A STEADY 95-cubic-metre stream of cement poured over a three-hour period on Wednesday morning October 16, 2019 has slowly solidified into the concrete slab floor for South Gippsland Hospital’s new operating theatre.
The pouring of the slab marks a turning point in the Foster hospital’s almost $1.9 million operating theatre extension and maternity ward refurbishment project, which began in earnest on Monday August 19, 2019.
Next on the construction list is framework and roof trusses, which are expected to be delivered to the site on the corner of Station Road and Jones Street this week.
Installing the frames and trusses will start soon after they arrive so the new building will quickly become three-dimensional from then on.
Steel beams to support the operating theatre’s lights and other surgical apparatus will be put in place during this time, too.
Warragul-based firm Farnham Developments Pty Ltd won the contract to build SLAP Architects of Bairnsdale’s modern design for the operating theatre, which meets the increasingly stringent requirements of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Farnham Developments site supervisor Peter van Thof said the slab pour followed some six weeks of preparatory groundwork, including footings and drainage and a fortnight’s worth of plumbing rough-in.
“There’s about 120 cubic metres of concrete in the footings under the slab,” he said.
“We had two cement pump operators and five concreters working on the slab from 7.30 am on Wednesday, and it had gone off or set enough to allow the formwork to be dismantled that afternoon,” Mr Van Thof said.
“The next thing will be installing the termite barrier followed by the pre-fabricated frames.”
South Gippsland Hospital building manager Martin Schack said the operating theatre project was “on time and on budget.
“In fact, the builders are actually of schedule by a few days,” he said.
“The new building is starting to move along now, and when the frames are up, we’ll be able to get a better idea of what it will be like when it’s finished.”