Indianapolis Construction Update

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looking back: Responding to a need

The vision of the Order of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration has always focused on serving the poor and needy, and
society’s “untouchables.” That commitment gained new clarity in Beech Grove in 1914, when St. Francis Hospital opened.

The 75-bed facility was deemed “fully modern,” offering comprehensive medical services, an operating room, X-ray machine, laboratory, pharmacy and an emergency room. But vision often means looking beyond the horizon to unseen situations and challenges.

By 1930, the Great Depression continued to plunge the nation to more dismal depths. Millions unemployed. Soup lines. A surging demand for charity medical care. The Sisters took a bold step forward and broke ground on what would be called the South Wing, increasing the hospital’s bed count to 170, more than doubling its capacity. They also included a new Obstetrical Department, one of the most advanced of its kind.

Hospital admissions soared in the decade following the construction of the new wing. In its first year, the expanded hospital served 1,805 patients. In less than a decade, admissions had grown to more than 4,100.

Service was the cornerstone on which the Beech Grove hospital was built nearly a century ago. Service was the mortar that held it together and, in fact, expanded its reach to Beech Grove and Indianapolis during one of the bleakest times in the nation’s history.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What do they do with all the debris?

For the past two years, travelers driving past St. Francis on I-65 have seen the new patient tower grow – literally – from the ground up. They’ve also seen the significant debris and waste that accumulate as part of the construction process. But what happens to all that debris?

St. Francis is proud to report that it recycles a portion of the debris. Metals, paper, cardboard boxes and packing materials are regularly recycled. In addition, asphalt that is removed is milled up, crushed and sent back to an asphalt plant to be re-used.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rooftop gardens add to patient healing process

St. Francis knows the important role that natural elements and light play in a patient’s healing process. To help make a bit of the outdoors available to its patients, the hospital is creating four rooftop gardens, totaling 19,800 square feet. Located on the second and third floor roofs of the new patient tower, the rooftop gardens will occupy approximately 35 percent of the new roof.

The purpose of the gardens is to promote an aesthetically pleasing environment that contributes to each patient’s healing process during their stay at St. Francis. Ornamental perennials of different sizes and colors, along with a variety of plants will decorate the rooftops. Most patients will have a view of the roof and the colorful plants that change with the seasons.

The rooftop gardens will be fully planted and blooming by spring 2011.