By JASON MOON, Assistant Editor
Putnam County Hospital will soon be undergoing an internal facelift that began two years ago.
As approved by the Putnam County Hospital Board on Thursday, the first phase of the five-phase project calls for the oncology department to be moved to the second floor on the south side of the hospital. In addition, the phase calls for the building of new conference and administrative offices on the north side of the third floor, which previously held the obstetrics and gynecology department.
"Health care is a business," PCH Maintenance Director Jody Fox said. "You want to make the most of the available space that you can."
On Thursday, the board approved a bid from Edwards-Rigdon Construction, Danville, to begin the first phase of construction.
Fox said even though the project has five phases, no details have been determined for the next phase of construction. He said several items will be involved in the project, including expanding the hospital's physical therapy unit, improving its radiology unit, improving the hospital cafeteria, and mechanical upgrades, among other items.
The oncology department, for example, has outgrown its current facility. Plans call for it to be moved to the second floor on the south side of the hospital. The new department will include seven infusion areas and three examination rooms.
Currently, the oncology department has just five rooms and sees approximately 20 patients daily.
"Our needs have changed a lot in the last two years," Fox said.
The new administrative area will call for a meeting room in the middle of the area in addition to three classroom buildings and two small meeting rooms as well as administrative offices.
Edwards-Rigdon provided a bid of just more than $1.2 million. The project was originally estimated at $1.7 million and the hospital had a budget of $1.4 million for the upgrades.
"We're certainly well below the budget with a larger scope project," PCH Executive Director Dennis Weatherford said.
On Thursday, Edwards-Rigdon representative Tom Edwards Jr. said his company had set a deadline for Aug. 24 for the new conference and administrative area and Sept. 7 deadline for the oncology department.
"There are obviously unforeseeable (obstacles) that we may (face)," he said. "But barring anything catastrophic, this schedule is doable."
The hospital has undergone many changes in recent years. In 2006, it completed renovations for a surgical wing and for its new OB wing.
The plan for renovations was implemented in 1998, and construction for those areas was also completed by Edwards-Rigdon. Discussion began on the five-phase project in late 2006 and was implemented earlier this year.