Memorial Health Systems building on schedule

MARIETTA – In spite of the cold, snowy winter weather, the first of at least three new Memorial Health System medical buildings is under roof at the corner of East Eighth and Wayne streets.

“We’ve worked through the winter, but had to go on hold for a week or two during the coldest weather in January,” said Gene McKnight, foreman for contractor Pioneer Pipe, which is building the facilities on the six-acre lot.

He said the harsh weather may have slowed the work a little, but the project is still on schedule.

Earth-moving began in May 2013 on the project, which includes construction of three 10,000-square-foot buildings that will house physicians’ practices as well as health system outpatient services.

“There are three buildings planned with the whole purpose to consolidate health services in one complex for our patients if there’s no need for them to go to the hospital,” said Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing and public relations for the Memorial Health System.

She said the tentative date for opening the first building, now under construction, is May, while the second facility is expected to open in June, and the third in July or August of this year.

“I believe there is also room for a fourth building on the property, but no plans are being made by the health system for another building at this time,” Offenberger said.

She noted the buildings currently under construction, south of Eighth Street, will be owned by Pioneer Pipe who will lease the facilities to the health system.

The existing MMH Wayne Street campus buildings, located on the north side of Eighth Street, are owned and maintained by the health system.

Project architect David Haught said roofing has begun on the first building and interior work will start there soon.

“The second building’s foundation is under way, and we’re just about ready to begin work on the third building,” he said. “Winter has taken its toll and slowed the project a bit. Other than juggling the schedule to accommodate the weather there have been no major snags for this project.”

Offenberger said the health system’s services are growing and expansion at the Wayne Street facilities will allow more treatment options for outpatients as well as open more space for inpatient services at the Marietta Memorial Hospital main campus on Matthew Street.