Ironworkers Raising Breast Cancer Awareness
Local 46 (Springfield, Ill.), Local 518 (St. Louis), Harold O’Shea Builders and Selvaggio Steel Inc. are playing their part in raising breast cancer awareness in Springfield, Illinois.
A $60.5 million medical facility, erected of pink structural steel, began going up in October 2012. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the disease. The facility will be home to the new Springfield Clinic and their team of oncologists and doctors specializing in women’s health and general surgery and cancer treatment. The building will be part of the Memorial Medical Center Campus in Springfield with the space to be leased to the Springfield Clinic.
On October 25, 2012, a free breast cancer awareness event, Pink Steel: Building Strength from Within, sponsored by the Springfield Clinic and Harold O’Shea Builders, was held at the construction site. The event’s name—Pink Steel—has a double meaning. While it figuratively describes the strength within breast cancer patients and survivors, the term is also literal—the Springfield Clinic 1st expansion will be constructed by Selvaggio Steel of Springfield using steel beams coated in pink. About 800 people took part in the event including doctors, nurses, construction tradesmen and breast cancer survivors. Two structural girders were set up for attendees and survivors to sign prior to being erected into the structure.
“When we realized the steel would be fabricated and erected in October and that the new facility held specialists directly involved in breast cancer detection and treatment, we knew this was a very special opportunity,” said Tom Fitch, S.E., vice president of O’Shea. “Visibility leads to awareness, and what’s more visible than a bright steel structure in the middle of Springfield’s medical district?”
The Pink Steel vision was made possible by the Memorial Health System and Springfield Clinic working in conjunction with Harold O’Shea Builders and Selvaggio Steel Inc. Selvaggio Steel is a local fabrication shop employing members of Shop Local 518. All the steel was fabricated and coated with an unusual pink rustproofing paint at the Springfield shop. All extra cost associated with the pink coating was absorbed by Selvaggio Steel and was not passed on to Memorial Heath. Harold O’Shea Builders is the general contractor on the project, employing members of Local 46, for placement of concrete reinforcement and the structural steel erection of the unique structure.
“We initially saw the request to paint the steel pink as just another project requirement, but after taking our employees to the event and witnessing the compassion and fellowship displayed on the beams, I now understand the significance of ‘strength from within,’” said Mark Selvaggio, president and owner of Selvaggio Steel.
The new facility is 4 stories and approximately 146,000 square foot, supported by two million pounds of structural steel. At the peak of the project there were approximately fifteen ironworkers involved in the erection and detailing of the structure. A skywalk was constructed and set to attach the new building to an existing building across the street. In addition to the new medical building, an attached 4-story pre-cast parking ramp was erected. The pre-cast erection, started in April 2013, and was set out in July 2013. Harold O’Shea Builders, with members of Iron Workers Local 46, erected the parking structure as well.
Memorial Hospital also has a separate project currently underway, a $150 million expansion of the existing hospital. They will be adding 114 new patient rooms consisting of three new floors added on top of an existing two story section of the hospital, adding two floors of surgical space with six new operating rooms, removing the existing lobby to make room for a new lobby and front entrance, and constructing a new multi-story conference and training center. About 500 union construction jobs are predicted with the combined renovation and new construction project with Harold O’Shea Builders as the general contractor. Harold O’Shea Builders has been working with Springfield Clinic and Memorial Medical Center on medical office building projects for nearly ten years.
For more information on the Pink Steel event, visit www.springfieldclinic.com/AboutUs/PinkSteel, which includes a video of the steel fabrication and painting process for the project.