River City Construction, LLC – New Fulton State Hospital

River City picRiver City Construction works on the New Fulton State Hospital to build a safer, more modern psychiatric facility in Missouri.

By Stephanie Crets

River City Construction has strived to provide high-quality results to its customers since it was formed in 1984. The company has built more than $3.75 billion worth of construction projects and grown to a workforce of more than 400 employees.

River City pursues a fair number of public work projects and has a good track record of successfully winning and being awarded these ‘hard bid’ jobs.  In addition, the company self-performs much of its own work on projects, including self-perform concrete, masonry, carpentry and architectural specialty packages. 

“That gives us advantages on bid day,” Senior Project Manager Warren Moody says. “A lot of construction companies subcontract most everything out but we do a lot of the work ourselves. The New Fulton State Hospital project also employs a full-time quality control manager along with several other project managers. We utilize pre-installation meetings before every major piece of work, which include initial, follow-up and final inspections helping to verify in the field that everything is going in the way it’s supposed to.”

Operating out of three locations in Ashland, Mo., and East Peoria and Benton, Ill., River City can serve clients in a variety of locations and have pursued numerous projects in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana and Kentucky. “We’re always looking for other opportunities in other areas,” Moody notes.

Uniting a Campus

River City won the $141 million contract (construction cost) for the New Fulton State Hospital project, which consists of the demolition of an existing facility and construction of a replacement psychiatric hospital for the state of Missouri. The hospital, built in 1851, is the oldest state psychiatric hospital west of the Mississippi River. As the state’s only maximum-security psychiatric facility, it treats patients with serious mental illnesses who are committed by Missouri courts for evaluation and treatment related to a crime, or who have seriously assaulted patients or staff in other state psychiatric hospitals.

“The existing hospital was in disrepair and very old with many things wrong with it,” Moody explains. “It’s unsafe for both the people working and staying there. The HVAC and electrical systems were all outdated. So, the state of Missouri is building a brand-new replacement hospital in the same spot. Part of our project was tearing down the old facility and building the new one.” River City box

River City broke ground on the 423,000-square-foot hospital project in April 2016 and it is currently scheduled to be complete on Oct. 11, 2018. The new hospital, situated on a 55-acre campus, will include six living areas with 50 beds each, for a total of 300 patient beds in a two-story complex.

The new complex will also consolidate all administrative and clinical service offices once housed in a costly, antiquated building, and a food services complex housed in a facility built in the 1930s. It also will create more vocational activity space, recreational activity space for maximum and intermediate patients, training rooms and an auditorium for staff development. 

“This is a fast-paced project so the schedule is a huge challenge,” Moody says. “The design is complex. There are numerous slopes, curves, differing roof levels and many different components on the exterior. We’re using load-bearing concrete masonry units, structural steel framing, as well as metal roofing and wall panels, ultra-high performance concrete panels, veneer block, aluminum curtainwall systems, terracotta masonry and TPO roofing.”

Advance technological and electrical systems are also being installed to enhance the security system throughout the facility. Through all of this, safety is River City’s top priority. The company instills safety awareness with focused training and mandatory practices, making each jobsite less risky, healthier and safer overall. It employs a full-time safety manager and requires all new tradesmen go through safety and OSHA training. On every site, River City also conducts weekly safety committee walkthroughs because hazards can change on a dime and constant review is necessary.

“This is the largest project we’ve ever been awarded and that’s a big deal,” Moody says. “It’s very high-profile. I grew up in Fulton and now I’m back helping build one of the largest buildings in the city, with the exception of the Callaway Nuclear Plant. I’m looking forward to getting it on done on time, safely and with quality, and then moving on to the next job.”

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