Spencer Hospital Board Approves Emergency Department Construction Project

posted on Thursday, August 4, 2022 in General

The Spencer Hospital Board of Trustees approved construction of a new emergency department at a special meeting on Thursday.

The Trustees also selected L&L Builders of Sioux City as the project’s general contractor, which submitted the low bid following an open public bidding process.  The project will commence within the next 30 days and completion is estimated for early summer 2024.

“The new emergency department will facilitate a better care experience for our patients and an enhanced work environment for our healthcare team,” said hospital president Bill Bumgarner. “We especially value that the project will greatly improve public access and visibility of this critical service.  That could not have been accomplished without the support and collaboration of the Spencer City Council and city planning officials.” 

Bids were submitted by three general contractor companies, with the low bid of $16,974,800 submitted by L&L Builders.  In addition to the construction scope of the project, additional expenses for equipment, supplies and professional fees add another $5 million for a total cost of $22 million.  

“We were pleased with the bid outcome related to the construction component of the project,” said Bumgarner.  “Costs for construction materials and labor have been highly variable throughout the world as we transition through the various stages of the pandemic.  It’s rewarding to see the hard work of the hospital planning team, architects and many others result in a project cost consistent with our budget target.”

CMBA Architects of Spencer is the project’s lead architect.  NEXT Inc. of Sioux Falls is offering project management services.  Bumgarner said that many Spencer and Iowa Lakes corridor area specialty subcontractors will also be engaged in the project.

The new emergency department will be constructed on East 11th Street between the Medical Arts Building and the hospital.  It will feature patient-centered improvements to include additional and larger treatment rooms; two trauma bays; and two rooms specifically designed for the care of behavioral health patients. 

Patient privacy will be enhanced by using an “on-stage, off-stage” design model through which a center core work area is dedicated for use by healthcare providers to reduce background sound and activity near patients receiving care. 

Plans also include a larger, comfortable waiting area.  An attached, temperature controlled ambulance garage will accommodate two ambulances, and will feature more efficient access for out-of-town ambulances transporting patients to Spencer Hospital.  A partial basement will be constructed under the new department to provide utility service and an additional general storage area.  A new ambulance storage garage is also included to accommodate the hospital’s on-campus fleet.                           

Brenda Tiefenthaler, senior vice president of patient care and operations, shared that initial work will focus on campus infrastructure improvements, so the public may not notice construction activity in the project’s early stages.  Initial work will include improvements such as mechanical and electrical upgrades; a new generator; a new loading dock with improved access for delivery trucks; renovation of a tunnel that runs from the hospital’s power plant to the main hospital building; utility relocation; and additional parking.  Eventually, the location of the new emergency department will require the permanent closing of a portion of East 11th Street. 

“Our entire team is so excited to see this project move forward,” Tiefenthaler commented. “This investment to enhance our facilities demonstrates Spencer Hospital’s ongoing commitment to provide exceptional healthcare services to the people who live in and visit our community.”