Natchez Regional roof work begins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2009

NATCHEZ — Work crews descended on Natchez Regional Medical Center Tuesday to being repair work months in the making.

In March hospital officials announced plans to re-roof and replace failing air conditioning equipment at the facility, and Tuesday the work started.

For much of the day Tuesday crews spent the afternoon removing the old roof and preparing the surface to be re-roofed.

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But the massive repair project won’t be done anytime soon, and it won’t be cheap.

Natchez Regional Interim Director of Facilities Darryl Wilkinson said the roof will be replaced over the next 75 days and the new air conditioning equipment needed to complete the job won’t arrive for at least three weeks.

Estimates for the project place the job at close to $800,000.

“It’s a big job,” Wilkinson said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

The roof work, which Wilkinson said will remedy the facility’s internal leaks, will take place in multiple sections of the hospital.

“They’ll be working on the fifth floor and over a section of the second floor,” Wilkinson said. “In all we’ll replace four or five sections of the roof.”

Work on the air conditioner will take place in two phases.

In the coming weeks, some air conditioning units will be replaced and secondary work to the units chiller towers will come during the winter months when the system can be shut down without disrupting hospital operations.

Natchez Regional’s Vice President Lana Morgan said none of the hospital’s repair projects will disrupt patient treatment or any other facility operations.

Additionally, Morgan said that because the hospital now has a positive cash flow the project will be funded from the hospital’s daily operations fund.