Zeeland Hospital Moves On Facility

January 30, 2004
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ZEELAND — Even though they never doubted the outcome, formal state approval for Zeeland Community Hospital to build a new $36.1 million facility enables administrators to begin finalizing plans.

Design and development planning, preparing a financing package, organizing a public capital campaign to help pay for the project, and arranging a ceremonial groundbreaking for late spring or early summer can now proceed in earnest for Zeeland Community, which unveiled plans for the new hospital a year ago. The Michigan Department of Community Health late last month issued a certificate of need for the project to proceed.

“Now we can move forward,” hospital President Henry Veenstra said.

Even with a high level of confidence the state would approve the project, without a CON the hospital was hesitant to go too far in detailed planning and incur the associated costs, Veenstra said.

Proposed for Zeeland Community Hospital is a new $36.1 million, 140,000-square-foot facility along Chicago Drive east of Zeeland. The new hospital would replace an aging facility on the city’s south side that’s inefficient and has no room left for expansion to accommodate burgeoning patient volumes and evolving medical techniques and technology.

The new facility will generate efficiency and productivity gains for the hospital, helping to contain future operating costs.

Zeeland Community’s plans call for construction of the new four-floor, 57-bed hospital on a 40-acre site at Washington and 84th Avenue. Occupancy is targeted for the summer of 2006. In addition, Zeeland Community also is planning an adjoining medical office building that will cost $4 million to $5 million.

In seeking the certificate of need, the hospital easily met all of the state’s standards for a new hospital, said Dave Newton, vice president of community and ancillary services.

“We knew we had a solid project and were fairly confident that we would gain state approval,” Newton said. “The (state’s) decision tells us that they recognize, understand and support the need for access to quality health care in Ottawa and neighboring counties.”

Zeeland Community will finance the project with a bond sale, cash reserves, the sale of its existing hospital campus and proceeds from the public capital campaign that will begin later this year.

“We feel the community understands the need to have a new hospital facility that can carry us far into the future,” Veenstra said. “ZCH is recognized by the community for its ability to combine the highest in compassionate care with top-notch expertise and quality. Our new hospital will allow us to continue to provide exceptional care to our patients in a facility that promotes a healing environment and has the capacity to expand as the population and medical technology dictate.”           

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