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Hospital to let bids on $40 million facility

Harrison County Hospital last week voted unanimously to let bids for the estimated $40 million construction of a facility northwest of Corydon off S.R. 337.
That action took any remaining speculation about the proposal off the table.
‘I’m ecstatic,’ said HCH board chair Parvin Baumgart after the vote. He said he does regret the three-year delay in bringing improved medical services to the community.
That delay was attributed to establishing the need with the county council for a new facility to replace the landlocked one on Atwood Street in south Corydon and whether taxpayer dollars should be committed to the project. Both questions were resolved in favor of the project by an outside consulting firm hired by the council, which then worked out the details.
Harrison County officials have now pledged $12 million toward the proposal ‘ three annual payments of $4 million each ‘ and the Harrison County Community Foundation will kick in $5 million, or $1.6 million in three annual installments.
That brings the amount the hospital must raise or pay from proceeds to an estimated $25 million, should the latest estimates hold true.
The hospital has been self-supporting for the most part, since the first wing was constructed in 1950.
Baumgart said: ‘The county today has put in less than $2 million for this hospital, most of which was (through) building bonds.’
HCH executive director Steve Taylor said he, too, is pleased the project is ready to bid, and the hospital and community it serves has ‘a lot to be proud of.’
The public should take note that the facility has provided health care for more than 50 years and has contributed to the economic health of the community as well, Taylor said.
People from all walks of life deserve credit for getting the stalled project off the ground, he said. ‘The list just goes on and on,’ Taylor said.
The new 140,000-square-foot facility will double the space HCH now uses for medical purposes, he said.
‘Compared to this facility, it will be heaven,’ Taylor said. ‘It will be a big difference. It’s time to move on.’
Construction is expected to take a couple of years. A doctors office building is also planned at the site, to be paid for and owned by doctors.
The hospital will be built on 35 acres south of Interstate 64, near S.R. 337. Water and sewer services, through Corydon or Ramsey water utilities, are still being negotiated. The sewer service could be provided through a sewer district yet to be established.
Besides Baumgart, the hospital board includes Paul (Pete) Martin, Dr. Richard Brown, Fred Owen, Lowell Smith, Mark Gregory and Carl Duley.
The date to open bids has not been decided. Four large construction companies with experience in hospital construction will be invited to bid.