ground in May! Planning has begun for a ceremonial ground breaking celebration on May 24 and you will likely see some construction mobilization on our campus (to the east, near Northwestern Counseling and Support Services) in mid-May. As these plans come together, we will communicate the details out to you. There will be some changes in parking and building entrances during the 18 months of these projects, so we will be frequent and detailed in our communication. You can learn more about our project and keep tabs on our progress by visiting our website: https://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/about-nmc/who-we-are/construction-updates/
Thank you for your patience with these various efforts to improve our community and our healthcare facilities. Each of the projects – Fairfield Street, the Doctors Office Common, and NMC’s own projects – will provide real benefit to our community. It is exciting to see these in motion and I thank you for your patience with all of us as we work through them together!
— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer