Buena Vista Regional Medical Center has set a tentative groundbreaking ceremony for April 12 for the $5 million expansion project, with construction expected to follow as soon as weather conditions permit.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony.
The medical center's trustees met last night to set the date and finalize details for the building process, which includes the Women's Health Center, rehabilitation unit, a physical connection between the medical center and the nearby clinic, and heavy renovations for the emergency room/ lab/business offices areas.
"These are exciting times for Storm Lake, and certainly for all of us at BVRMC," said Brad Strader, foundation leader.
Work continues on the community fundraising element of the project. "We are quietly moving toward our goal of $2 million. We aren't quite there, but there are some things happening in the next few weeks, and we are confident," he said. The drive is currently at about $1.8 million, but some remaining potential donors, as well as some previous donors who are considering increasing previous pledges, remain to be heard from.
"We have been trying to continually stir up enthusiasm for our
project. Certainly, with the college announcing its great Science Center project, that is going to overshadow what we have been doing a little bit. With these exciting projects coming together for Storm Lake, we think the community can only benefit," Strader said.
With the bids coming in as anticipated and the fund drive nearing success, it appears that the optional conference room can be retained in the project plan, Strader added.
"The conference facility is a wonderful addition," he said. "As a hospital, we suffer from the fact that people usually don't come here except for an emergency or a family need. If we can establish a conference facility that can also be an education and community meeting area, we can attract people here for a variety of reasons to see what we have to offer. People are currently going elsewhere for their conference and learning needs, if we can start attracting those people to Storm Lake and BVRMC, it will mean additional identity for the medical center and something of an economic boon to the city."
The centerpiece of the expansion continues to be the Center for Women's Health, which initially sparked the entire development, Strader said. "People continue to be excited about the combination of diagnostic, preventative and educational services for families that this facility is going to provide right here," he said.
Women's Center Director Kim Weiland has completed her chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer, and expects to return to work soon as the planning progresses, he said.