Kootenai Health Announces $57 Million Expansion

COUER D’ALENE, Idaho — To keep up with a growing number of patients, Kootenai Health announced last week that it will expand its hospital with a $57 million, three-story addition and construct a new main hospital entryway.

The addition, which will break ground in either late summer or early fall, will increase patient beds by 10 percent and create much needed space. A recent facility assessment demonstrated a need for approximately 20 percent more space on the health care campus, according to Jon Ness, CEO of Kootenai Health.

“Seeing more patients and receiving more referrals from other communities are good indicators that our strategic plan to be a comprehensive, regional medical center is on target,” Ness said.

The first floor of the new building will include a family birthing center, neonatal intensive care unit, lobby and registration area, and expanded waiting area on the first floor. The second floor will serve medical and surgical patients, and the third floor is designed for future growth needs.

“Now is a great time for us to expand,” said Jeremy Evans, vice president of operations with Kootenai Health, in a statement. “We continue to see more and more patients, current interest rates are favorable and construction costs and worker availability are also good. Additionally, other improvements needed in our existing facility hinge on this expansion. Together, these make this an ideal time to expand.”

The project will provide a boost to the local economy with the creation of 400 to 450 construction jobs. Additionally, the project will be funded through donations and loans. A local tax increase is not expected at this time.

The expansion, to be constructed by Bouten Construction Company of Spokane, Wash., may become a part of a larger five-year revitalization of the health care campus. A three-phase expansion may be in the hospital’s future, Ness said, with a second phase possibly beginning in 2016.