An ongoing capital campaign for a major building project at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center came to a close yesterday - sort of.
Dec. 31 marked the end of the campaign, but donations and pledges are still being accepted, according to Brad Strader, director of the BVRMC Healthcare Foundation.
The Foundation is closing the books on pledges and donations received to this point so the BVRMC Board of Trustees can move on to the next stage of the building project. The deadline was to provide the trustees an idea on where the campaign stands as they prepare to take the project out to bid.
Bid letting is set to begin this month, and depending on the results, the fate of several components of the building project will depend on the amount raised by the capital campaign.
"The idea is to wrap it up and try to get decisions made as far as the project is concerned by the first of February," Strader said.
Even though the campaign is $175,000 shy of its goal, Strader said he considers it to be a success.
"With so many challenges in this past year, with the economy and terrorist events, it's nice to say despite all that we were successful thanks to all the people," he said. "People felt this project and health care were a priority and helped make this a successful campaign."
The goal is $2 million. As of a count last Friday, the total was $1,825,000. There are still some contributions in the works from individuals and businesses which likely will push that figure even higher.
"Nobody wants to call a successful halt to this campaign more than me," Strader said. "It looks like we're really successful in terms of comparing to what we've raised privately in the past."
The architect and engineer for the project visited the medical center before Christmas to finalize building plans. A public meeting is scheduled for Jan. 15 so final plans can be presented to the board of trustees and the public, Strader said. Bid letting should begin then, with a decision made in February. Construction is tentatively set to begin in April, depending on the weather.
A proposed community/meeting room will be bid separate to the main project, which includes major renovations to the emergency room and admitting areas, as well as a new area for rehabilitation services and a women's health center.
The community/meeting room may not be included depending on several factors, Strader said.
"It's a two-sided coin, including how much we've raised through the campaign, and what the bids coming in are at," he said. "It's the most tentative part of the project.
"We're hopeful that we'll be able to build that - there's a need for a training and education area at BVRMC," he said. "It will really help identify us as a regional center."