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Hospital renovations on time, under budget

Managing editor

The renovation project at St. Luke Hospital is moving quickly, chief executive officer Jeremy Armstrong said.

He gave an update to Marion Chamber of Commerce members Friday at the monthly luncheon.

There are three phases to the project.

The first phase includes new construction for physical therapy, a laboratory, and a new front entrance. The second part of the first phase will begin in mid-January. All of the first phase should be completed by April, Armstrong said.

The improvements will include interior renovations.

“During that time, we ask the public’s patience,” Armstrong said.

Four outpatient rooms, a new nurse’s station, and improved surgery preparation and recovery rooms will be completed.

The second phase, which includes a new operating room and emergency room, will begin in May. Since the lab will be relocated to the front of the building, the current lab space will be renovated.

The final phase of the project will be the renovation of business office space.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed by October.

“The project is on time and under budget,” Armstrong said. “We’re very fortunate to be doing this right now.”

Bidding for the project has been competitive, he added.

The next large-scale projects will be the delivery of steel and roof work. Plans are to have the new addition enclosed by mid-December.

Among new features being added to the hospital will be modern security and access controls.

“I’m sure most have noticed at newer facilities that keys are not used,” Armstrong said.

Employees will use their identification badges to gain access to the building.

The current front entrance will become the walk-in entrance for the emergency room. Ambulances will continue to access the hospital from the current location in the rear of the building. The helicopter pad for the air ambulance will continue to be located on the southwest corner of the hospital and living center property, Armstrong said.

When all renovations and new additions are complete, the hospital will be connected to the Marion Family Physicians building.

Tax credits still available

St. Luke Foundation Director Mike Norris said nearly $60,000 is still available for those wanting to donate to the foundation.

The hospital received $250,000 in tax credits earlier this year. Donors of $250 or more can take advantage of the 63 percent refund toward state income taxes through this year.

In 2011, donors will receive a 70 percent refund.

Norris explained that the donated amount is reduced from what the donor owes in state taxes or, if the donor does not owe any state income tax, a refund check will be issued.

The foundation is also accepting in-kind gifts as well as cash.

Last modified Nov. 23, 2010

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