The Norman Transcript

Local news

October 3, 2013

Construction begins on temporary hospital to serve Moore

Facility to host an emergency department, lab and outpatient services

MOORE — The foundation of Moore Medical Center’s temporary facility went up Tuesday, and Norman Regional Health officials said the new emergency and outpatient center should be operational by Dec. 2.

A modular structure is being constructed on a corner of the site of the former hospital. That temporary emergency department, lab and outpatient services will serve the community while a permanent facility is designed and built.

“The structure goes up very fast,” said Brian Johnson, president of Johnson Portables, the Michigan company hired to construct the modular unit.

Johnson also is responsible for the construction of the temporary hospital in Joplin, Mo., following the tornado that hit that city in 2011.

“We are ahead of schedule right now,” Johnson said. “We anticipate being through with the structure in about two weeks.”

The interior finishes — including plumbing, electric and HVAC — is a slower process, but Johnson anticipates delivering the completed building to hospital authorities by Nov. 14. At that point, the site will be finished with furniture, beds and medical equipment.

“The city of Moore has been very helpful in facilitating our permitting and keeping the process moving,” said Richie Splitt, chief administrative officer of Moore Medical Center and the HealthPlex Hospital.

Moore Medical Center is one of several Norman Regional Hospital sites. When the tornado hit the hospital May 20, more than 400 people — many of them members of the public who stopped to take shelter there — survived with only minor injuries.

“I just couldn’t believe we were in there, and we all walked out,” said Nick Stremble, RN. Stremble is the nurse manager of the previous MMC site and the new site.

“We worked with our plant operation director to help set the interior layout,” he said. “I’m excited. It’s been a long journey from May 20.”

When the tornado hit Moore Medical, Stremble was on duty.

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