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Hospital takes on new look, more space

Managing editor

After years of the physical therapy department at St. Luke Hospital being in an area about the size of two hospital rooms, therapists and patients are now enjoying an area that is six times larger.

The first phase of renovations and new construction at St. Luke Hospital opened Monday at 537 S. Freeborn St., Marion.

Patients now enter through a new limestone entrance, north of the former entryway. The physical therapy area is just north of the new entry in a newly constructed addition.

A new laboratory is across the hall from the physical therapy room. A reception area and reception desk also have been added.

Renovation has been completed for a new nurses’ station, two operating rooms, and four outpatient recovery rooms.

According to marketing director Mike Norris, surgeon Clayton Fetsch was scheduled to perform a surgery this week in the new facility.

Hospital officials were faced with mounting structural concerns in the 60-year-old original hospital building. Much of the building was outdated and not handicap accessible. There were also concerns about the building’s infrastructure.

Martin Koslowsky of Peabody was in the new waiting area Monday morning, waiting for his wife to complete physical therapy.

“This was long overdue,” he said about the new facility. “This is really great.”

In Phase I and IA, 10,000 square feet of new space was added, which included the therapy department, lab, operating room, front entrance and waiting area, and a walkway from the hospital to Marion Family Physicians building.

There was 5,000 square feet of renovated space, which included room for materials; a boiler room with new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing; and four outpatient rooms.

Also included with the therapy area is a new hydrotherapy pool.

Future plans include updated inpatient rooms, offices, dining room, and emergency room.

The former front entrance will be utilized by walk-in patients for the emergency room.

The 18-month project began in August. The other two phases will be completed by October. The $6.5 million project was funded by revenue bonds and a capital campaign by the hospital’s foundation. The foundation also was awarded $250,000 in state tax credits.

Spangenberg Phillips Tice of Wichita is the architecture firm. Hutton Construction of Wichita is the project manager.

A formal open house is planned when the entire project is completed.

Last modified May 26, 2011

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