After months of construction, work on Hammond-Henry Hospital's "Designed to be Patient Kind" building project is complete. To celebrate, hospital officials are inviting the public to an open house at the hospital from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 6.
During the open house, visitors will be able to tour the hospital, view new and remodeled areas and talk with hospital employees.
"After a two-and-a-half year journey, we're now able to celebrate the completion," said Brad Solberg, chief executive officer of Hammond-Henry Hospital.
In mid-December, the final bit of sidewalk was poured, completing the $22 million construction project. Of that final price tag, $2.35 million was provided by donors.
"We've made an investment in the future of Hammond-Henry," said Solberg. "Interest rates and construction prices helped make this the right time for the project."
Though the most recent construction project was nearly a three-year endeavor, large-scale renovations at the hospital started a decade ago.
In 2002, the second-floor surgery department and physicians offices were added to the hospital. In 2005, the third-floor in-patient area was built.
During the recent "Designed to be Patient Kind" project, older portions of the hospital were demolished and additions were added and other areas were remodeled.
The hospital's 1901 building was demolished and the existing 1963 building was completely gutted and remodeled.
A new long-term care area and rehabilitation area were added to the hospital.
"Our new long-term care location is like night and day from the old location in the 1963 building. We didn't realize all the shortcomings the old department faced until we moved to the new one," said Solberg.
"The rehab department saw the addition of an aquatic therapy pool. That section has been in operation for the past 15 months," he said.
The building project also saw the addition of a third operating room and a new endoscopy suite as well as a new dining area. The hospital's gift shop also was moved to a new location.
In addition, the project added features to the hospital that may never be noticed by visitors.
"We now have a tunnel system for our utilities running 3/4ths of the length of the main spine of the hospital. The new tunnel system will help us better maintain and access our utilities," noted Solberg.
"We also have a loading dock for the first time in our history. For 110 years, our hospital has never had a loading dock. Now we do," he said.
The mild weather last winter coupled with last summer's drought helped the hospital's construction project stay on schedule.
"If there was one good thing that came from the drought it was the fact that we had no rain delays," said Solberg. "Thanks to the weather and the cooperation of subcontractors, we were able to finish the project right on schedule."
Page 2 of 2 - With the completion of the "Designed to Be Patient Kind" building project, Solberg said the hospital's next project would be to demolish the Hammond House, located south of the hospital, and add additional parking.
"Long-term, we do need to have more parking."
Russell Construction served as the general contractor for the "Designed to be Patient Kind" project with Shive-Hattery serving as the architectural/engineering firm for the project.
Solberg said he was grateful for the patience of hospital employees, patients and visitors during the project.
"For example, we had to shut down the north entrance for two months. That entire time, patients were re-routed through our stairway exit. For two months, we had volunteers at the hospital starting at 6 a.m. to help direct patients. The project did take its toll, but we kept telling everyone it would be worth it in the end," said Solberg. "Since the project's completion, it's been fun hearing peoples' reactions."