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Tuality Community Hospital to receive earthquake retrofit

April 25, 2011

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Tuality Healthcare is preparing to make seismic retrofits to a portion of the main building at Tuality Community Hospital thanks to a $1,389,480 grant from Oregon Emergency Management, the state agency responsible for emergency preparedness.

Construction to retrofit the main hospital building will begin as early as late summer, according to Steve Krautscheid, Tuality director of facilities & properties. The retrofit will make the hospital a safer place for employees, customers and visitors in the case of a major earthquake. As a provider of critical healthcare services, creating a building that will withstand a major earthquake is of great importance to the communities that Tuality serves, Krautscheid said.

Here’s why: The main building is composed of the original Tuality Community Hospital built in the early 1960s. Over the years, additional buildings have been added to all four sides of the original hospital. The seismic retrofit will tie together all sections of the building, new and old.

The retrofit will consist of pouring new 8-inch thick concrete walls in portions of the basement and first and second floors. Heavy-duty dowel rods will connect the building walls of the original structure to the walls of the various hospital expansions over the years. This type of earthquake retrofit results in cohesive movement of the building as a whole in an earthquake, reducing the potential for the buildings to experience significant damage from rocking against one another during an earthquake.

Architects are hard at work on the final drawings, Krautscheid said. The retrofit will be achieved through construction of additional concrete walls in the basement, 1st and 2nd floors of the main hospital. The team working on the project is crafting plans to minimize interruption to patients and visitors, including noise and dust control.

Hospital departments which will be part of the retrofit include:

  • Basement: Pharmacy, biomed and materials management.
  • First floor: Gift shop, medical records, laboratory and emergency.
  • Second floor: Birth Center and OR locker rooms.

“The affected departments have done an excellent job working with architects and engineers to create a plan for bringing this structural upgrade to our community’s hospital,” Krautscheid said. “We are fortunate to have assistance from Oregon Emergency Management to upgrade our facilities in anticipation of future seismic events in our area.”