PRESTON COUNTY, W.Va. — Preston County is getting a new hospital. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Preston Memorial Hospital was held at the site near the Preston County 911 Center and Preston High School on Wednesday where officials from Preston Memorial, Mon Health System and other dignitaries were present.
Preston County Commission President Craig Jennings says the facility has been a long time coming.
“This is the first new building for a hospital in almost 60 years in Preston County,” he says.
Jennings notes that the new building will be a little different from most hospitals, “It is a one story building, which is maybe something new for the area, but one thing we have in Preston County is a lot of land. So, it’s easy for us to, you know, if we’re going to do a little dirt work, it’s easy for us to spread out.”
Preston Memorial Hospital President and CEO Melissa Lockwood says it won’t be far from the current hospital.
“The new facility is being built just about six tenths of a mile from our current hospital. It will be a 25 bed hospital, which is what we are now, about 83,000 square feet. It’s located on what a lot of people call the Old Poor Farm, on land donated by our county commission.”
Lockwood says they are even constructing a new road from Route 26 for the hospital.
“We are building our own entrance road into the new campus.”
Funding for the hospital comes from a $28 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program and pledges raised for PMH’s “Building a Healthy Future” campaign.
“The total cost of the entire project is 38 and a half million, the construction is about 27. I should say about 24, and then all other costs combined, it’s about 27 by time you add in insurance and all those types of things,” says Lockwood.
Although the new building is about the same size as the old one, with 25 patient rooms, there will be expanded outpatient services and a larger emergency room says Lockwood.
“Our new facility is being built, it’s a similar size to what we have now, but we’re also including all of our medical office space in that facility, as well as our physical therapy that we have here in town will be in the new hospital. Really, it will be a fully integrated campus with all the hospital services and physician’s offices in one location.”
Lockwood says no decision has been made on what will happen to the current hospital once they move in to the new one.
“We certainly are working on that as a community to try to determine a good re-purposing for the current hospital.”
And, even though the groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday, Lockwood says construction is well underway.
“We are doing excavation at the site, so that’s been going on for about four weeks now. The construction is a 16 month period, so by next December, early January, the construction phase should be complete and then about 90 days, usually 120 days before you can actually move in the facility.”
Commission President Jennings adds the community is glad to see the project started.
“We’re just excited to see the dirt move up there and things starting to happen.”