Snow does not slow construction of College of Medicine facility in Saginaw

Steel construction starts March 24 on 46,000-square-foot structure
CMU College of Medicine educational facility in Saginaw

An unusually cold and snowy winter has not delayed construction on the Central Michigan University College of Medicine educational facility in Saginaw.

“We’re on time, and steel construction begins March 24,” said Stephen Lawrence, associate vice president of facilities management at CMU.

Foundation and underground work for the 46,000-square-foot building on the campus of Covenant Healthcare is on track because of four steps contractors took to beat a deep frost line.

  1. Foundation areas were identified and protected from future frost.
  2. Construction traffic was limited in foundation work areas to prevent pushing the frost deeper in the ground.
  3. The ground was kept warm with special boiler equipment and blankets to draw frost out of areas where slab concrete will be placed. They covered those areas with unfrozen fill sand to prevent trapped layers of frozen ground that could cause soil failures.
  4. Heavy equipment and materials are being moved in early to avoid spring roadway frost laws, which limit axle weight.

The crane for steel erection arrived Friday and all building foundations will be complete by March 14, Lawrence said.

The facility will house a state-of-the-art simulation center and four advanced technology classrooms for the CMU College of Medicine. The building will serve as a hub for third- and fourth-year medical students. The medical school’s residency program also will use the classrooms, labs, training spaces and library.

Eight of the 15 project subcontractors are from Saginaw; all are within a 75-mile radius of the city. All contracts will be awarded by March 31.

As a public university, CMU implemented a low-bid process for the construction of this project that fully complied with Michigan’s prevailing wage law.  Two-thirds of the $25 million facility will be built by union contractors.

“This is a local project, putting Saginaw and mid-Michigan residents to work building an educational facility for the only medical school that exists specifically to serve the central and northern regions of the state,” Lawrence said.

Barton Malow from Southfield is the project manager for the structure, which is expected to be complete by May 2015.

The CMU College of Medicine, the nation’s 137th medical school, has a unique mission to train physicians to care for the residents of Michigan’s medically underserved cities and towns. Seventeen members of the inaugural class of 64 students in the CMU College of Medicine are from the Great Lakes Bay Region. The second class, which attracted 3,007 applicants, will consist of 104 students.