Renovation of the existing hospital to comply with today’s building and safety codes, ADA requirements, emergency and public access requirements and the ability to provide efficient patient care has been estimated to be as much as $56,000,000*. A new hospital on a flat building site that the hospital district already owns will cost $44,000,000*. A saving of $12,000,000. The requirement to comply with these requirements at the existing hospital location would logistically be very difficult, if not impossible, while continuing to provide 24/7/365 care.
Even if repairs and upgrades were only made to sewer, HVAC, electrical and the structure to satisfy todays seismic stands this would be extremely disruptive and would not allow the hospital to provide the necessary services to patients. In, addition, there would be a requirement to provide more than road access to the hospital.
Over the past 10 years many studies have been done by professional consultants* and financial consultants** all of which have advised the hospital commissioners that building a new hospital is the best and most practical alternative. Based on this advice and counsel, the hospital commissioners decided on a financial strategy. They have asked the public on two previous occasions to support a public bond issue. The hospital district voting residents have told us they want a new hospital. A hospital bond measure must pass with a “super majority” of 60%. Previous bond measures reached 58%.
Construction costs are increasing and the cost of a new hospital will not be less expensive in the future. Now is the Time – We can’t afford to wait!
* Joe Kunkel & Health Care Collaborative Group, Portland, OR
** Wipfli LLP Spokane, WA