$40M Hospital Expansion In Holland

November 14, 2003
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HOLLAND – Plans are taking shape for a $40 million expansion and renovation of Holland Community Hospital, including demolition of the hospital’s oldest section from 1927.

The project would provide Holland Community Hospital more space for the emergency department, relocate several medical services, and expand and upgrade inpatient units to handle growing patient volumes and accommodate evolving medical technology, as well as improve the accessibility and the flow of patients, staff and visitors through the hospital campus.

“What we see in this facility plan is going to help Holland Community Hospital serve its growing community today and into the future and will blend what is also best with the city of Holland and the neighborhood in which we reside,” said Wendy Wigger, the hospital’s public relations officer.

The project would include 85,000 square feet of new construction and the renovation of 25,000 square feet of existing space, according to a recent letter of intent Holland Community Hospital submitted to the Michigan Department of Community Health and the health care planning agency Alliance for Health.

Preliminary plans propose expanding the hospital’s emergency department from 17,000 square feet to 29,000 square feet and increasing the number of emergency examination rooms from 12 to 25. The hospital would relocate 30 critical care beds to a new inpatient wing planned on the east side of the campus that would replace the older wing slated for demolition, and include renovations to the existing inpatient bed tower and the women’s and children’s units.

The expansions and renovations outlined in the letter of intent, which is typically submitted as a prelude to a formal and detailed application seeking state approval of the project, follows the general trend in the health care industry toward upgrading facilities to accommodate rising patient volumes and technology, Alliance for Health President Lody Zwarensteyn said.

“Basically, it appears to be a hospital retooling to stay up with the times and get a little ahead,” Zwarensteyn said.

The filing of the letter of intent provides the first public glimpse of the broader expansion plan that Holland Community Hospital has been formulating for some time. The hospital in September secured approval from the city to relocate nine nearby homes it owns to accommodate the emergency department’s expansion.

The project shows the hospital’s commitment to remain on its present campus, located in a residential area of the city. Hospital administrators are planning to hold meetings in early December with city leaders and neighbors to explain the expansion plans.

“We don’t believe there’s a need to relocate the core of the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient services,” Wigger said.

Still, she said, Holland Community will continue to examine extending outpatient medical services into the community “as deemed needed and appropriate.”

The hospital needs to demolish the 85-year-old wing, now used largely for administrative offices, because it is no longer functional based on today’s standards and building codes and space need for medical technology.

“As far as a footprint to try to renovate or utilize that, it just wasn’t even a viable option,” Wigger said.

Holland Community Hospital last undertook a major capital project in the late 1990s with the $24 million expansion of the emergency department and outpatient facilities.    

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