Cleveland, OH,
08:44 AM

Transforming MetroHealth: The Work Goes On

For many of us, life is at a standstill.

COVID-19 seems to have put everything on hold: our favorite sports, dinners out, exercise classes, big-screen movies, vacations and weddings and just about everything else.

But not MetroHealth’s new hospital.

Every day, dozens of construction workers continue to build the new 10-story hospital on MetroHealth’s main campus.

“Construction, and particularly hospital construction, is one of the businesses that's considered essential in Ohio,” says Walter Jones, MetroHealth’s senior vice president of campus transformation. “So we have not stopped.

“We are on schedule and on time and on budget.”

These days, workers are pouring concrete; installing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the central utility plant; and erecting 30-foot sections of steel that form the frame of the 270-room hospital.

That work has made social distancing easy.

“Fortunately, for where we are right now, most of the work is outside and most of the work is moving large steel beams around,” Jones says. “Construction materials have a tendency to be rather large. So you’re only going to get so close.”

Workers who stretch every morning at before starting their shifts are social distancing, too.


July 2020: The steel frame is finished

April 2021: The exterior is complete

May 2022: Interior work wraps up

Fall 2022: The first patient moves in

“What used to be 150 guys on the ground floor of the CUP (central utility plant) each morning is now five to six different groups of eight, 10, 12 spaced 10- to 12-feet apart in different places around the building,” says Dan Gairing, project superintendent for Turner Construction Company, the firm overseeing MetroHealth’s campus transformation.

“And because it’s in the open air, that also adds some safety factors, as opposed to being in an enclosed environment,” Jones says.

The shipment of materials – some from local vendors, some from as far away as Germany -- hasn’t stalled either.

“Right now, we haven’t seen any major impediments to completing the project,” Jones says. “So the road ahead is about as good as anybody can expect.

“MetroHealth being the public hospital, the anchor institution here on the near West Side, we're very focused on the community impact that a project like this can affect,” he says, “and keeping our eyes on it, making sure that the things that we're doing to maintain the project going forward continue to have the positive impact on the community that this project is intended to have.

“And our best forecast says that we're going to be able to do that.”

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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