Construction to start at Munster hospital

2013-01-22T00:00:00Z 2013-01-24T11:05:13Z Construction to start at Munster hospitalBy Vanessa Renderman, (219) 933-3244

MUNSTER | Construction equipment and workers are expected to start arriving this week at The Community Hospital to begin a 112,410-square-foot vertical expansion of the Emergency Department Pavilion.

The development is expected to create about 75 construction jobs, spokeswoman Elise Sims said.

Hospital officials announced last week a $33 million, two-year expansion of the building.

"The timing of the project is based on current need and future demand for health care services at Community Hospital," Sims said. 

Plans include adding private rooms, doubling the capacity of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, called NICU, expanding the main Surgical Services area and increasing capacity for stroke and heart patients.

"We have seen a greater demand for services in our surgical areas, including neurosurgery and robotic-assisted surgery," she said. "The expansion of surgical services will help us meet this need."

The last major expansion at Community was three years ago, in a $40 million undertaking to build the new Emergency Department Pavilion and add private rooms on three floors. Aside from adding rooms, this expansion project will relocate several existing units. 

"The first phase of this project is expected to take 14 months, so we plan on moving departments into the new space around March, 2014," Sims said.

The second phase is expected to be complete by January, 2015, a date that may change, based on how construction progresses.

Hospital services will remain open during construction. It will not interfere with the daily operations. 

"All active construction areas will be secured so patients, visitors and staff will be safe at all times," Sims said.

The project architect is VOA Inc., and Walsh Construction is serving as general contractor.

The hospital also is expanding its outpatient services in Schererville, opening Community Hospital Outpatient Center, 7651 Harvest Drive, in the spring, Sims said.

The Community Hospital in Munster has 427 beds, more than 3,000 employees and 600 on its medical staff.

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