Riverland hospital update presented at parish chamber luncheon

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017


FERRIDAY — The architect for the proposed new parish hospital provided Tuesday an update on the hospital’s outlook.

Adam Fishbein of GraceHebert Architects in Baton Rouge made a presentation to Riverland Medical personnel as part of the Concordia Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon series. GraceHebert and Curtis Group Architects have been working for the past eight months to design the facility.

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Fishbein said the hospital —planned for construction on an approximately 20-acre lot off U.S. 84 on the east side of town — would contain 25 beds and include an emergency department (ED), intensive care unit (ICU), diagnostics, an area dedicated for surgeries and other areas for in-patient and out-patient care.

Another portion of the facility will be a “medical office building,” which is attached to but separate of the hospital. The medical office building will house doctor’s offices, administrators and IT components.

Fishbein said the construction cost of the facility — which strictly includes the costs of constructing the building itself — is estimated at $25 million. The rest of the costs to build the hospital will consist mainly of leasing equipment, Riverland Medical Center Board of Directors chair Jim Graves said.

GraceHebert and Curtis Group spent five years building a new hospital that just opened last week in St. Francisville, La. Similar to the current situation in Ferriday, Fishbein said some people in St. Francisville opposed relocating their facility at first.

“Those people had thought that the old hospital was OK, but when they walked into the new hospital and they saw what we had implemented in the new hospital, they were absolutely blown away,” Fishbein said. “That’s what we are trying to do here.

“We are trying to take you from a very old facility that they have done the best job that they can do to keep it up … and give you a state-of-the-art facility for your area.”

When asked about a timeline for the construction, Fishbein said he expects to break ground sometime in late spring/early summer.

Because the project remains in the design phase, Fishbein said the firm has yet to open bids to contractors, though he said he would advertise today for a construction-manager-at-risk general contractor.

Shifting the conversation to staffing, Graves said the board would organize a job fair to recruit local personnel in the Miss-Lou.

“We’re going to try to hire as many local people as humanly possible,” Graves said.

Graves said the hospital board is still working to finance the project. The Concordia Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 received approved in July to borrow $2.5 million to acquire land and begin the building process.

The hospital board is seeking a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Hospital Program to fund actual construction.

Though Graves said the board is still working to calculate a total cost for the project, past estimates have put the total cost for the proposed hospital at approximately $35 million.