Holland ER Construction Starting

June 4, 2004
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HOLLAND — Construction is scheduled to begin next week on a $45.7 million expansion and renovation of Holland Community Hospital.

The hospital has scheduled a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, June 15.

The event will come less than two weeks after the Michigan Department of Community Health issued a certificate of need that allows Holland Community to proceed with the project.

“We’re going to start digging as quickly as possible,” said John Speeter, Holland Community Hospital’s director of marketing and business development.

A combination of new construction and renovations to existing units will provide Holland Community more space for its emergency department and inpatient units. The hospital says both are needed to handle growing patient volumes.

Too, the project will entail accommodations for evolving medical technology, relocation of several medical services, and improvement of the accessibility and the flow of patients, staff and visitors.

The first phase, scheduled for completion by December 2005, will expand the emergency department from 17,000 square feet to 29,300 square feet and from 14 treatment rooms to 34.

The next phase — due to start once the emergency room expansion is complete — will require the demolition of a wing on the east side of the hospital that was built in 1927.

In its place will go a new 30-bed, critical care unit that’s targeted for occupancy in August of 2006.

According to architects, demolition of older hospital units has become a necessity because they simply haven’t the space to accommodate modern hospital infrastructure.

Concerning the emergency department, Holland Community reports that the facility’s use has grown 40 percent over a four-year period to 48,579 visits during the 2003 fiscal year,

According to projections the hospital submitted to the state in its CON application, emergency facility use will increase to nearly 57,000 by the third year after the expansion is complete.

Likewise, the hospital projects that inpatient admissions will grow from 9,145 in FY 2003 to 11,546 within three years of the project’s completion. Growth in the occupancy rate would rise from 38 percent in FY 2004 to a projected 45 percent in 2008.

In the meantime, the hospital also projects that outpatient volumes will grow from a rate of 970 per day last year to 1,118 daily by 2008.  

In commenting on the proposal this spring, the president for the Alliance for Health, Lody Zwarensteyn, said Ottawa County’s strong population growth and rising patient volumes at the hospital support the need for the project.

That same growth pace required a $27 million expansion of the hospital’s emergency and outpatient facilities in the mid-1990s.

Holland Hospital is financing the new project through the sale of 30-year bonds.    

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