Medical center awards construction contract
By AUDREY INGRAM
Greene County Medical Center officials awarded an $18.26 million construction contract to Woodruff Construction, headquartered in Fort Dodge with offices in Ames and Iowa City.
“It’s like being at the 50-yard-line,” medical center CEO Carl Behne said of the $22.5 million project to build an approximately 50,000 square foot addition and renovate about 40,000 square feet of the existing building.
Behne said it felt good for hospital officials to know who they would be working with, and that he was pleased that bids came in near estimates, requiring no delays to rebid the project.
“There’s a lot of work still to go, but you can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
There will be an official ground-breaking ceremony at 3 p.m. April 3. Behne said he hopes dirt will actually be moving within a week of that date.
The first step will be the demolition of the eastern portion of the current building.
“We’ve been talking about it a long time,” said Carla Offenburger, community relations director. “I think when that first bulldozer or wrecking ball is seen — then it will truly be a reality for the community and staff.”
The construction is expected to take about two years, with the addition and the renovation each taking 11-12 months, said Behne. Both should be finished by April or May of 2016.
The existing facility includes the original 1937 structure and the multiple additions built in the last 76 years. The goals of the construction are to increase access, privacy and efficiency, Behne explained.
Changes achieved through the construction will include a walkway that enables patients to cross the building with only one change of levels; new patient rooms will have their own bathrooms and showers; the creation of individual recovery rooms; and a layout that will enable staff members who work in multiple departments quicker and easier access between the departments.
The medical center primarily serves the Greene County region, also pulling in residents from surrounding Guthrie, Dallas, Webster, Boone and Carroll counties. In 2013, it provided 316 inpatient procedures and 26,600 outpatient procedures.
The medical center also has a capital campaign under way to raise $4 million to provide for future infrastructure needs, said Offenburger.
It received a $2 million anonymous gift, and has raised an additional $450,000 so far during the silent phase, bringing campaign leaders to about 60 percent of their final goal, she said.
The public phase of the fund-raising efforts will likely begin in late April or early May.