Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Public can see new hospital wing today

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JUNEAU - The new three-story wing of Bartlett Regional Hospital will be unveiled to the public today beginning at 4 p.m. Tours will be conducted until 6 p.m., according to according to hospital CEO Jim Richardson.

The new wing, which cost $25.2 million to build, adds nearly 55,000 square feet to the original 110,000 square-foot structure. Construction began in August 2004.

Following the public opening, hospital departments will begin a month-long move into their new quarters. The Emergency Department and Diagnostic Imaging (Radiology) will be located on the first floor.

The second floor will house the Critical Care Unit and the obstetrics/nursing unit "Bartlett Beginnings."

The Mental Health Unit will occupy the 3rd floor. Topping the three-story structure is a heliport that is expected to be operational well before the visitor season.

Access to the new wing is on the ground floor of the south facing side of Bartlett. The entryway is just to the right of the new ambulance bay.

The original structure will be renovated during phase II of the multi-year project, which will begin immediately after the new wing is fully occupied.

The ground floor entry near the ambulance bay will become the temporary main entrance to hospital during Phase II construction, which is expected to take about two years.

Kenai River ice bill could top $5 million

KENAI - Damage from moving ice jams along the Kenai River could top $5 million, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams told Gov. Sarah Palin.

Palin flew over the area in a helicopter with Williams on Sunday to view the damage from a huge ice jam, which tore stairs, docks and boardwalks from their moorings.

"The hand of Mother Nature is certainly more powerful than anything man is building," the governor said.

Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey said he would sign a formal citywide declaration of disaster Monday. Preliminary assessments put city damage costs at between $1.25 million and $2 million.

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