Hammond-Henry breaks ground

Jerilyn VanDeWoestyne
Breaking ground for Hammond-Henry Hospital’s $21 million construction project are, from left: Gary Gesme, chairman of the hospital board; Todd Sieben, chairman of the project’s capital campaign; James Mickley, board member; Rebecca Mahon, architect for the project; Steve Emmerson, hospital foundation president; Susan Philhower, Steve Durian, Sue Gray, Bruce West and Dr. David Nelson, board members; Brad Solberg, hospital CEO; Darcy Hepner, foundation manager, and Larry Colo, donor.

A $250,000 donation given by Larry and Norma Colo of Geneseo was announced as the board and administration of Hammond-Henry Hospital broke ground July 7 for the hospital’s Designed to Be Patient Kind renovation and construction project. The donation capped off a successful capital campaign undertaken by the hospital foundation in an effort to raise funds for the project.

“The Colos have always been very generous in the community and, with the donation, they will be naming the new aquatic center,” said Darcy Hepner, foundation manager.

Hepner said the foundation set an initial goal of $1.5 million for its capital campaign, but reached its milestone goal of $2 million. The capital campaign was divided into several committees with each committee earmarking a certain demographic group.

“This is a very special day for us,” said Brad Solberg, hospital chief executive officer, at the ground breaking ceremony. “This project will be the culmination of substantial planning over the last several years. It is our goal to tie the facility together into a modern, user-friendly building which will meet the needs of our patients, visitors and staff well into the future.”

The estimated cost for all stages of the project is $21 million. Funding includes bonds for $17.5 million, the capital campaign of $2 million, and $2 million from hospital reserves. Additionally, since

Hammond-Henry is a critical access hospital, Medicare will cover approximately 40 percent of the costs of the project.

Included in the project will be a long-term care addition with 18 single and 10 double rooms, an eastside entryway and lobby, a third operating room which converts into a peripheral vascular lab, a rehab/therapy department with a hydrotherapy pool, a new dining room addition, a courtyard and outdoor exercise area, renovations and enhancements to cardiac rehab, the Women’s Health Center, the sleep lab, the pain clinic and home health, and construction of an inpatient pharmacy, gift shop and chapel.

Todd Sieben, chairman of the capital campaign, told the group gathered for the ground-breaking ceremony that capital campaigns are challenging. “This is testimony to the Geneseo community. This is a great place to work and raise a family,” he said. “What this really means to me personally is that it allows this project to not only result in a  good hospital, but a great hospital.”

Board chairman Gary Gesme said the hospital’s motto is “We’re here for you” and that is something the board is committed to. “Hopefully when we get done, this will be a place you can all be proud of. In my 15 years on the board, this is the largest project I’ve been involved in. It’s very exciting,” he said.

Russell Construction is serving as the general contractor for the project that was designed by Shive-Hattery architects. The project is divided into five different phases because of the complexity of the construction, demolition and renovation of various areas in the hospital. The first phase, currently underway, will be the construction of the new long-term care facility and construction of the south service building. The first phase also includes the addition of the third operating room, the peripheral vascular lab and the development of the new endoscopy suite. This phase is scheduled for completion in 10 months with the overall project taking two years.

Tim Russell, president of Russell Construction, said his company will be interacting with almost every part of the hospital. “There are a lot of exciting state-of-the-art things going on,” he said. “This is our third major project for the hospital and by far the biggest. This is truly an investment in the community.”

Hepner added the capital campaign will continue through the end of August for anyone wishing to make a donation or pledge.