Hospital board approves Solarium study

By Eva Queen - [email protected]

Northern Hospital of Surry County approved the preliminary study for the construction of a solarium.

The proposed project concept is for the hospital to build a solarium and related outdoor space to serve patients in the 33-bed long term care and rehab nursing unit, located on the third floor of the hospital. The solarium will provide a place for patients to experience sunlight, views and possibly the outdoors.

The private donor group for the solarium has suggested that the space include an outdoor terrace and therapeutic gardening area. The hospital is also interested in having this area serve patients and visitors in general, according to Alan Moore, with the Winston-Salem based firm CJMW Architecture.

In the proposal for a preliminary study, the space will be large enough for 10 to 20 people at a time to sit in small groups, also space will be provided for people to each lunch in the solarium, but no food service will be provided.

Two possible sites are being studied, Site A is on the third floor roof, easily accessible from the elevator and offers “an excellent view” said Carol Burke, a member of the donor group. However, the disadvantages of this location are it is adjacent to the ICU, and raises concerns about infection control. Also, it is one floor up from the long-term care/rehab areas; patients could only access this space by elevator.

An alternative location, Site B would be the floor below, the same floor as the nursing unit. This location would require, moving part of the patients in the skill care facility to other vacant rooms on the floor. Also, part of the third floor would undergo demolition, including the roof, for the installation of skylights and large windows to create a solarium.

If Site B is chosen for the location of the solarium, further studies would need to be conducted to determine the live load capacities of the floor and roof.

The study would approved will provide structural analysis, site analysis and cost estimating for completing the build of the solarium. The cost of this study and services will not exceed $10,000.

“I hope we can get this moving and start on construction by winter.” said Bettsee McPhail, a member of the donor group.

By Eva Queen

[email protected]

Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or [email protected]

Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or [email protected]

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