A rotation of dirt hauling trucks continues to remove excavated dirt from the site of the addition to Pratt Regional Medical Center.

Construction is moving as expected on the two-year project.

A backhoe is working its way northward through what used to be the parking lot as it digs down to the necessary grade level for the addition, said Mike Patton, PRMC manager of plant operations.

A mountain of dirt from the north side of the existing building continues to grow on the east side of the new parking lot as the excavation continues. Most, if not all, of the dirt in the pile will be needed as backfill for the new building.

In fact, so much dirt is needed for backfill that additional dirt may be required to complete the job, Patton said.

Part of the excavation on the northwest corner is for the expanded boiler room. The exterior wall of the boiler room is visible and cuts have been made for the opening that will allow for the boiler room to expand to the north.

The new gas connection for the boiler room is in place. New regulators have to be installed before the wall can be taken down for the new boilers.

The conversion from the old gas system to the new will take about two hours and during that time the boilers will be run on diesel fuel, Patton said.

The stands for the new cooling tower chillers are in place and awaiting new equipment.

While most of the early construction has been locating and rerouting utilities as needed plus a lot of dirt removal, some building construction has already taken place.

Just visible on the south side of the hospital is new construction called the back of house link that provides a new connecting passage for the basement and first floor. Part of the link includes some new office space.

Remodeling is also taking place inside the building. The area where medical records were kept has been gutted and is now an empty shell that will eventually become the site of the new kitchen. An adjoining room is going be part of the kitchen that will serve a new cafeteria.