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Innovative Planning Shortens Shutdowns at Hooverwood

For residents, Hooverwood is home and that doesn’t change even during construction. Residents and staff maintain their daily routine while contractors extend the residential wings by 20,000 square feet and renovate all 96,000 square feet of existing space. The safety of residents, staff and visitors, and the ability to maintain Hooverwood’s expected high quality of care is a must.

Hooverwood was established on its 40-acre, Indianapolis campus in 1970. It is a skilled nursing facility specializing in rehabilitation, dementia care and adult day services. In the 1990s, resident rooms were added and amenities and support spaces were updated.

The current project adds assisted-living apartments, converts existing semi-private rooms to private rooms, enhances lighting and technology, and modernizes many elements to bring them in line with current code requirements. The renovations will enable prolonged independence for the residents and bring much desired privacy and modern amenities.

The challenge for electrical and systems contractor ERMCO is managing demolition and scheduling installation in a way that minimizes disruptions, maintains safety and provides for an easy switch-over from old systems to new. ERMCO is responsible for all electrical and systems installation including new LED lighting with remote lighting controls, fire alarm system, CCTV (closed-circuit television), phone and data system, security system, site lighting, electrical distribution services and equipment, and emergency power and equipment including a new generator capable of providing 100% backup power if utility power is lost.

As each of seven construction phases is completed, the old power distribution systems are turned off and the new distribution systems are started up. A significant amount of cable, wiring and conduit is required for the new power distribution systems and to support the new lighting, data and security systems.

Realizing the amount of time it would take to install the needed cable, wiring and conduit one phase at a time, ERMCO’s Project Foreman Ryan Fagg decided he needed to get innovative. Ryan called in ERMCO’s medium voltage group, who installed a recording meter on two switchgears for a week. This provided a better understanding of current power usage and information that could be used to shorten shutdowns. They also brought in a temporary generator to power the entire facility for five days while utility work was completed, allowing Hooverwood to continue to operate as normal without interruption.

As a design-assist partner, ERMCO had the opportunity to collaborate with the general contractor Hagerman and the design team early in the project to create an installation plan that minimized facility interruptions and shortened shutdown schedules.

A plan was developed for all phases, including those not happening up to a year later, to run all feeder conduits and pull wire to key points. At those points, terminal boxes were installed so feeders could be extended to their final locations during each additional phase. Approximately 75% of the distribution work was completed in the first phase of construction. The remaining electrical work can now be completed without additional shutdown time. This also allows the other trades more access to tight construction areas and positively impacts the overall project schedule.

The final phase is expected to be completed in late 2018. Hooverwood staff will be able to provide the highest possible quality of care in revitalized facilities with an even better environment for residents, staff, and visitors.


“The ERMCO team has performed with the highest degree of professionalism during a challenging construction / renovation project. Hooverwood is staying open throughout construction, so our staff and residents need to be able to go about their daily activities and be able to do so safely. ERMCO, specifically Project Foreman Ryan Fagg, has come up with innovative solutions to minimize inconvenience and shorten shutdowns. Everything is being done as safely and efficiently as possible. ERMCO’s expertise and dedication to schedule, budget and safety has exceeded expectations and has made this a positive experience.”

- David Glass, Health Facility Administrator (HFA) | Hooverwood, Indianapolis Jewish Home, Inc.


ERMCO’s key field team members included: Ryan Fagg, John Sylvester, Ryan Stephens, Brandon Lewis, Allen Lowman, Ryan Burdine, Randall Gregory and Josh Waggoner.


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