Approved by vote of 4-1

by Dennis Rahm, file photo of original artist rendering

Lake Chelan Community Hospital is re-starting the project to build a new hospital with the hope of beginning construction next Spring. The decision by the Hospital Board to move forward with the project was recommended by Hospital CEO George Rohrich.

A new $44.5-million hospital was approved by voters in April of 2017. Voters approved a $20-million bond while the majority of the rest of the funding came from a low-interest $22-million USDA loan that was secured in 2018. Initially the hospital was planned to a 77,000 square foot building, but the project incurred delays and was later downsized to 54,000 square feet to meet budget constraints.

As the hospital dealt with financial issues, the board voted in February of this year to place up to a six month hold on design and construction. The action taken by the commission at this weeks board meeting now sets the project back in motion. The vote to resume the project was not unanimous as Mary Murphy voted against the re-start. Voting in favor of the projects resumption were Phyllis Gleasman, Mary Signorelli, Fred Miller and Jordana LaPorte.

One of the first tasks to be done will be an assessment of the building footprint and possible design changes that may be necessary as the result of a recent decision to shutter the hospital’s Sanctuary program. Refining the service lines to be offered by the hospital moving forward will also be a factor in design.

Any changes to the design and footprint of a new building will come back to the commissiioners for review. Additional approvals will be needed along the way before the start of construction, but for now the effort to build a new hospital is moving forward.