Extra sewer line prepares for medical office building

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November 8, 2012 - 12:00 AM

With a future medical office building in mind, hospital trustees Tuesday night approved the laying of an additional sanity sewer line on the site of the new hospital north of town.
The decision means an additional $30,000, which will come from the contingency fund for Murray Company, the construction management firm handling the hospital’s construction.
Hospital trustees expressed confidence financial backers will come through to support the construction of a $2 million medical office building where visiting specialists such as cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, and the like, will see patients as they currently do in the building attached to the east side of the existing hospital. The new office complex will not be attached to the new hospital, but will be to its north.
The size of the new building will be “at least 10,000 square feet,” said Harry Lee, chairman of Allen County Hospital trustees.
A hopeful tenant will be the Veterans Administration, which supposedly would operate a clinic out of the new building. Word is still out whether the VA definitely will operate a clinic in Iola, Lee said, but if it does get the OK, the office building will be a prime locatin.
The hospital expects to recoup the $30,000 to lay the extra sanity sewer line from those involved with the medical office building.
“They would have to lay those lines at some point,” Lee said. “If we had waited to lay the new line until after the hospital was completed, it would cost three times as much for the developers of the new office complex.”

TRUSTEES also reviewed a dozen-page wish list of new furniture and equipment hospital administrators and staff deem necessary for the new hospital. The hundreds of items were divided into high-, medium- and low-priority.
Total cost of all the items exceeded $4 million. In their budget, trustees had set aside $3.2 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment expenses.
“We may have to reconcile with reality,” Lee said.
Still, Lee felt confident “all that needs to go into the new building will probably happen,” through a combination of additional income coming from contingency funds, possible leases from vendors, and loans.
Trustees focused on specifications for a new 32-slice CT scanner from among several other models. The hospital’s current scanner is 12 years old and puts the hospital at a competitive disadvantage among area hospitals, said Larry Peterson, ACH chief financial officer. The newer and more sophisticated models give health specialists a much better picture and emit less radiation, Peterson said.
The 32-slice model costs about $521,000, and would take about three years for the hospital to “break even” on the cost, Peterson said.
Other considerations include whether to purchase a model that is able to process cardiac testing.
The decision needs to be made in short order so builders can configure the new hospital’s radiology department to accommodate such a machine, Peterson said.
Trustees held off making a final decision.

WATER SPILLING onto Kentucky Street is from crews pumping water from the retaining pond to work on its bottom, Sheldon Streeter, project developer with Murray Company, said. The pond should adequately hold runoff from the impervious surfaces of the parking lot, Streeter said. If not, the pond can be expanded.
Trustees hope to speed up the selection process for a new chief executive officer to replace Cris Rivera, whose last day at the hospital is Friday.
Lee said he talked with Hospital Corporation of America executives Wednesday and stressed the critical nature of being without a CEO.
“We hope to be able to discuss candidates by our next meeting on Nov. 27,” he said Wednesday afternoon. Ideally, a new CEO will be in office by the first of the year.

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