Remodeling underway at Samaritan Patton Boulevard clinic

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald The new MRI facility at Samaritan Hospital should be completed by late September.

MOSES LAKE ó Renovation work is underway at Samaritan Clinic, and remodeling has started at Samaritanís new clinic on Patton Boulevard. The Patton Boulevard clinic is expected to open about the end of September.

Samaritan Healthcare commissioners got brief updates on the construction projects at their regular meeting Tuesday.

The Patton clinic actually will be housed in an existing building on Aspi Boulevard. The building needed additional work on plumbing and electrical systems, said chief executive officer Theresa Sullivan, and that work is done. Work on interior framing started this week, Sullivan said.

The new Patton Boulevard clinic will have space for two family practice physicians and an urgent care clinic.

Remodeling at Samaritan Clinic is a three-phase project; completion of the first phase is scheduled for September. Total project cost is about $7 million.

Construction on the hospitalís new MRI facility is underway, and chief administrative officer Alex Town said it too is scheduled for completion by late September. Equipment components will start arriving soon, Sullivan said, with delivery of the magnet scheduled for mid-July.

Construction and installation is the end of a long process. Hospital officials purchased the equipment and had selected a location in the hospital, but that spot was rejected by Washington Department of Health officials.

After considerable discussion the DOH approved the current location, next to the emergency room. Crews are working on an entrance to the new facility, and a waiting room inside the hospital.

Total cost is about $2.4 million, with $1.5 million of that for the MRI equipment.

In the meantime the hospital has leased MRI equipment. In answer to a question from commissioner Tom Frick, Town said the leasing company has agreed to leave the leased equipment in place for a couple of weeks after the new MRI goes into operation.

Sullivan reported hospital officials will meet with representatives of five financial institutions July 24 to review their proposals for financing the construction of a new hospital.

Commissioners approved construction of a new hospital in April, and the district has purchased land for the project at the intersection of Central Avenue and Yonezawa Boulevard. Commissioners also have hired an architectural firm. Itís still early in the process, but the cost is estimated at about $75 million.

Financing the construction will require a loan. District officials requested proposals from financial institutions, and received 10. The five finalists will be interviewed, and a recommendation presented to the commissioners at the July meeting.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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