Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Porter Hospital officials, staff, developers break ground in Liberty Township

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

After three and a half years of planning, officials and developers of the new Porter hospital finally got the chance to celebrate their efforts on Wednesday at a reception for the groundbreaking for the new facility held on the site at the corner of U.S. 6 and Ind. 49 in Liberty Twp.

Porter Health Systems CEO Jonathan Nalli acknowledged the groups involved with the effort including the community of Porter County.

“You are the ones we are building this for,” he said.

Nalli spoke to a crowd of nearly 300 consisting of hospital physicians, board of trustee members, city officials, members of the press, Porter County Commissioners and Council members saying three years ago, when the county sold the hospital, people were questioning whether it would be possible to build a replacement facility. The answer, he said, “has always been yes.”

Nalli said Porter Health Systems will hire an additional 126 workers when the new facility is built. The two-year construction will also bring an estimated 600 temporary construction jobs with $60 to $65 million in payroll. The hospital expects the overall price tag of the facility will be $225 million.

“As a member of the Porter County plan commission had said, this is our own economic stimulus package,” said Nalli.

The new hospital facility will eventually replace the Valparaiso campus at 814 LaPorte Ave. and will double the size of the current facility’s Intensive Care Unit and emergency room space. In addition, the new site will include two more floors.

The new facility will be 430,000 square feet while the current building is 250,000 square feet.

As previously announced, the new hospital will feature 225 private inpatient beds.

A second speaker, Dr. Sudhakar Garlapati, who is chairman of Porter hospital’s board of trustees, said he sees “benefits abound” and thanked the hospital’s parent company, Community Health Systems based out of Tennessee, for their guidance.

Also speaking was vice-president of the hospital’s medical staff, Dr. Douglas Mazurek, who said Porter hospital has “reached another milestone.” Mazur also told the audience the hospital will be able to provide the county with the finest available healthcare and use state-of-the-art technology.

The ceremony ended with Nalli and a few others with shovels in hand moving earth on the site where bulldozers have already begun to clear the land.

Official start for construction was June 25 as Dyer Construction of Dyer began clearing away the underbrush on the southern 60 acres of the property. Cives Steel of Wolcott, Ind. will begin steel fabrication after the site has been graded and filled.

The hospital is scheduled to be completed in summer of 2012.

A few Porter County officials were in attendance Wednesday to show their support.

“It’s a monumental day for the county,” said North Porter County Commissioner John Evans.

 

 

Posted 7/22/2010

 

 

 

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