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Work on hospital expansion proceeds ahead of schedule



Published: Mon, July 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The construction project should be finished by late fall, a spokeswoman said.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

SALEM -- With the recent installation of a walkway spanning East State Street, Salem Community Hospital edged even closer to the completion of a more than $15 million expansion and improvement project.

"Things are proceeding nicely," Michele Hoffmeister, hospital spokeswoman, said recently.

In fact, things are going so well that Hoffmeister predicted the project will be completed by late fall. That's weeks ahead of an earlier projection calling for the job to be completed during the winter.

Hoffmeister credited favorable construction weather over the project's duration with helping work stay on schedule. Construction began in October 2000.

Project

In December, Salem Community opened the doors on a major aspect of the project, a 27,000-square-foot medical center that sits across East State Street from the hospital.

The nearly $4.7 million, three-story structure includes a sleep lab and physical, occupational and sleep therapy clinics. It also features space for four physicians' practices.

Still unfinished is the work on the original hospital building.

That portion of the project entails adding a three-story, 31,000-square-foot structure onto the front of the hospital, renovating the hospital's ground floor and reconfiguring the institution's front drive.

Cost of the renovation and expansion of the original building is about $10.4 million.

The work will provide room for an expanded endoscopy department, outpatient department, intensive and coronary care unit, and lobby and registration area.

Walkway

Joining the addition to the hospital and the medical center across the street is the walkway put into place about a week ago.

Workers expect to finish the walkway in about three weeks. Although the framework is in place, they must still pour a concrete deck and install nonreflective glass.

The walkway will open for pedestrian traffic after construction on the hospital addition is complete.

Hospital officials intend to have an open house once all the work is done, Hoffmeister said.

The project is one of the largest in the hospital's history.

The only larger construction undertaking is believed to have occurred in 1978, when the hospital added a wing.

General contractor is Adolph Johnson & amp; Sons of Youngstown.

The expansion is being funded by $10 million in municipal bonds and revenue from hospital operations.

leigh@vindy.com




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