December 14, 2012

Windham company's prefabricated counters, cabinets speed up new hospital fittings

Items manufactured in southern Maine, then shipped to Augusta for installation

Staff video by Joe Phelan

By Betty Adams
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- All the woodwork, countertops, sink tops, windowsills and even the protective strips along the walls and the corner protectors are coming from a single firm in Windham.

click image to enlarge

The top photo shows the front entrance of the new MaineGeneral regional hospital on May 22, in north Augusta. The bottom photo shows the same side of the new MaineGeneral regional hospital on Dec. 4.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

Dan Berube, onsite foreman for Windham Millwork, talks about the cabinets that workers have already installed during a tour on Dec. 4 at the new MaineGeneral regional hospital in Augusta. The cabinets, counters and some other items are pre-made back in the shop at Windham Millworks before being shipped up and installed.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Additional Photos Below


Windham Millwork Inc. is doing the casework at MaineGeneral Medical Center's new regional hospital under construction in Augusta.

* $5.2 million contract;

* 4,000 cabinets, manufactured and installed;

* 90 clinical and reception stations;

* 10,000 linear feet of solid surface countertops;

* 700 metal lockers with benches;

* 6,500 linear feet of solid surface window sills;

* 85,000 square feet of vinyl wall protection;

* 4,000 linear feet of handrail;

* woodwork in boutique, gift shop and spiritual space.

Source: Windham Millwork

It's all part of the emerging hospital under construction in north Augusta, where MaineGeneral Medical Center is spending $312 million to consolidate operations in a modern building.

The regional hospital is scheduled to open Dec. 7, 2013.

Earlier this month, workers from Windham Millwork Inc. unloaded prefabricated counters, countertops, cabinets and other items onto an upper floor. They are destined for the nursing and clinical stations in the patient wing and elsewhere in MaineGeneral Medical Center's new 192-bed hospital.

"I'm just an assembler," said Dan Berube, the onsite foreman for Windham Millwork, pointing to one of more than 90 stations. The solid surface, antimicrobial-coated countertops arrive with cutouts for electrical and computer wiring connections. "For the most part, it's all pre-made."

The items are precut in the Windham manufacturing plant and need some fitting and filling.

"There's a lot of preparation," he said. "It's a big item. The planning is what makes it work out good."

Windham Millwork's share of the hospital project is scheduled to be completed in June 2013, six months before opening day.

The cabinets and woodwork are delivered to the site in quantities of about a half dozen or so, allowing the crews to install them as they arrive. "I try to manage the crews so there's not too much stuff that it's in everybody's way," Berube said.

Large project

The 10 installers receive shipments twice a week, and recently Berube literally was handling the deliveries, tethered to a safety device as he reached out an upper-floor opening to guide in the pallets of products. He's also the runner, chasing down missing parts and checking details.

Along with a copy of the installation drawings taped to the wall at each station, workers also have guides in the form of floor stencils everywhere, indicating what goes where.

"You walk into a room and the layout of the room is on the floor," said Tim Nunn, vice president of sales for Windham Millwork.

While some rooms remain as metal-framed shells, others have sinks, cabinetry and even a vinyl wall protector on the wall behind the patient bed. The accouterments are all by Windham Millwork.

In the more finished areas, Nunn points to some of the 85,000 square feet of vinyl wall protector.

"It's something you wouldn't think a millwork company would do," he said, "but why not? We're here."

For Windham Millwork, the $5.2 million casework contract with the hospital is its largest ever, and four times the contract it held to do similar work at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, which is on the same campus as the MaineGeneral Medical Center's new hospital. Berube was chief of the installation crew there as well.

The firm also did the carpentry and millwork in the Maine Senate chamber at the State House and work on dormitories and a dining hall at Waterville's Colby College. It will be working on the new computer science center there as well, said one of Windham Millwork's owners, Chad Pulkkinen.

"We were founded in 1957 by my grandfather Walter Pulkkinen," Chad Pulkkinen said. "My brother and I are third-generation owners, and our father is the current CEO. We have over 65 employees at Windham Millworks, Inc., and a 65,000-square-foot facility, which allowed us to be the sole millwork company on this project because of our size and experience."

The hospital project makes up a third of the company's annual work.

The firm came on early, working with the architects and making suggestions. While a number of other firms joined with others to bid on such a large project, Windham Millworks was large enough to do take the interior casework by itself.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

There are several counters and cupboards installed at the new MaineGeneral regional hospital in Augusta. The cabinets, counters and some other items are prefabricated at Windham Millworks's shop before being shipped to Augusta and installed.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

There are several counters and cupboards installed at the new MaineGeneral regional hospital in Augusta.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan


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