INSIDE W ith the onset of the world- wide COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that addi- tional facilities might be needed to care for a large influx of patients. The Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with multiple state agencies, identified facilities in Colorado that could be converted into alternative care facil- ities to serve lower-acuity patients as a “step down” from intensive care units. One of the identified sites was the unused east tower at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo. The project was structured as a design-build with the general contractor M.A. Mortenson, archi- tect RTA Archi- tects, engineering subconsultants and subcontrac- tors. The design assessment phase was seven days to include design, permit drawings and long-lead submittals. The construction phase was to occur in the following four weeks, for a total project duration of just five weeks, including permitting through all state and local authori- ties having jurisdiction and punch list completion signoffs. The key to success for any team is to have a clear and common goal that all team members rally behind. The pandemic provided urgency, and the need to support our health care systems was our goal. This allowed the team to immediately work with trust and respect. “This project was unique in that everyone understood the critical nature of the mission and was com- mitted from day one,” said Morten- son Project Executive Joe Plaskett. “It wasn’t just the design team and GC that bought into the mission and the need to do everything possible to make it happen. That mindset was also very apparent in the major subcontractors and suppliers for the project, including all of the hands in the field. It became a 24/7 operation, and everyone was willing to step up or step in when someone else on the team needed a brief rest.” n Assessment and design. The seven-day facility assessment began Saturday, April 11, 2020, with the entire project team meeting on site. To facilitate long-lead-time items, Provider partnerships are paying dividends for mountain communities Articles cover development activity, share market insights and highlight design trends Trends in action Senior housing PAGE 13 PAGES 18-23 Please see Page 14 Paul Reu, AIA Principal, RTA Architects We must accelerate access to mental health care in pre-K-12 environments Health care access PAGE 6 5 weeks to meet a COVID-19 challenge April 2021 RTA Architects The design-build team and construction trade partners worked around the clock to deliver an alternate care facility at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, including the scaffolding subcontractor who installed all the scaffolding around the facility in just two days.