Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WMC Board Approves Changes to New Hospital Plans - Keeps Existing Nursing Home

In their regular board meeting on Monday, Winston County Supervisors were briefed on some changes to the plans for the construction of the new Winston Medical Center by WMC CEO Paul Black.

Black informed the Supervisors that further review of costs and options had led the Winston Medical Foundation Board to change design plans to keep the existing nursing home structure. (The existing structure was scheduled to be replaced in the original plans) Engineering reports confirmed that the structure could be affordably repaired. The new plans include roof replacement and converting any remaining semi-private rooms into private rooms for a total of 48 patient rooms. The cost to repair and remodel is expected to total roughly $2 million.

WMC still expects to build an additional 72 nursing home units in a cottage style for a total of 120 available units.This change along with other design changes to the medical center structure itself is expected to lower construction costs significantly. One major design change is to convert the hospital from a two story to a one story structure allowing for less square footage and lower heating/cooling costs.

Original costs projections were in the $40 million range but further information as the planning progressed indicated that the original design could well exceed that amount. Black indicated to the Board, “We are still using the cottage concept for the new nursing home structures to save costs. We are trying to get at or below $35 million which would result in very limited debt when completed.”

A member of the Foundation's Executive Committee indicated with the new plans, the total costs of the facility is projected to be less than $39 million when complete (including soft costs). "We want to be good stewards of the community's money. We want a state of the art facility while being financial conservative and realize all cost savings possible."

The new facility will replace the previous WMC that was destroyed in the April 28, 2014 tornado and the current transitional facility located on South Church Avenue.