Boone Hospital breaks ground on patient tower

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Boone Hospital Center ceremoniously broke ground Tuesday morning on a $125 million, eight-story patient tower that has been under construction since November.

About 70 people attended the ceremony, which also celebrated completion of the hospital’s William Street parking garage.

The patient tower “will optimize patient care and create a great environment for families,” said Dan Rothery, president of Boone Hospital Center.

The tower’s design will be one of the first in the area to follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. The standards are aimed at reducing the potential for environmental impact of the structure and its construction through the use of native landscaping, water conservation, solar panels and recycled materials.

Robert McDavid, president of the hospital’s board of trustees, told those in attendance that the parking garage also features an environmentally friendly design.

“Most people don’t know that rainwater is being collected off of this parking garage and going into the ground and being recycled for later irrigation,” McDavid said.

The patient tower is expected to be financed by a $100 million bond issue and $25 million from trustee reserves.

“As we look to the future, the message I give is that trustees are on as stable a financial ground as the ground you all are standing on,” McDavid said.

Trustees board secretary Fred Parry agreed.

“At a time when construction around Columbia has come to a halt, we’re making a great investment in construction of this tower,” Parry said.

The tower is planned to include eight stories with 128 private rooms, 44 of which will be for intensive care and 84 of which will be for medical and surgical rooms. It also is expected to have space for a new admissions area, native landscaping such as an exterior healing garden and expansion for a laboratory.

“We think it will be a state-of-the-art, best design of any hospital facility in the United States,” McDavid said.

The patient tower will be built by Reinhardt Construction Co. of Centralia and S.M. Wilson & Co. of St. Louis. It is scheduled to be finished in spring 2011.

The Reinhardt and Wilson companies also built the William Street parking garage, which spans 2.5 acres and 223,000 square feet. The garage has 933 spaces. The garage and patient tower are expected to be connected by a bridge running over William Street.

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