July 13, 2024
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Swinerton Mountain View Project Prefab Walls

Progress continues to be made on Modoc Medical Center’s Mountain View Skilled

Nursing Facility and hospital addition. This project marks Swinerton Builders’ second venture with MMC, equipping the team with invaluable experience dealing with Modoc’s unpredictable weather. This time, Swinerton has harnessed local resources and innovative methods to prefabricate walls, a strategy that minimizes weather-related delays and maintains project timelines.

With an extensive career in commercial projects, Swinerton Construction Manager

Steve Harless highlighted the rare nature of this prefabrication process, as this is the first time he has seen onsite prefabrication of load-bearing walls in a healthcare setting. This unique approach allows one team to focus on placing underground utilities and pouring concrete footings while a secondary team concentrates on wall fabrication. This accelerates overall progress and significantly reduces labor and material costs, underscoring MMC’s prioritization of project efficiency and financial stewardship.

Traditionally, crews deliver all materials to the job site, where load-bearing walls are erected one piece at a time. This process can be time-consuming as all groundwork must be completed before wall construction can begin. Additional obstacles can inhibit the workflows of crew members tasked with coordinating materials transportation and delivery times on remote rural projects like this one—and even more so if timelines are delayed due to inclement weather or other natural hazards. However, Swinerton’s decision to prefabricate walls nearby enables their team to minimize the potential impact of such challenges.

Swinerton Superintendent Robert Coviello has set up a panel production yard on

the west edge of Alturas, near the former site of Benny’s. Here, the Swinerton team rents land from Alturas local, Mitch Chuck, to assemble the prefabricated walls and prepare them for transportation to the job site. The prefabrication process relies on incredible attention to detail and preparation. Details for individual panels are input to a state-of-the-art 3D printer, which creates pre-cut, dimpled, and pre-labeled components. Workers assemble these materials on various fabrication tables in the yard before inspectors clear them for installation. After panels are approved for transport, Bo Davis, another local business owner, hauls the assembled panels to the job site, where crews utilize a crane to place the panels into their respective footings. “Part of the reason this process is so rare in a commercial setting is that we traditionally use only one material, either structural steel or wood, throughout a

commercial project. On this build, we are employing a hybrid method utilized in schools and high-end residential projects by using multiple structural materials throughout the building, ” explained Coviello. “We can ensure more accurate framing and reduce the potential for structural warping. These load-bearing walls will feature metal studs throughout, creating better fire resistance and increasing the structure’s longevity.”

Additionally, Swinerton’s leadership acknowledged that the spirit of Modoc

residents are contributing to the rapid progress being made on the new SNF and hospital addition. “One of the things I appreciate about Alturas is how well everyone works together,” said Harless. “We are fortunate to be reconnecting with folks like Bo Davis, Jim Cavasso, and Laine Hoy, who continue to help us, whether on the project itself or by providing accommodations for visiting staff. Even the local coffee drive-thru Java Doc is doing its part to keep our growing onsite crew caffeinated each morning. This is truly a community project in every sense of the phrase, and that’s something we don’t see everywhere.”

Alturas residents will see the prefabricated panels installed on the building’s

foundation this week. During construction hours, please anticipate an increase in heavy equipment traffic on Warner, 4th, and Nagle Streets as drivers transport these panels to the job site at MMC.

For construction updates and general information, please log on to

www.modocmedicalcenter.org/mountain-view or email us a


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