THE $282 million Wagga Base Hospital redevelopment is about to reach a major milestone, with the new acute services building soon to become Wagga's tallest building.
By the end of January, the new block will be at full height of around 30 metres, overtaking the adjoining existing hospital by a bit less than four metres.
From some southern views, the old six-storey brick hospital already can't be seen behind the rising development.
Construction company Hansen Yuncken is building the new 30,000 square metre hospital.
Project manager Michael Martin said the acute services building would have six operational levels (ground floor to level five), a plant room on level six and a helipad on level seven.
"We are currently working on level six," Mr Martin said.
"The plan is that by the end of January we will have the concrete structure complete.
"By June next year the scaffolding and the shade cloth will be pulled down."
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District's executive manager of the hospital redevelopment, Irene Hing, said the project was on time and on budget.
"It will be completed in the third quarter of next year and we will move in during the first quarter of 2016," Ms Hing said.
Mr Martin said builders have had a "pretty good run" with conditions for construction, although recent windy weather sometimes hampered use of the big crane, nicknamed Hercules.
There are currently about 160 workers on the site.
"All the service trades are on board - electrical, mechanical, hydraulic," Mr Martin said.
Pulling down of the old hospital, made of steel and many thousands of red bricks, is expected to start in 2016 and take at least six months to complete.
The acute services building is stage two of the hospital redevelopment project.
Stage one was the mental health ward, opened earlier this year, and an expected stage three will be an ambulatory care building housing such services as the dental clinic, community health, outpatient services and rehabilitation.
The team appointed to plan stage three was announced in April.
While funding has not yet been allocated for that building it is expected to be built around the footprint of the old hospital after it is demolished.
The hospital's emergency department is on the ground floor of the acute services building.
"It dwarfs the existing emergency department," Mr Martin said.
– Some 13,000 cubic metres of concrete will be poured during construction;
– The new acute services building will be about 30 metres high.
– Construction takes place six days a week;
– There are about 140 tradies on site;
– In total, the new hospital (including mental health unit) will have 294 beds, an increase of 57;
– The acute services building has a floor area of 30,000 square metres;–
– Aeromedical helicopters will land on the top floor of the hospital, level seven;
– *Ambulances will access the hospital along Yathong Street and Lewis Drive;
*There will be six operating theatres and two procedure rooms, a doubling of what is in the current hospital;
*There will be six birthing suites and three birthing baths. At the moment there are three birthing suites and no birthing baths;
– Wagga company Harrison's Joinery was awarded the contract to fit out the interior of the actute services building in September;
– The 54-metre-high crane doing most of the heavy lifting at the worksite was named Hercules in a competition won by Tess, a Lutheran Primary School pupil.