Construction plans for RPMH cardiac rehab facility underway

A presentation on the construction plans for the Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) Cardiac Rehab facility was given by David White with McKinstry during Monday night's meeting of the Nolan County Hospital District's board of directors.The board was shown images of the front, side and aerial views of the facility. One particular point of discussion was the design of the parking lot, which would add 74 additional spaces that include parking to be in compliance with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).Due in part to the parking lot, the overall size of the project has increased. Originally 6,500 square feet, the new size now stands at 7,145 square feet--which includes the addition of 500 square feet to the building.The Cardiac Rehab and Wellness facility will boast private offices, a main registration area, training room with kitchenette for community education, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. The updated aerobics area and the main cardiac workout area have been designed with privacy of patients in mind. The building will include space for the Diabetic Outreach program which has been located in a patient room for 14 years. The construction site has been planned to allow for future expansion for other services such as Outpatient Dialysis. White acknowledged that McKinstry is ready to move ahead with the construction, but noted that the cost of the project has risen due to two factors. First, construction/material costs have begun to rise as the economy continues to change--a concern that cannot be determined in advance or amended. The initial estimate of a 10% escalation by McKinstry has now risen to 17% for construction costs.Also, the addition of the 500 square feet to the building has increased the price. Thus, the total for the project has risen from $1.65 million to $1.84 million. The addition of expanded parking to the project brings the potential cost to $2.1 million.Following White's presentation, the board met and held an open discussion on the costs of the project to determine if the overall cost could be reduced. Collectively, the board expressed that they would like to see a breakdown of costs for optional features of the building plans. In his presentation, White stated that around $100,000 could be saved by making some changes, though other amendments to the project could affect the long-term plan and could be impacted by redesign costs.Hospital administrator Donna Boatright added that the expanded parking facilities, although costly, are necessary as ample parking for patients, staff and visitors is already an issue on campus. The board reviewed previously determined financing plans for the project. While there will be increased revenue realized from the addition, the building will be paid for using funds from Meaningful Use and the 1115 Waiver. After the discussion, the board voted to move forward with the Cardiac Rehab and Wellness project--with a price not to exceed $2.1 million, and for Boatright and board member Jose Villafranca to work with McKinstry to determine potential cost savings. A tentative timeline is for a groundbreaking in September, with a 7-8 month construction period, pending weather conditions.