SEED hears report on hospital bond election

A report on the upcoming bond election for Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) was given at the SEED (Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development) board of directors meeting held on Monday morning.The vote for the Phase 4 Renovation and expansion at the hospital will be held on Saturday, May 10.Hospital Administrator Donna Boatright gave the presentation, in which she was joined by David White, Mike Edwards and Zach Christensen from McKinstry, the company who will oversee the proposed construction. McKinstry has worked on three other projects over the past three years, such as the new physician office building and Cardiac Rehab/Wellness Center.The current facilities were built in 1976, and in order to meet the future needs of residents, it was noted that several improvements are needed for enhancement. Since the current facility was constructed, there have been no bonds issued.The projected construction investments for the hospital renovation are $25.2 million, which would be paid for through general obligation bonds.The improvements would bring new services and advanced technology, as well as proving new safety and industry standards. All spaces would be designed to include and/or update features for code compliance, fire safety and ADA accessibility.The total square footage of the project is 40,281. New construction would make up 21,286 square feet of the total amount, with the remaining 18,995 square feet being renovations.The new construction would include a new outpatient dialysis space, which would include 15 patient rooms, an occupational therapy room and a lab. The MRI center would be completely expanded to allow in-house access and to accommodate an "open machine".In addition, a larger labor and delivery space would include 12 new patient suites, a ten-bed nursery, a staff lounge, training room and waiting area. The open office space for nursing administration would also have a restroom and contemporary finishes.Regarding renovations, the ICU will see a 97% increase, as the department would receive five ICU rooms along with an isolation room which would have wall-mounted computer charting, delivery specific lighting and microbe resistant cabinetry. Other renovations in the ICU would be done in the waiting area, staff lounge and restroom, medication, training and utility rooms and the nurse's station.The surgery department would increase by 71%, with three operating suites to be updates in order to integrate advanced medical equipment. Five recovery rooms and four pre-op rooms would also be renovated, with expansions for decontamination and clean storage and updates to the locker rooms, central lounge, waiting room, consulting room and nurse's station.Other renovations include the laboratory, as areas including microbiology, urinalysis and blood bank areas will be increased. The staff spaces and the dedicated waiting area would be renovated as well in the department.The front entry of the hospital would be covered with a new conference room added in the entry, and the hospital corridors would be updated with contemporary finishes. Also expanded and updated with new finishes would be the dining room.The business office would see the addition of a new office and IT/server room, while the pharmacy would get a new IV storage room. The walking trails with benches would also be redesigned for site improvements.Furthermore, the hospital would get a new emergency generator, which would increase the capacity for emergency preparedness. A hospital-wide nurse and patient call system would also be installed.Renewable energy measures to the campus would also include rainwater collection tanks, a wind turbine, solar panels and insulated glass. A variety of HVAC improvements would also be made throughout the hospital, in order to improve patient and staff comfort, as well as the energy efficiency of the spaces.Early voting will take place April 28 through May 6 at the RPMH Administration Office from 8 to 5 p.m. Applications to vote by mail may be requested from Carla Howard, 2000 E. Arizona St., Sweetwater, TX 79556, which must be submitted by May 1.