BMH Begins Planning Phase of Emergency Department Expansion Project

Following approval of its Certificate of Need by the State of Vermont earlier this month, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital immediately launched into the implementation stages for its $7.7 million project to modernize and expand the Emergency Department (ED) and relocate the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to the Richards Building.

President and CEO of BMH, Steven R. Gordon, says next steps include refining the final design, hiring a general contractor/construction manager, navigating the Act 250 approval process and conducting a campaign feasibility study.

“My personal hope and goal is to start construction this coming Fall with completion 15 months later,” says Gordon. “It is truly an exciting time for our hospital and I look forward to the support and involvement of the community we serve.”

Leading the project will be BMH Director of Plant Services, Rob Prohaska, and the architects from Lavallee Brensinger Architects. The general contractor/construction manager should be on board by early April.

Prohaska says that moving the MRI equipment to its permanent home in the Richards Building will be the first phase of the project so that the Emergency Department work can commence.

Construction related to the Emergency Department includes extending the hospital’s current front entrance outward, thereby creating a walk-in entrance for the ED that is separate from the current ambulance entrance. In order to expand the space occupied by the new ED, the gift shop and coffee shop will be re-concepted into a new café-style environment on the opposite side of the lobby.

Expansion of the 30-year old Emergency Department has been the top priority of BMH since the Board of Directors approved its master plan in 2009. The hospital has approximately 13,000 emergency room visits annually. The expansion will reduce wait times, improve patient privacy and meet current code and regulatory requirements.