The new Bayhealth Campus under construction in Southeast Milford is running on schedule, according to Alice Bavis Rausch, Southern Regioin Strategy and Brand Program Manager. With more than 100 people working on the site every day, Ms. Rausch says that concrete is being poured on what will be the first floor of the new hospital and exterior walls are being framed.
“Crews have also made the first pour of asphalt for the parking lots,” Ms. Rausch said. “the steel for the building is scheduled to arrive in January. A little stretch of rainy weather in late September has been the only setback we have encountered so far on the health campus project.”
Earlier this year, Bayhealth created mock rooms, allowing the general public and hospital employees to tour the rooms and suggest any improvements that they found necessary. “Cardboard City,” the name given to the mock rooms that were placed in a warehouse located at 109 McCoy Street, included an operating room, trauma bay, emergency bay and an infusion bay. There were also patient rooms as well as delivery, recovery and postpartum mock-ups in the warehouse.
Some of the rooms were left as rough cardboard mock-ups in order to allow hospital staff to test the design to see how it would function while others were completed with most of the details the finished rooms would have in the new hospital. Ms. Rausch said that many people have toured the rooms and provided feedback that the hospital will use to make the new campus as functional as possible.
“We always welcome feedback from the community,” Ms. Rausch said. “We collected information from the mock room tours and distributed it to project leaders. We continue to take feedback through our website or by phone.” The mock-up rooms are still in place in the warehouse, but Ms. Rausch said that workers are beginning to work on prefabricated bathrooms that will be part of the new hospital. This means that it is no longer safe to allow the public into the warehouse to see the rooms.
As far as the current campus on Clarke Avenue, Ms. Rausch said that the hospital will be releasing an update about their progress in redeveloping the Clarke Avenue facility in early January. From the beginning of the project, Bayhealth has said that they will work to repurpose the old hospital and hired a firm to help them with the process.
The new campus is a $275 to $300 million project located at the intersection of Wilkins and Cedar Creek Roads in Milford. The new campus will have completely private rooms with private bathrooms. A. I. duPont/Nemours is also planning a campus at the new hospital location, creating the first health campus for children in southern Delaware.
Mary Louise Donnell Marshall, the wife of Dr. George Marshall, is credited with founding the Milford campus of Bayhealth in 1907. As the wife of a doctor and the mother of two sons who were studying to be doctors, she was well aware that the lack of a hospital in Milford had a negative impact on the city. She enlisted the help of some of her friends who raised money to purchase hospital equipment. The equipment was initially placed in the ballroom of the Central Hotel on Northwest Front Street. In 1910, the hospital was moved to the second floor of the Masonic Building and, in 1912, was moved to 110 Northwest Front Street, property that was owned by Dr. William Marshall, Jr.
After fundraising efforts conducted by Dr. William ‘Wid’ Marshall and his brother, Dr. Samuel ‘Sam’ Marshall, Milford Memorial Hospital opened on Clarke Avenue in 1938. The 100-bed, fire-proof building was state-of-the-art at the time. The hospital expanded over the years with a clinical addition added in 1954, an Outpatient Services facility and Surgical Department in 1991 as well as a Rehabilitation Center and Physical Therapy Department in 1992. In 1997, Kent General Hospital and Milford Memorial Hospital merged to become Bayhealth, Inc. Bayhealth opened the Cancer Center in 2002.
Watch a time lapse of the Bayhealth Health Campus Project at https://www.bayhealth.org/health-campus-project
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.