DIXON – KSB Hospital officials Sunday summed up what they thought of the expansion of the emergency room and surgery departments — a job well done, under budget and ahead of schedule.
Braving brisk winds, more than 200 people showed up for the open house for the $16 million project, which expanded the two departments by 30,000 square feet.
Hospital officials and the mayor gave speeches on a raised platform in front of the entrance.
Darryl Vandervort, who retired as the hospital’s CEO earlier this year, recognized many involved in the project. He started with area bankers, who he said banded together to finance the project.
“We appreciated that you have the faith in KSB to repay the loan,” he said.
He also praised the builders, architects and others connected to the expansion.
“It was engineered correctly. It was designed correctly. And more important, it was built correctly,” Vandervort said.
Admitting that he didn’t know much about construction, he said the contractor, Brown Construction, respected what the nonprofit hospital wanted.
Mayor Jim Burke said a number of factors help make a community attractive. Among the top tier is health care, he said.
He said the expansion will serve Dixon well, calling it “another milestone when it comes to health care.”
Rick Curia, the hospital board’s chairman, said KSB officials decided on the expansion a few years ago when they were looking at the hospital’s long-term viability.
They figured that local health care would be severely impacted if KSB didn’t increase its capacity, Curia said.
The project means bigger patient rooms and more of them. The ER now has 13 exam rooms, up from six before. Outpatient services on the floor above has 23 patient areas, which is up from six.
KSB officials said they made many other changes to ensure hospital staff perform quickly and efficiently.