Highland Associates, a New York- and Pennsylvania-based architecture, engineering and interior design firm was selected by DeltaMedix, a multi-specialty physician practice, to develop a design solution that would enable the company to consolidate five medical offices, located throughout northeastern PA, into a new, state-of-the-art facility in the heart of downtown Scranton. DeltaMedix selected a vacant department store, located in The Marketplace at Steamtown, as the site for the new facility as it provides ample square footage to house the various medical specialties the firm offers and also provides patients with the convenience of covered parking.
Tracy Nelson Wescott, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate with Highland Associates in Clarks Summit, PA, described the challenging process of developing an efficient and aesthetically pleasing design to accommodate the manner in which patients, doctors, and staff move about the building.
“For example, the design of the waiting room and treatment rooms for patients requiring pulmonary care services need to be within close proximity of each other,” explains Wescott. “Additionally, the facilities 20-foot high ceilings needed to be lowered to 12 feet in the new 44,000 square foot design in order to provide a less intimidating waiting area and a more private atmosphere in the examination and treatment rooms.”
Wescott explains both color and layout were also important considerations in design. “Walls were painted gentle hues of browns and blues, with subtle color-coded areas that match the medical discipline for easy patient direction,” she says. “In areas where a patient may feel a bit uncomfortable, design is used that helps the patient feel reassured where to go during each step of their treatment.”
Highland Associates worked closely with DeltaMedix to complete the project in two phases. Once schematic plans were completed and approved and the initial budget determined, construction documents were prepared by Highland. The Highland team worked directly with DeltaMedix and the Marketplace at Steamtown owner to develop an appropriate fast-track approach to expedite the speed-to-market. This included strategies such as an early demolition package, separate HVAC, electrical and plumbing packages, and creative phasing. DeltaMedix began to occupy the new space in early May 2018.
“Highland has been an integral part of our team approach to this project, often meeting difficult time schedules and working with us to bring the costs in line with our budget,” Margo Opsasnick, CEO of DeltaMedix explains. “Their knowledge of healthcare design, coupled with their ability to navigate a challenging renovation from a retail department store into a medical office building, has ensured the success of our consolidation project.”
“What was most amazing,” suggests Opsasnick, “was how Highland took complete ownership of this project as if it were their own offices. I really feel from start to finish they were an extension of our medical practice.”