Samaritan Hospital design workshop rescheduled for September

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MOSES LAKE — Construction of the new Samaritan Hospital is projected to begin by spring 2020; the next workshop to refine the design is scheduled for September. Hospital district commissioners have hired Raymond James Financial to help the district obtain financing. Progress on the project was reviewed at the regular commission meeting Tuesday.

The second in a series of design workshops was held in June, with participants asked to work out how the different departments in the hospital should look and what equipment should be included in them. Joe Kunkel, the consultant working with the hospital, said some of the design proposals pushed the project over its projected budget. The third workshop has been postponed to allow the hospital’s architectural firm, ZGF, to work out design priorities to keep the project on its projected budget. The date of the next workshop will be announced.

In the meantime, a lot of site preparation work has started, Kunkel said. Soil analysis and boundary line reviews are underway or planned, and the district will be required to do environmental and cultural reviews.

A traffic study also is part of the development process, Kunkel said. In addition to the new hospital, construction is planned at Moses Lake High School, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has purchased property along Yonezawa Boulevard. Hospital district officials also must analyze what utility upgrades will be needed at the site, Kunkel said.

The district has 55 acres for development, but not all of it will be used for the new hospital. That will leave room for future development, Kunkel said.

The design will be refined during the September workshop, he said. Additional workshops are planned to produce a more detailed design, with a final proposal submitted to the commissioners for approval in December or January.

Raymond James Financial was hired to work on the financing from an initial pool of 10 applicants, five of which came to town for interviews.

Kelly Arduino, the consultant working with hospital on the financing, said district officials have the option of paying for the project by issuing tax-exempt bonds, or with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Arduino said the financing team will evaluate both options, going for the least costly one.

In answer to a question from commissioner Tom Frick, Arduino said local banks will have a chance to be part of the project, although the locally-financed piece will be a small percentage of the total.

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

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