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Meriter Hospital Child and Adolescent Building

January 1, 2005
by root
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Madison, Wisconsin

When Meriter Hospita l in Madison, Wisconsin, decided to close one hospital campus, hospital management relocated the 18-bed child and adolescent psychiatric pro gram to a new building. Designed by HGA, this 20,000-gross-square-foot psychiatric hospital is one of only three inpatient child and adolesc ent psychiatric treatment facilities in Wisconsin and the only freestanding one. Construction began in June 2003, and the building was ready for occupancy in February 2004.

A modified cruciform shape separates four distinct program elements: an administrative wing, an educ ation wing, a nine-bed child inpatient wing, and a 13-bed adolescent inpatient wing. The central nurses’ station/communication center commands a view of all areas and controls access to the child and adolescent seclusion suites. The separate child and adolescent wings have their own dining/activity rooms and outdoor play areas. The state-mandated educational components—gymnasium, schoolroom, and occupatio nal therapy rooms—are used by both the child and adolescent programs at separate times but staffed by the same professionals.

A ll patient rooms are private and have private toilet rooms. Special care has been taken with all finishes and fixtures to reduce or eliminat e the opportunity for harm to the children. Laminate safety glass and tamper-resistant/suicide-preventive fixtures were used throughout the hospital. Materials were chosen for their ability to withstand abuse and still remain attractive. Large exterior windows bring daylight into each room. Recent studies show that mood can be positively affected by exposure to daylight.

As with all psychiatric hospitals, security is of prime importance. There are no hidden areas. Access points to the e xterior, educational wing, and administration wing are all controlled, yet the open design fosters communication and alleviates claustrophob ic fears.

The psychiatric hospital sits on a 65-acre parcel on the outskirts of Madison, is steps away from the Ice Age Trail, and pr ovides bucolic vistas of the forested glacier formations. A major goal was to blend the building into the rural surroundings. Low-pitched ro ofs, contrasting with the taller gymnasium, anchor the building to its surroundings. Natural-colored exterior materials reinforce the prairi e architecture. BHM

For more information, contact John Leaf in the HGA Business Development Department at (414) 278-3424 or< /div>