Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s River Pavilion Tower opened in 2008.
It was six stories tall, with four stories in use at the start.
“We had two vacant floors, and we thought, ‘You know, we’re set for quite a few years,’” said Rand Wortman, Kadlec president and CEO.
But it didn’t take the hospital’s foundation long to raise more than $7 million to build out one of those vacant floors as a pediatric center. “And then so much business came our way that we had to build out the sixth floor,” Wortman told a crowd of several dozen gathered Friday.
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Now, the Richland hospital is set to work on the tower again — this time, adding another four stories. When finished, the 10-story building will be the tallest in the city.
“This is a really exciting time for us,” Wortman said.
Kadlec officials, city leaders and community members celebrated the expansion project during a morning ceremony.
The expansion is expected to be finished in fall 2016. The price tag is about $72 million, including construction and for equipping the space.
“When the tower is done, those 10 stories will represent a commitment both by us and by (Providence Health & Services, of which Kadlec is a part) to the future of health care in the Tri-Cities,” said Tom Cowan of Kadlec Community Board of Directors. “I think it will be quite bright.”
Phillip Lemley, Richland’s mayor pro tem, added that the city and hospital have developed a vital relationship over the years.
“The relationship has come to fruition here,” Lemley said. “The old saying about ‘Build it and they will come’ — well, all you have to do is look around and you can see what’s happening. This area is becoming the center for excellence for all things medical, both in practice and in teaching.”
A $13.5 million, five-story parking garage also is planned at the hospital. Construction will start this summer and take about a year.
The additional four stories of the River Pavilion Tower will hold two acute care and two intensive care floors. Bouten Construction is the contractor and Davis Partnerships is the architect.
“We so thrilled that this project is starting. We really have a lot we can offer our community, and we’re really crowded currently in our situation. This is going to make a huge impact for our patients,” said Kathy Christensen, acute care unit manager.
Kadlec is licensed for 270 beds, and the expansion doesn’t change that. It will allow the hospital to use more of its beds and provide more privacy and better accommodations for patients, according to information from Kadlec.
Plans for the tower expansion and the parking garage were sped up, thanks to Kadlec’s relationship with Providence, officials said. The local hospital last year affiliated with the larger nonprofit health network, which has its headquarters on the west side and operates in five states.
Joel Gilbertson, a Providence senior vice president, said Friday that he was glad to celebrate the expansion.
“The thought behind the affiliation is that working together we can support each other, working together we are stronger,” he told the crowd. “It’s a privilege to be part of this project and to support this community going into the future.”