U.S. government loan OK’d for Jefferson hospital expansion

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Healthcare commissioners are expected to accept the terms of a $15.6 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan next month in preparation for the construction of a new $20 million, 50,000-square-foot hospital wing.

“We heard yesterday that the loan was approved,” hospital CEO Mike Glenn said Thursday.

“While we know that the USDA is funding the project, there are a couple of other important steps that we need to go through, such as asking for feedback from the board.”

While the USDA has committed to the 30-year, 3.5 percent loan, commissioners must accept the terms.

At a meeting Wednesday, commissioners are scheduled to hear a comprehensive presentation about the project.

On Oct. 9, the administration will seek approval to proceed with the project.

Both meetings will begin at 3 p.m. in the hospital auditorium at 832 Sheridan St.

If commissioners approve it, construction could begin in July with a projected opening of December 2015, Glenn said.

Expenses not covered by the USDA loan are to be financed by a separate loan from First Federal, Glenn said.

The funding would allow Jefferson Healthcare to proceed with the plan to modernize its campus by developing an addition that includes an enlarged emergency department; expanded space for orthopedics, cardiology and medical short stay; and a new oncology service.

In addition, a new Sheridan Street entrance and lobby would be developed to accommodate centralized registration and convenient blood draw stations.

The new building would require the demolition of two older buildings now used for the human resources, information technology and performance-enhancement departments as well as storage and maintenance — all of which would be moved into the present main building.

The addition would create a gateway for all hospital services and provide a “front door,” which the hospital currently does not have.

The front now is depicted as the Sheridan Street side, with three ways into the building, including the emergency room, while the main lobby area faces the water and is less accessible by car.

Glenn said the new Emergency and Special Services — or ESS — building would add about 50,000 square feet of usable space, replacing buildings that add up to about 30,000 square feet now used mostly for storage and maintenance.

The additional building would contain an orthopedic clinic, diagnostic imaging, oncology, medical short stay, labs, cardiology, sleep medicine and central registration.

A renovated emergency room would stay in the same location but be expanded into the new building.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 26. 2013 7:02PM
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