Groundbreaking for hospital expansion/renovation project set for Friday afternoon

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
This is an architect's rendition of the exterior of what Greene County General Hospital will look like after completion of the expansion/renovation project next year. Ground will be broken on the $6.5 million project in a 2 p.m. ceremony on Friday. ( Submitted photo)

Officials at Greene County General Hospital in Linton will turn the first shovels of dirt for a $6.5 million expansion/renovation project Friday afternoon.

The project will greatly expand the current emergency room and provide more space for other departments.

"I'm very excited about it. I'm excited for the hospital, the employees and the community. I think this will bring a new level of quality to our emergency room. We have quality staff now and we will have a quality facility. It will also enhance our lab department, radiology, physical therapy departments and pharmacy," Greene County General Hospital's Chief Financial Officer/Assistant CEO Tim Norris said Wednesday. "It's the beginning of a new era for us."

Friday's groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.

Garmong Construction, of Terre Haute, was the low bidder as the general contractor for the project that is expected to be completed by mid-2013.

The emergency room expansion work will be centered on the east side of the hospital with an approximate 8,000 square feet addition. There will also be some space in the addition for radiology.

The ER department will be expanded from three exam rooms to eight.

There will be separate ER canopy-covered entrances for patients and for ambulance vehicle drop-off. The main front entry to the hospital will also get a canopy cover for drop-offs.

The project will add some parking spaces and there will be a lot of glass and a lot of natural light coming into the new space and a lot of openness in the design, architect Ernie Dreher from The Estopinal Group from Jeffersonville, said in February when the expansion plans were first announced.

"We have a lot of local contractors and businesses that are going to be involved with this," Norris stated. "We're excited to get started."

Former GCGH administrator Jonas Uland, who was involved in most of the project planning, retired Sept. 30. Norris is the hospital's assistant CEO until the board of trustees act on Uland's replacement.

The critical access designated hospital with 25 beds has about 275 employees, a monthly payroll that is near $1 million, and an annual budget of about $35 million.

The hospital facility is owned by the county, but receives no tax money. It operates solely on its generated revenues.

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