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, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building, and the 25 acres of green space around it, are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth will break ground on the new hospital in late 2018, using nearly $1 billion it borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 44.5 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 7,700 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and the only adult and pediatric burn center in the state of Ohio.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

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