Plans have been batted back and forth by administrators, elected county officials and architects to come up with a viable design for the health care institution could be a suitable replacement for the hospital that has served Boone and surround areas since 1964.
Since about 2003, various groups have tried out various ideas as well as determining how to pay for it, and everything up to now has been for naught.
That was the case until just over 24-months ago when county commission members and appointees to the board of directors decided the way to go in order to be able to pay for the new hospital was to establish a 501 C-3 (non-profit) corporation.
This would allow the hospital to accept donations from the community, foundations such as the United Way as well as state and federal government agencies, officials said.
The board this past week gave their blessing to building a new, separate hospital right next door to the existing location, and when the new building is completed, the old, original hospital site will be razed.
Hospital administrator Tommy Mullins told the Boone Examiner that cost of the new building, complete with additional patient rooms, lab, emergency room and other needed facilities will cost $20 million.
Mullins added that this cost does not include purchase of new, state-of-the-art equipment for the new building. It is unclear currently what will happen to the property after the old Boone Memorial Hospital complex is demolished.
Mullins said completion of the project is estimated to take 36 months from groundbreaking next spring until completion.
Mullins expressed his happiness that the long awaited, but certainly needed new hospital is one step closer to completion.
“It is very exciting to see this project come much closer to beginning,” Mullins said. “The board of trustees of Boone Memorial Hospital is certain this new design will provide modern, quality medical health care to our citizens.”
He praised members of the Boone County Commission, who pressed for completion of the hospital ever since they learned of the need for replacement or renovation. “The commission should be thanked for having the vision to see that a new hospital was built. They have put into place an operation structure for the new hospital that should last for many years to come.”
Mullins said all BMH employees, “have been involved in the design and selection of how the new hospital should function and to assume that all departments have adequate space for future growth. They have spent hours and hours on this project and should be recognized for a wonderful job on the over all looks and design of our facility. It is our hope that the project can start with the breaking of the weather in the spring of 2012.”