Framing continues, and installation of electrical and other wiring has begun. Clint (our supervisor) is working feverishly to make sure there is wood “backing” in place wherever something heavy will hang on the walls, and he’s constantly on the lookout for little details that will improve the clinic’s appearance and function. He and our general contractor Gary were instrumental in helping us tweak the large viewing windows in the hospital wards and surgery suite. These windows will help ensure that no pet is ever out of our sight during their stay at the hospital, and will have the secondary benefit of giving our space a roomier feel.
Framing began in the middle of the shell (a line of exam rooms), and spread forward and back from this origin. We watched with interest as things progressed, but it was all a bunch of rectangles and squares until the sweeping radius of the reception counter was framed out late last week. Karin and I were thrilled to see this dramatic feature on something other than paper for the first time. Both the flowing counter itself and the paired soffits above are visually stunning, even without sheetrock and paint; we can’t wait to see the “skin” go on the walls as sheetrocking begins in a couple weeks. The photo above was taken from behind the reception desk; the low wall curving back and to the left from bottom center will support the counter.
I spent this morning talking with our cabinet builder, making minor adjustments and listening to additional suggestions from an expert who has completed many more of these projects than we’ll ever undertake. Steve from Associated Woodworks is a tremendous resource and is obviously dedicated to building things exactly as we want. After a couple sit-downs with Stacy at Fifer Design during the last week, I finally had countertop and cabinet finishes for Steve, and Gary can now rest easier knowing that materials will soon be ordered. Next up: selecting flooring, paints, sinks, and other interior finishes. When it’s all said and done, we want the hospital to have the warm, friendly, and energetic feel of a busy coffee house—the kind of place where the staff greets their “regulars” by name and are eager to get to know new guests as well.