Hospital begins $479,000 overhaul

Published 8:08 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
It has taken three years of persistence, but Atmore Community Hospital has finally secured a FEMA mitigation grant to work on improving the sealing of windows and doors during severe weather.
The mitigation grant is to provide for funding for precautionary work to be performed on the hospital.
Coffman said FEMA got back with the hospital this summer to update cost estimates for the grant and then awarded it in October.
The projected cost of the project is around $300,000 with FEMA covering 75 percent leaving the hospital to pay $75,000.
Renovations to the hospital include replacing 56 windows and 18 doors. The current windows and doors date back to the 1960s.
Coffman said during past hurricanes neither the windows nor the doors were very resistant to the weather.
According to Coffman, the windows are not hurricane proof, but are made for high impact and will be sufficient in protecting against severe weather.
Two other renovations scheduled to be performed are replacing the ambulance entrance door and sealing old heating and air vents in rooms.
Coffman said previously during severe weather, the ambulance entrance would be kept open as long as the ambulances were running, which was until wind speed reached 40 miles per hour, and would not be boarded up until after. Now though, a rolling metal door will be in place that will not require it to be rolled up.
Rain coming in through floor vents in rooms was also a problem during hurricane and severe weather. Coffman said the vents are no longer in use, as they are now installed in the ceiling and will be sealed with metal plates to prevent water leakage.
Eight of the new doors have already been installed and the windows are expected to be in in early April.

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