MANISTIQUE - Contractors are a bit ahead of schedule in finishing work on the new Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital facility, which officials say will be completed this spring.
The approximately $25 million project, which broke ground in August 2011, is expected to open in mid-April, according to Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital CEO George Montgomery.
"The project is about 75 to 80 percent complete," he said. "The exterior work on the building is done. There may just be a few issues like signage to be handled in the spring."
Montgomery noted each room inside the new facility, located just west of Manistique on U.S. 2, is complete, but crews are now finishing up interior work such as plumbing fixtures, flooring, and casework.
This month and in February, crews will go through the building with a checklist to make sure everything is complete; in March they will work on ensuring everything is up to code. Montgomery expects the official ribbon-cutting of the new facility in mid-April.
The new building, which is being funded primarily through a $19 million USDA loan and a $3 million loan for utility connections, will contain several improvements from the old hospital building.
"The original hospital is 62 years old," said Montgomery, noting it costs less and is easier to build a new facility than renovate the current hospital. The new facility is expected to provide easier access and convenience to patients and visitors, improve efficiency, and meet patient needs for a modern hospital and a rural health clinic, he said.
The new facility contains 12 private, in-patient rooms, an emergency room, two operating rooms, CT and MRI imaging centers, a laboratory, a conference center, a kitchen and cafeteria, and offices for administration and staff. It will also contain a rural health clinic.
Montgomery said there will also be several upgrades to new equipment in areas like radiology. Most equipment and technology is newer and has been purchased over the past couple years but will be reinstalled in the new facility.
The facility will also provide new furnishings, improvements in handicapped accessibility, increased privacy, and will be air conditioned - something the current hospital building is not.
Another new feature of the facility Montgomery noted is a stone finish inside made of locally quarried stone.
Gilbane Building Company, of Milwaukee, is the general contractor for the project, but much of the work has been subcontracted to local workers and includes local companies.
"A lot of local people were on this job from the beginning," said Montgomery, as they provided their services and skilled trades toward implementing the project.
For more information on Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital and its project, visit their website at www.scmh.org, or call (906) 341-3200.