Effingham now has a new high tech building on its landscape that is nearing completion.

Work continues this winter on the new and improved Sarah Bush Lincoln Bonutti Clinic. SBL President and CEO Jerry Esker is looking forward to getting the new clinic operational.

“We start moving into the new building in February,” Esker said. “Then they will start tearing the old building down.”

The first floor of the new Bonutti Clinic will include a walk-in clinic as you enter through the north entrance. There is a centralized break room for use by the entire building that includes a patio area on the first floor, radiology which includes an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner and CT scan and conference room enclosed in glass with a video monitor for meetings.

The main lobby area in the center of the building on the first floor has an elevator to the second floor along with a front entrance to the building that will lead to a parking lot after the demolition of the old Bonutti Clinic.

Esker said the front entrance could not be finished until the old clinic is gone and filled in with dirt to match the level of the new building.

He said after the old Bonutti Clinic is torn down they will fill the space left by the old building with 2,600 truckloads of dirt to bring the parking lot even with the new building.

“I can’t believe how much dirt it’s going to fill in the hole,” he said. “Everything should be finished by August.”

Esker said two architects designed the building, Utz and Associates of Effingham and BSA LifeStructures of St. Louis. He said the architectural firms worked together on the building project.

“Both firms have worked well together,” Esker said. “This building is an engineering masterpiece.”

He said there were several local subcontractors working on the building and a few firms that are not from Effingham County that employ workers from the Effingham area.

Eric Hoffman of McCarthy Construction is project manager for the building project.

“This building is 65,800 square feet,” Hoffman said. “Today, we have about 50 workers on the site and have had up to 90 working at one time.”

Members of the McCarthy crew have a Computer-aided design (CAD) 3-D program that allows them the ability to take a close-up, technical look at how each area of the building is supposed to be wired, where pipes are supposed to be installed and duct work to be installed along with many other technical aspects of the build.

“Once they call it up they know exactly where to put it,” Tim Kastl, director of Facility Services at Sarah Bush Lincoln, said about the CAD 3-D program.

Physical and Occupational Therapy is located on south wing of the first floor. The area features a reception area, examination rooms, gym and large work area for therapists.

The department also features a 20 ft. x 12 ½ ft. therapy pool with a depth between 3 ½ ft to 5 ½ ft. J.B. Esker & Sons did the concrete work for the pool and Hudson Aquatic is installing the liner and equipment.

At the very south end of the first floor is a large room that will be used as a gym and work area for therapy patients. The future carpet design will emulate a walking pathway throughout the room.

One room is dedicated to housing multiple workstations to be used by the therapists working with patients.

The second floor houses a reception area for Orthopedics, Brian Ogan Pain Management, Internal Medicine Practice of Dr. Louis Schwing, Nurse Practitioner Meghan Steffens, APRN, Certified Physician Assistant Cari Fearday, PA-C along with room for visiting specialists. There is also an x-ray room on the second floor along with several examination rooms and several doctor offices. There are three nurse stations on the second floor, a conference room and a room dedicated for applying patient casts.

A balcony on the second floor will overlook the main lobby reception area with large windows with a view overlooking the future parking lot.

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

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Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.