The record-breaking early December snowstorm did nothing to cool the enthusiasm of HCA Inc. executives for their newest project. Indeed, more than 100 people huddled in a tent on Dec. 8 for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Lee's Summit Hospital.
Although plans for hospital, which will replace an existing facility, were announced earlier, two significant milestones for the hospital came in 2005: The Missouri Health Facilities Review Commission awarded certificate-of-need approval required to build the hospital, and the Lee's Summit City Council approved the site plan and special-use permit.
The new 64-bed hospital, projected to cost $89 million, will be on a 39-acre site at the northeast corner of U. S. Highway 50 and Todd George Road. It will replace the current facility, licensed for 102 beds, at 530 N. W. Murray Road.
Robin Dawson, director of community and physician relations for the hospital, said construction will start in the winter, as weather permits, for a targeted opening in the second quarter of 2007.
Plans for the old hospital, built in 1978 in the John Knox retirement community, have not yet been determined, but HCA said it hopes that the facility will be purchased by John Knox.
"That's the logical thing to happen," Dawson said.
In addition to the new hospital, HCA is building a medical office building for doctors' offices and hospital administrative and support functions. Perkins & Will/CRA, a health care architecture practice in Dallas, is serving as the project's architect.
HCA wanted to relocate farther east to better compete in the fast-growing Eastern Jackson County marketplace, where Saint Luke's Health System has staked a claim. An emergency department, diagnostic center, surgery center and other units opened earlier this year, and the new Saint Luke's East hospital will open in early 2006.
The new Lee's Summit Hospital will include six labor/delivery beds - a new service area for the hospital - and will expand emergency capacity for nine to 14 rooms.
The Kansas City Business Journal, Lola Butcher, December 16-22, 2005.