By Rachel Leber
GRAFTON, N.D. — The Unity Medical Center (UMC) in Grafton announced on Dec. 15 an expansion on the 60-year-old hospital. The groundbreaking is expected to take place in summer 2018, with project completion projected for fall 2019.
The three-story expansion will have a $12 million budget, and is intended to upgrade the out-of-date facility into a modern state-of-the-art facility. The expansion will include a larger operating department on the first floor, improved and larger patient rooms on the second floor and a third floor that will be used for educational purposes, offices and mechanical rooms.
New patient rooms will feature 250 to 300 square feet of space — as compared to the current 100-square-foot patient rooms. In addition to being small, many of the current UMC patient rooms are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities act, according to a recent article by the West Fargo Pioneer. In addition to providing more space, the new rooms will offer more privacy, and patients will no longer need to share rooms.
Larger, more private rooms will be a welcomed luxury for patients, according to Lisa Ferguson, nurse at UMC in a recent interview with WDAZ, with better accessibility to restrooms and more room for patients and visitors alike to move around, as well as offering more space for visitors to stay the night if desired.
The upcoming expansion will be the product of a planning process that began in 2015 to update the facility. Another part of the plan for updating the medical center has already been completed — UMC finished a $550,000 renovation project for its clinic in May, a project that improved privacy and office space for staff in that building.
The current two-story hospital building that houses the operating department (with original overhead lighting from 1956), patient rooms, physical therapy and rehab services will be repurposed for office space once the expansion is complete.