Live from the 2011 Hospital Design Conference: Be flexible with your grand opening date

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Aug 24, 2011

Whether you're building a new veterinary facility or renovating your current one, you've probably started daydreaming about your grand opening. You can almost feel the giant scissors in your hand, ready to cut the ribbon. You can hear the excited chatter of clients, both new and old, as they marvel over your facility. You can taste the success your fabulous new digs will bring.

But don't get ahead of yourself, says Dan Chapel, AIA, owner of Chapel Associates Architects in Little Rock, Ark. Make sure you've settled into your facility before holding your opening ceremony—otherwise, you run the risk of celebrating a hospital that's not complete.

Chapel, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member, has worked with clients who set a grand opening date long before the project is finished. These clients then go to great measures to keep every aspect of the build on time—and sometimes, that's just not possible. Despite their best efforts, they end up throwing a party with construction workers still hammering away in the background.

Instead, hold your grand opening a week or two after you open your doors, Chapel says. You'll be far less stressed about meeting every little timeline, and you'll be able to show off a more polished, beautiful facility.