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Kirby Medical Center has announced plans to construct a 16,500-square-foot addition that will connect the hospital to the adjacent Carle Clinic.
The major addition to the east will include relocated therapy and laboratory departments, along with offices for medical records, accounting and patient financial services.
Other small additions are also planned next to the hospital cafe to house a new education room, and on the northwest corner for an employee training room and materials management area.
“We have seen tremendous growth in the services used at Kirby Medical Center, and the new services we have added since moving here in 2011,” said Kirby Chief Executive Officer Steve Tenhouse. “Our physician group, the Kirby Medical Group, has grown from four full-time practitioners to eight full-time practitioners, and we have added more visiting specialists to the space.”
The project, announced at the Monticello Planning and Zoning Board meeting Monday, will also include renovations of 17,000 square feet of space within the existing facility. Updates will result in more room for the Kirby Medical Group and expansion of the surgery department into the existing education room.
The PZB approved a variance that allows a reduction in the hospital’s side yard setback to zero. Kirby already had such a variance for the current breezeway that connects Kirby to Carle, but that was a project-specific measure, so another variance is needed to accommodate the new construction.
The current breezeway is not climate controlled nor completely enclosed. The building addition will come within 20 feet of Carle, with an enclosed, climate-controlled hallway bridging the gap.
“It will be a true hallway when it’s done,” said Tenhouse, noting the current connector has a roof but also a one-foot opening near the top of the walls.
Eighty-eight parking spaces will also be added, along with a second parking lot entrance that will be constructed when Medical Center Drive is extended to the Sage Meadows subdivision.
PZB member Marthann Riegel asked if any services would be disrupted during construction. Tenhouse said none would be stopped, and that contractor Petry-Kuhne has extensive experience with hospital projects.
“We do a lot of work with Carle Hospital, so we’re used to working in tight spaces and minimizing disruptions,” said Chris Uhlarik of the Champaign-based contractor.
He said some exam rooms located on exterior walls would be out of commission once construction begins.
Tenhouse added that noise and dust will be reduced by using materials from Bement-based Edge Guard, which provides temporary walls out of plexiglass that seal off construction areas from employees and the public.
If the full city council approves the variance on April 24, Tenhouse hopes construction will begin by October and that the three-phased project will be finished in 14 to 16 months. Upon completion the therapy department will feature its own entrance.
The PZB voted 4-0 to approve the variance.
The master plan for the hospital includes the flexibility to expand to the north and to the east.
“We are excited to be in the position to expand and continue to offer new services to our community and grow as it grows,” said Kirby Medical Center Board Chairman Craig Webb in a press release. “Our community’s overwhelming support has made this needed expansion possible.”