Mount Nittany Medical Center Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion

State College, PA
Mount Nittany Medical Center
$17 Million

The existing Health Services Wing was a single story structure with CMU load bearing corridor walls extending the length of the building. To meet the programmatic requirements of the new facility, these CMU corridor walls had to be removed and a new structural steel framing system installed, to accommodate a new, open floor plan. The walls had to be removed while maintaining the structural integrity of the existing structure and new addition above, as well as maintaining occupancy of the radiation oncology and laboratory suites located within the existing building. The process of completing the structural retrofit was performed in strict accordance with the structural sequencing plan that was developed over many months through a collaborative effort that included the architect, Alexander, structural engineer, shoring engineer, structural steel erector and hospital facilities department.

Another extremely complex part of this project was the overbuild above existing occupied clinical and information technology spaces. Nursing managers and imaging staff were directly involved with phasing planning and communications. Additional constructability concerns that resulted from the overbuild included maintaining a watertight enclosure during steel erection activities, managing functionality of existing rooftop HVAC equipment, and minimizing safety risks associated with erecting structural steel above occupied spaces.


Alexander utilized Submittal Exchange® software to exchange, review and archive submittals, RFIs, and other design and project communications electronically. All documentation was electronically available to the Owner for future use. 

The project team internally pioneered the use of Vela Systems/BIM 360® for tracking items of non-conformance, completion lists, and A/E punchlists. This significantly minimized the traditional punchlist duration and resulted in early occupancy. 

A CM Incentive Program developed by Alexander and MNMC was used to foster communications and measure the CM’s effectiveness on the project. A rating matrix, based on several CMAA Standards of Practice, was developed to evaluate the performance of the Construction Manager quarterly. The plan helped identify and implement process improvements to achieve continuous improvement throughout the project. 

The development of a Building Information Modeling structural shoring model proved to be invaluable as it provided an accurate snapshot of the required field conditions based on the sequence of operations. The construction team could conceptualize the space requirements necessary for the shoring components. By identifying conflicts, adjustments were made prior to installation, improving overall durations and minimizing the cost of rework. The construction and design teams created a minimally invasive shoring design to accommodate the hospital’s 24/7 operations. 

Alexander's patient-focused approach kept the hospital's best interests in mind which allowed us to meet our goal of bringing comprehensive cancer care under one roof with the least amount of disruption to the ongoing operations. 

This project required construction above and adjacent to the medical center's existing Radiation Oncology and Information Services departments. One of the most vital aspects of the job was Alexander's ability to successfully coordinate this difficult construction while continuously and meticulously maintaining the safety and security of the patients accessing their cancer treatment in our existing linear accelerator-throughout the duration of the project. 

Alexander's early involvement in the process working with the hospital's user groups to develop detailed phasing plans allowed the hospital's staff to plan accordingly which was a key contributing factor to the success of this project. 

Lou Brungard, MBA


Mt. Nittany Medical Center