The skyline of north Chillicothe is changing as the new Hedrick Medical Center takes shape.

Despite winter's freezing conditions, progress continues at the site, with the most recent major step having been the pouring of 180 yards of concrete Tuesday in the area that will house mechanical and electrical rooms, as well as the hospital kitchen and cafeteria. A tarp enclosing the entire section, combined with the use of two 1 million Btu propane furnaces, kept the temperature within the tent at around 50 degrees — a stark contrast to the outdoor temperature.

Marvin Griffin, project superintendent with JE Dunn, stated that the concrete plant uses a mixture that allows for the pouring of concrete during cold weather, while staying within the required temperature parameters. A long hose was inserted through the wall of the warmed tent, transporting concrete to where it was needed. Inside, a small army of workers — some in T-shirts — maneuvered the hose and worked the concrete.

Heat was kept on the concrete throughout Tuesday night and then insulated tarps were being used to create proper drying conditions. The tarps will remain in place for a seven-day curing period.

Tuesday's pour was the last slab to be poured on grade for the hospital. Two slab-on-grade pours are needed for the medical office building and will be completed within the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

The job site will continue changing throughout the next 30 days, as exterior framing will be put in place and most of the steel for the hospital will be erected and detailed. Also, by this time next month, steel on the medical office building should be erected, weather permitting. The MOB steel is expected to arrive toward the end of January or early February.

Around 30 workers are on site daily.

Weather toward the end of December delayed some construction activity; however, officials told the Chillicothe City Council Monday evening, that it is expected that the lost time will be recovered. The major activity during December was the erection of structural steel, as well as the placement of concrete in key areas.

To date, approximately $6.3 million has been spent on the hospital and $595,000 spend on the medical office building.

In January, major activities include: erecting columns and beams in Area B; pull feeders, terminate, and energize the transformers; begin under slab rough-in for the medical office building; reinforce and pour transformer pads; prepare for electrical rough-in for site lighting; and complete topsoil seeding and mulch in key areas for erosion control.

The hospital project is expected to be substantially completed by November 2013, with full completion by February 2014.