Walls start to go up at Summit Pacific’s wellness center

Targeted completion date is early 2019

Workers braved chilly weather the morning of Thursday, Dec. 21, to pour the first portion of the concrete walls of Summit Pacific Medical Center’s new wellness center in Elma. Ground was broken on the project in September.

The planned 60,000 square foot building will sit near Summit Pacific and feature three stories of amenities focused on health and wellness, Nichole Pas, a communications specialist with Summit Pacific, explained.

Total project cost will be around $30 million and is being paid for through a USDA loan, she said, adding that a capital campaign will also be undertaken to raise funds for the center. Facilities and programs will include conference rooms, ‘play’ spaces, rehabilitative and medical services, and cooking and nutrition classes, among others.

Phil Bowman, senior project engineer for general contractor Graham Construction, explained the foundation is being poured in segments, with the last pour to take place sometime in January. In total, 71 yards of concrete were poured Dec. 21, according to Stephen Dover, project superintendent.

Great care was taken in pouring the concrete in one-foot foot lifts over a period of about five hours, Dover explained, with precautionary steps to be taken to maintain the integrity of the concrete, depending on the weather.

“If it stays under freezing for multiple days in a row, then we might have an issue pouring concrete and we really need to watch for that,” added Bowman. “We definitely don’t want to pour when we know there’s going to be consecutive days below freezing all day and all night, but the conditions for us right now are fine.”

The center’s targeted completion date is January or February 2019, Bowman said.

Joe Chrystal, building official for the City of Elma, said he’s on the project site daily and noted soil in the area has held up despite recent rains, which he attributed to a element of clay in the soil.

“It’s being well-inspected,” Chrystal said of the project. “We have special inspectors plus myself. We’re watching everything. It’s a pretty good crew though. They know what they’re doing and I feel comfortable about what’s going on here.”

“It’s pretty exciting — the first wall being poured. We’re on our way,” Chrystal added.