Chase County needs a new hospital!
I have made it no secret over the past few years that I believe Chase County needs a new hospital. In the coming weeks, I hope you will come to the same conclusion and vote FOR a $20.5 million bond issue that will be put to voters this May.
My research on efforts to remodel or build a new hospital took me all the way back to 2007. That’s when the hospital board began exploring the possibility of renovating the existing facility and adding an addition with new patient rooms, new emergency room and the like.
In 2012, the board voted to proceed with the $13 million project. However, a change in administration and board composition put the project on hold. Ultimately, the project never moved forward.
Here we are seven years later and the same issues the facility had then haven’t gone away. In some instances, they’ve gotten worse.
Major credit goes to the hospital board for hanging in there and continuing to pursue efforts to make sure Chase County has the health care services it needs and deserves.
In October 2017, the hospital board choose a design-build approach to a new hospital, hiring a pair of Colorado firms to design and build a new facility for a guaranteed maximum price (GMP).
Last July, the firms returned a GMP of $29.6 million for a new stand-alone hospital to be built on the north end of Imperial.
Needless to say, that number was about $5 million more than the board was expecting. In good conscience, the board didn’t feel it could put that large of a bond issue to the voters. So back to the drawing board they went.
Instead of a new location, the board explored building the new facility north of the existing hospital. That allowed them to incorporate the medical clinic building added 15 years ago and the speciality clinic addition added about 20 years ago. Neither are near their functional obsolescences.
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