In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs John Cochran Medical Center was troubled with a series of incidents involving the sterility of surgical and dental instruments. To solve this problem permanently, the VA made the decision to completely demolish their existing 60 year-old Sterile Processing & Distribution (SPD) center and replace it with a new, state-of-the-art facility. Michael Roth & Associates with the joint venture construction companies of JW Fuller and L. Wolf Construction, formed the design/build team the VA determined was most qualified to design and construct the new SPD.

Several major hurdles had to be cleared for the project to work. First, sterile processing had to remain in 24/7/365 operation to meet the needs of the hospital. To do this, MRA designed a temporary 9,000 s.f. facility on-site using leased modular buildings and installing a combination of existing and new processing equipment.

Secondly, the new SPD had to fit within the confines of its current space and within the limitations of the 62 year-old building and systems. This required careful investigation and minute detailing of the improvements, utilities and equipment.

Thirdly, construction for the new facility has to be completed by May, 2012. To meet this deadline, MRA performed several design functions simultaneously: design and construction of the temporary SPD, field verification of the existing space, abatement of hazardous materials and demolition of the existing SPD space.

Lastly, there was a large number of stakeholders from the hospital, the VA in Washington, D.C. and Congress that were involved in the design and construction of this facility. In order to meet the overall project schedule, MRA streamlined and prioritized the decision-making process to ensure that all parties were given the opportunity to voice their concerns, understand priorities, reach consensus and give their approval.