March 7, 2008
Clinics, Tilton and VBK: Gone today, readying for tomorrow

By now, observers and passersby at the hospital's Main Entrance will have noticed that the Clinics, Tilton and Vincent Burnham Kennedy (VBK) buildings have been demolished. The six-month demolition project, which clears the site for construction of the new Building for the Third Century (B3C), began in November 2007 and will wrap up in May 2008.

Already, preparation for construction of the B3C has begun. Drill rig machines have been used to gather soil samples for type characterization and to determine the exact location and depth for excavation. Through May, contractors will excavate the site to a working elevation that will reach below the street level. Steel columns will then be installed to create lateral earth support to protect the existing adjacent structures. Although many of these activities will not be visible to observers, much is being done to properly remove any obstructions in the soil prior to laying the B3C foundation. A set of guide walls, or trenches, typically one meter deep and a half-meter thick, will be constructed on the surface of the site in preparation for the construction of the slurry wall — a concrete wall that runs from the surface of the ground down to the bedrock — in June. Upon completion of this slurry wall, excavation will begin for the B3C's four underground levels with simultaneous construction of the ten upper levels.

Although demolition will wind down during the next few months, drilling activities will continue. Members of the Thrive B3C Operations Group have coordinated with MGH colleagues and consultants to continue monitoring and minimizing possible disturbances to hospital operations. MGH unit supervisors are encouraged to report any construction-related concerns to the MGH Buildings and Grounds Call Center at (617) 726-2422 any time. For photos and information about the building demolition, visit the B3C website at

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