I promised updates as we moved along with the remodel, but free time has been in short supply. Things are moving along as fast as they can. Getting the ball rolling and all the moving parts into action on a project like this is only half the challenge. After you get this many parts moving, it becomes a herculean challenge to keep them from banging into one another and bringing things to a halt. If one team gets off their schedule it can hold up other parts of the project. So far, thanks to our great GC, David Profitt, that hasn’t been an issue. (Keep your fingers crossed, ok?)

Mike Stirewalt and his team have been working to get the parking lot expanded. We needed more space for staff and customers to park because we’re taking up the entire east end of the parking lot for construction traffic. At this point the backfill and expansion of the parking areas are as complete as they’re going to get until we finish Phase 3. We’ve got plenty of space to work and customers have plenty of space to park, so that’s all we can hope for.

Expanding the east and south ends of the parking lot.

Clinicus Interruptus…

We knew going into this project that there were going to be specific challenges to be overcome. The clinic isn’t shutting down during any portion of the project, because… well, because it can’t. We’ve got patients and a community to serve and we don’t have another facility to send them to, so we’ve got to structure the work around the clinic’s operating schedule.

So, if you happen to walk in one day and the main area is open and it’s 20 degrees in the aisleway…. we know. Don’t be surprised. lol.

Concrete work is one of the loudest and most obtrusive obsctacles. Dr. Jordan just LOVED trying to work on a stressed out cat while we had a 120 decibel concrete saw screaming away just 6 feet away through the wall! In our defense, we DID schedule the work for a time the clinic wasn’t supposed to be open, but emergencies happen and they usually happen at the most inopportune times.

Cutting concrete to make way for the new exam room’s plumbing and drain lines.

Speaking of concrete… you know what happens when you pour wet concrete in a veterinary clinic and then setup all those cones to keep people from stepping on it?

Dogs don’t pay attention to safety cones…

Testing out new lighting

As part of Phase 1 we’re install a new hard-top ceiling spanning the entire clinic. No more exposed beams! However, in keeping with Dr. Amy’s desire for a “horse barn” feel, we’re going to continue the batten-board concept she has on the outside walls. Before we do that, we had to tear out all the old lighting and fans and install new recessed cans for LED lighting. It’ll provide more light, cleaner light, and cost less to operate long term.

We’ve been playing with a few different ideas to get the right lighting feel for the clinic. The ceiling height, wall coloration and other factors don’t allow the common methods of calculating lighting per square foot to really apply in our situation. Currently I’ve got three different sets of overhead lights installed, waiting on Dr. Amy to decide which she prefers. (Hopefully, it’s one of the three!)

Lighting cans installed in the new ceiling.

New Technology Too!

In addition to the physical remodel, the entire Bear Creek network is getting an overhaul. The growth we’re planning for is such that there’s no way the existing infrastructure can support the load of the newly expanded clinic. The upgrades include new computers (or more of them anyway), an entirely new telephone system, new routers and switches, and completely recabling the clinic while somehow keep all the old equipment online at the same time. That’s… challenging.

It’s coming along though.

The new demarc cabinet

Overall, speaking as the IT guy, the Project Manager, and the husband of the owner (read as: guy with the biggest honey-do list in town), I really don’t have any complaints. It’s been some long days and long nights, but everyone is doing their part and sometimes that part is just tolerating all the work going on around them without screaming at us. lol. It’s going well and I hope it continues that way.

Till next update!