Hospital’s expansion plan ready for bids

Increased outpatient services lead to a need for more space.
Monday, November 24, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:13 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 30, 2008

This week, Boone Hospital Center will select a construction manager to oversee a 60,000-plus-square-foot addition that will allow the hospital to expand its outpatient services.

Scheduled to break ground by February, Columbia’s largest hospital is soliciting bids from construction firms to build the structure on the south side of the center’s complex at Broadway and William Street.

With advances in medical technology reducing the need for complicated procedures, there is a growing trend of shorter hospital stays, said Lynn Hostetler, spokeswoman for Boone Hospital Center. For example, instead of bypass heart surgery, more patients are undergoing outpatient procedures, such as stent implants, that do not require a long recovery in a hospital.

Hostetler says the hospital needs more room to accommodate the trend, as well as the increase in patients whose stays typically are shorter.

“The pressing need is more room for outpatient services,” she said “That’s the one area where we’re particularly cramped.”

Architectural firms recently completed designs for the project, which includes two more surgical suites, waiting rooms and preparation and recovery areas adjacent to the new surgical suites. The construction also will include space for medical records, a sterilization area and a catheterization lab.

But the expansion won’t end there. Hoping to reach a goal of 70 to 100 more beds by 2009 to meet expected demand, administrators already have begun planning to add two floors for inpatient services on an existing building. An expansion of the hospital’s parking lot was completed earlier this year.

“You can try to pack things in, but eventually you get to the point where you just need more space,” Hostetler said.

Sometime in the next month, the hospital, which specializes in cardiology, obstetrics and oncology, will begin accepting bids from construction firms. Hostetler said trustees already have received inquiries from construction outfits in Kansas City and St. Louis, as well as local firms such as McAfee Construction Inc.

“We’re looking for a company who can handle a project of that size, and who can do it at the right price,” Hostetler said.

The project is estimated to cost $23.2 million. Hostetler says the addition will be at least three floors but could include a fourth if the hospital’s trustees can find a construction company that can build it within the budget.

“Our volumes continue to increase,” Hostetler said. “In order to maintain that service at a quality level, we need to expand the plant.”

The construction will be financed with bond revenue and $11.6 million that the trustees have already earmarked for the project. Debt service on the bonds will be covered by BJC Health Care of St. Louis, which leases the hospital for $1.35 million a year. None of the project’s costs will be passed along to patients, Hostetler said.

Bids from construction firms are due Dec. 23. The winning bid will be announced the first week of January, with construction of the south addition scheduled to begin Feb. 2. The project should be completed by Aug. 31, 2005, Hostetler said.

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