Cleveland, OH,
12:01 PM

A solid foundation for MetroHealth's new hospital

Like almost everything in life, a good foundation is crucial.

Our new hospital will be no exception.

Before anyone sees any steel rising into the sky, our construction team will be digging deep underground to construct a strong, sturdy base for our 11-floor hospital. In fact, more than half of the 55,000 tons of concrete that will be poured for the project will be underground and never seen by human eyes.

(If you think 55,000 tons of concrete sounds like a lot, you’re right. It's more than twice the weight of the Statue of Liberty and its base, which are "only" 27,100 tons.)

A strong foundation must not only carry the static weight of the building, it must also keep it stable during dynamic events such as wind storms and earthquakes. A simple concrete-slab foundation like the one that holds up your house is not nearly enough.

Instead, our crews will be digging cylindrical holes, 3 feet to 6½ feet in diameter, down to the bedrock (105 to 125 feet below the ground). The holes will be filled with reinforced concrete. The resulting support, called a caisson, will transfer the weight of the building directly to the strong prehistoric rock below.

This is nothing new for our team: The new staff parking garage is sitting on caissons right now.

The construction of the new hospital’s caissons will take months to complete, because the building will need 229 of them!

So after we break ground and excavate the hole for the foundation, it might seem like not much is going on at the site. But in truth, the crew will be quietly pouring thousands of tons of concrete and crafting an incredibly strong and durable foundation for our new hospital.  

About the MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

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