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McCarthy Celebrates Substantial Completion of New Mercy Hospital Joplin

Less than two years after breaking ground on the 875,000-square-foot Mercy Hospital Joplin, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and Mercy are celebrating the substantial completion of the building enclosure. A ceremony held this week recognized schedule milestone achievements, quality and safety. The 260-plus private room hospital will replace the former St. John’s Mercy Regional Medical Center demolished in the May 22, 2011, EF-5 tornado. The deadliest tornado in Missouri and the U.S. since 1947 directly hit the hospital.

McCarthy broke ground in January 2012 on the new, $335 million (construction budget) larger hospital, which will include medical surgical, critical care, women’s/children’s (labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms), behavioral health and rehab. The bottom three floors of the structure include hospital space, with a seven-story patient tower and a four-story clinic tower rising above the hospital space.

The hospital’s exterior is now substantially dried-in and will soon no longer need temporary protection to avoid water from entering the building enclosure, said McCarthy Project Director Ryan Felton. “This milestone is on track with the team’s aggressive schedule and will set the pace for the rest of the project.”

Other substantially completed items to note include offside roadwork, two permanent service elevators and a separate 30,000-square-foot central utility plant connected to the main structure by a 450-foot underground tunnel. The central energy plant will be in commission during the first quarter of 2014.

“In order to keep everyone on track, we have been managing quality through daily inspections, pre-installation meetings and by involving third-party building exterior consultants,” said Felton. “To date, all built-in-place mockup rooms have been completed, first installations have been verified, windows have been water tested, and a thermography scan has been conducted.”

“McCarthy has a strong quality assurance program that provides strong leadership and oversight of the building enclosure elements such as precast, window and roofing systems,” said John Farnen, executive director of planning, design and construction for Mercy, which includes 31 hospitals and 300 outpatient facilities in four states. “This includes inspections and testing of these systems during installation. On the Mercy Hospital Joplin, this process uncovered issues during the installation that were addressed and resolved preventing schedule delays. I am confident the McCarthy quality program will achieve the level of quality Mercy expects. McCarthy understands the importance of quality on the project and delivers it.”

McCarthy has worked closely with Mercy since the disaster struck and began working with Mercy planners to develop the functional program for the replacement hospital in July 2011, completing the program three months later. The project went from initial design to breaking ground in just five months. The functional team included the architectural firms of Archimages and HKS and Heideman & Associates as the MEP Engineer.

With 1.5 million man hours to date, McCarthy’s total project incident rate is 1.3, which is well below the national average of 3.6. “McCarthy will continue conducting weekly jobsite toolbox talks and weekly manager walks with all subcontractor managers, as well as be involved with daily task hazard analysis to ensure everyone goes home safely every night,” said Felton.

“The hard work and dedication put into this project by Mercy, HKS Architects, McCarthy, and over 750 tradesmen, has kept us on our 39-month construction schedule, which is planned to finish in March of 2015,” added Felton.

About Mercy

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 39,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

About McCarthy

Founded in 1864 and headquartered in St. Louis, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is one of the oldest and largest commercial builders in the Midwest and the largest American-based healthcare builder in the country. McCarthy has constructed more than 800 significant healthcare facilities and renovated thousands more – while consistently appearing on Modern Healthcare's list of leading healthcare construction management companies. McCarthy is 100 percent employee-owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook or Twitter.

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