Lifting Lid on MRI Ingenuity



New Bend Neurological Associates Clinic Features State-of-Art Scanner

“Raising the roof” has an interesting connotation in regard to Bend Neurological Associates’ new clinic, as the lid was literally lifted off the 6,300 square foot building on Conners Avenue to provide an ingenious way of dropping in a state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

“We had engineered roof pick points and lifted off a 20 by 20 foot section to allow the magnet to be lowered in by crane,” said Eric Meeuwsen, project manager for general contractor CS Construction.

“Then we just battened the roof back down and continued roofing and siding around.

“The roof section was designed to be removed as needed in case equipment needs to be replaced in the future. Other medical facilities have taken out a wall or inserted a garage door type situation to accommodate such access, but we determined this was the best solution in this case.”

Because the MRI scanner – a non-invasive medical imaging technique using a powerful magnetic field primarily for imaging soft tissues such as the brain and spinal cord – is extremely sensitive, all external radio waves must be eliminated; hence the entire room in which the machine sits was lined with copper sheeting.

Meeuwsen added, “You can’t have any radio frequencies coming in that could interfere with the process and copper deflects such frequencies.

“The copper sheets were stapled together and hand-seamed so there are no voids to be penetrated, and nothing that can be rattled.

“Then we built on top with sheetrock, flooring and ceiling, so the material is contained and the room completely sealed.

“It was really an interesting process. There are a lot of supporting components to the MRI, including hydro tanks and exterior chillers to keep the equipment cooled as it gives off a significant amount of heat as a super conductor.”

All metallic objects from your person must also be removed before entering the MRI room as the magnetic field is so strong that it would literally rip such items away from you.

The MRI scanner is a focal point of the new facility and Michael L. Bell, M.D., who runs the practice along with David T. Schloesser, M.D. and Laura J. Schaben, M.D, said the investment in the leading edge equipment – which was almost as much as the rest of the construction project combined – would enable the group to deliver optimal treatment options for patients.

Dr. Bell added, “We can get instant information by having the scanner in-house and can tailor studies to the needs of our patients. Also, if the technicians have questions we can address them right then and there.

“The command center features all the latest hardware and software and the new machine also has a larger than standard board opening of 70 centimeters versus 60, which is particularly useful in more comfortably accommodating patients prone to claustrophobia.”

The new clinic – built on land off Conners Avenue the physicians acquired after outgrowing space previously occupied at “The Center” in the nearby St Charles Medical Center Campus area – also features an infusion center, extra sound-proofed EEG room, treatment and exam rooms, a spacious lobby and central administration area, and separate parking and entrances for patients and doctors, as well as ample room for potential future expansion.

With patient processing and administrative functions nearer the main entrance and doctors’ offices to the rear radiating around a central vaulted workstation hub, Dr. Bell said the layout was partly inspired by an environment he previously worked in at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, with “chaos at the front; calm at the back.”

Jim Landin, senior associate with project architects BLRB, said part of the initial planning for the building layout included a series of design “charrettes” indicating how multiple areas could be programmed, adding, “It was something like putting together a puzzle, with four or five different scheme iterations on how to configure the space put forward which morphed into a practical plan to maximize efficiency.

“The doctors also wanted something of a contemporary look with some classic twists, and a real focus on the patients’ amenity. The clients had a good idea of what they wanted to achieve and this was a really great project in which all parties worked together to achieve the best result.”

The construction project broke ground last summer and was completed in an eight-month timeframe.

Meeuwsen added, “The lobby promotes a cozy ambience which was part of the overall goal, with sympathetic wall coverings, fireplace, glue lam beams and rich colors to create as much of soothing atmosphere as possible. Dr Bell’s wife Jenn has a background in interior design and played a significant part in the process. Views have also been maximized throughout wherever possible.

“Construction featured much use of brick, with CMU block wainscoting and met posit/metal composite panels which are thicker and studier with cleaner lines and the exterior materials blended together well to make for a substantial appearance.

“We incorporated extensive opportunities for natural light, especially by utilizing clerestory windows in the workstation area which is the heartbeat of building, which complements the sustainable elements of the building.

“A low slope roof also gives architectural relief and each corner of the building is designed differently, with separated functions and yet a seamless feel.

“We got a good handle on what the clients were trying to achieve through a series of meetings and mock-ups, and with a lot of hands-on involvement we dialed in on how best to practically achieve the goals as the building process evolved.

“These were great clients and this project was a very collaborative team effort all-round.”

Bend Neurological Associates is a neurology clinic dedicated to serving patients with neurologic disorders “with excellence and compassion.”

Neurology is the field of medicine devoted to conditions of the nervous system. This includes disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Bend Neurological Associates is a full service neurology clinic, offering neurologic consultation, nerve conduction studies (electrical testing of nerve function), EMG (a test of muscle and nerve function), and EEG (brainwave testing). Neurologists are not surgeons but are expert in determining the appropriateness of surgical intervention for neurologic conditions.

Bend Neurological Associates Building


2349 NE Conners Avenue, Bend


541-317-0044 •


Property Owner/Developer: BESCH2, LLC: David Schloesser


Contractor: CS Construction


Project Cost: $1.46 million


Square Footage: 6,267


Project Manager: Matt Cohen


Superintendent: Joe McNamee


Engineer: Hickman Williams & Associates


Architect: BLRB Architecture


Principal Architect: Mike Gorman


Design Team: Jim Landin, Mike Gorman and Lee Georgeton


Structural Engineer: Eclipse Engineering, Inc.


Civil Engineer: Hickman, Williams & Associates Inc.


Mechanical Engineer: R&W Enginering


Electrical: Tomco Electric, Inc.


Subcontractors and Suppliers:

Aurora Painting, Inc., Bend Commercial Glass, Grizzly Mountain Excavation, LLC, McKenzie Waterproofing, Inc., McMurray & Sons, Inc., Mountain View Heating, Inc., J.T. Plumbing, Tomco Electric, Inc., JKD Construction, Inc., Baxter Builders, LLC, Fabulous Floors, Inc., John Varner Construction, Inc., Kelly Vineyard Drywall, Fireside, Inc., Streamline Masonry, LLC, Baldwin Custom Welding & Designs Inc., ProShop Millwork & Design, 7 Peaks Paving, LLC, Energy Conservation Insulation Co., Inc., MRI Corporation. Land Escapes, Inc., North Country Building Specialties, LLC, Lets Construction Cleaning Service, Inc., Energy Conservation Insulation Co., Inc., 1247 – Wilhelm Trucking, Bell Hardware of Bend Inc., Johnson Brothers TV & Appliance


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