Value-engineered’ hospice building is almost ready

LIHU’E — Anyone who has been in the process of building something new knows how materials costs have skyrocketed.

Naturally, there is a 21st-cen-tury term attached to the need to scale back a project because the estimated cost and actual cost are so far apart as to financially preclude the possibility of building said structure at its actual cost.

Welcome to the age of “value engineering.”

Where the new Kaua’i Hospice facility is concerned, under construction in Kukui Grove Village West, the original, $1.6 million budget for building construction has been scaled back to $1.25 million, with some corners cut to allow the building to be built at that lower cost, said Judy Smith, Kaua’i Hospice executive director.

The changes became necessary because of increases in materials during the six to eight months between when the original design was completed and the project went out to bid, said Smith and Marc Ventura, the building architect.

The changes necessitated a lower roof line, new roofing bids, some changes in materials, and a re-examination of the on-going capital campaign to raise funds for the facility, Smith said during a tour of the facility next to the Hana Kukui Building, where Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative headquarters is located.

Even with Jeanette Otsuka Chang of Otsuka’s Furniture & Appliances donating some public-area furniture and design talent in memory of the hospice care on O’ahu afforded to her late father, and landscaping donated by Bruce Horka at Custom Landscaping, some cuts still had to be made, Smith said.

The value-engineered kitchen is sans stove, and the space saved by getting rid of the planned central-air-conditioning system means a planned mechanical room can now be used for storage, Smith and Ventura said.

The original plan was for a $2.8 million facility that Smith explained is technically a medical facility, requiring medical records to be kept under double lock and key.

A waterfall inside the main entrance to the facility was deemed a necessary part of the new building, where the names of all the donors and the Kaua’i Hospice logo will be seen through the waterfall on the wall behind it, Smith said.

Also surviving the cut was a contemplation and meditation garden at the back of the facility.

As promised, a community-use conference room is under construction, with a separate entry way that will make it possible to lock off the conference room from the rest of the facility when members of community groups use the conference room, Smith continued.

There is a children’s room, social worker office, the aforementioned medical-records room, a nurses’ office with six work stations with telephones and other office equipment, an office for clinical-care coordinator Diana Davidson-Clendenan, BSN, a room for patient supplies, and separate, modest offices for Smith, Bereavement Coordinator Gina Kaulukukui, and Liana Soong, development and community liaison.

In addition to an accounting and bookkeeping office and the community conference room, there is another Hospice-specific conference room where the interdisciplinary team (IDT) members meet each week to discuss the status of Hospice clients (currently numbering 21).

Dr. Mitch Jenkins, of the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital at the West Kauai Medical Center West Kauai Clinics ‘Ele’ele branch, volunteers his time to head up the IDT meetings, where things such as patient status, pain-management techniques, and other issues are discussed, Smith said.

“We couldn’t function without our volunteers,” said Smith, showing the features of the volunteer room under construction by construction workers of Shioi Construction and their subcontractors.

The Rev. Paul McLeod is spiritual-care coordinator, and gets an office of his own, too, Smith said.

The community conference room will have couches, chairs and tables, she continued.

Construction is on schedule, with a completion date of mid-May, thanks to some stellar work by subcontractors, said Wayne Fujioka of Shioi Construction.

Smith said that, although the occupancy date may be late May, it will likely be during the first two weeks of June that Kaua’i Hospice staff members and volunteers will actually make the move into the new building from the private home they now occupy in Isenberg Tract subdivision in Lihu’e.

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