A long awaited "green light" has been given for a new hospital to be built in Libby. On August 28, 2012 the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) gave the go ahead for the Libby Project. "We are so excited to get this project rolling," said Steve Sorensen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at St. John's. "This project has been in the works for over four years now and we are excited to announce that we can finally get some shovels in the ground. In addition to enhanced healthcare services, this project is the economic shot in the arm this community so desperately needs. "
HUD is a department of the Federal Government which will guarantee the $32 million loan. "HUD doesn't lend us the dollars," added Sorensen. "HUD guarantees the loan from default. That's why they meticulously examined our finances to determine our ability to take on the debt and also took a strong look at our need to replace our current facility. They don't take their responsibility in this process lightly and as stewards of this project, the St. John's Board of Trustees really appreciated HUD for their thoroughness and due-diligence. Additionally, the St. John's Board of Trustees has worked with an accounting firm throughout this process to also verify the financial viability of this building project. " Lancaster-Pollard a finance organization out of Columbus, Ohio will be handling the financing.
The new 79,000 square foot facility will house 25 private rooms with showers, toilet facilities and room for family, an expanded emergency department, larger surgical suites with additional recovery rooms, upgraded internal MRI and imaging technology, substantial parking, and many other amenities that will allow St. John's to continue to expand healthcare services.
The new facility will be located just north of the hospital and east of the Libby Care Center and the Northwest Community Health Center. The location was chosen for its proximity to the other healthcare clinics and agencies that rely on St. John's for services.
"We will be breaking ground this fall and anticipate a Grand Opening in the spring of 2014," added Sorensen. "The first step will be the demolition of the hospital's conference center. "
"The beauty of a new facility is that there will be no interruption of service to our patients," commented Cathy Wolfe, VP of Nursing at St. John's. "Parking will continue to be a problem throughout the construction phase, but a little patience now will be well rewarded when the new facility opens."
The architects and general contractor for the project are CTA and Swank, Inc. Swank, a Kalispell based construction firm, is committed to hiring local subcontractors wherever possible. "We realize that this project will generate an economic boost for our area and we are working closely with Swank to make certain that we make good use of our local resources. In fact, in the bidding process the hospital stipulated that Swank hire at least 20% from the South Lincoln County workforce," said Sorensen. "The hospital was very pleased with the bidding process. Our local sub-contractors were very competitive and I'm pleased to say that in most cases, where applicable, the bids were awarded locally."
A capital fundraising campaign has been on-going over the past four years. The goal was to raise $1.5 million dollars to help off-set the debt on the project. To date $1.4 has been raised. "We are finding that community members just want to be a part of this project," said Lora Ercanbrack, Chairman of the Foundation at St. John's. "Donors want to create their own legacy. They want to be a part of history in the making and they want to help make the project a success. The more we raise, the less we pay over the next 30 years. We will continue to fundraise until the doors open to our new facility, so there is plenty of time to get involved. This project is a true community asset and something that we can all be proud of. These are going to be very exciting times for south Lincoln County."
For more information call KC Hoyer at 406-283-7140.
|350 Louisiana Avenue, Libby, MT 59923 (406) 283-7000|