- Associated Press - Sunday, August 31, 2014

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) - Officials have announced an $11 million plan to demolish a mostly unused Great Bend hospital building and remodel a nearby building.

The changes are coming more than three years after the Central Kansas Medical Center converted into an outpatient care center, called the St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center, The Hutchinson News (http://bit.ly/1qKLFWc ) reports.

The project will reduce the campus from 240,000 square feet to a little more than 30,000 square feet. It would do that by remodeling a medical office building, which was built in 2009, and moving into it any medical operations still in the five-story hospital building.

A neighboring Allied Services Building, which has been vacant for more than four years, also will be torn down.

“We have evaluated the square footage needs of a modern ambulatory operation like we have, and determined we do have enough room,” said Mark Mingenback, executive director of business development and marketing at St. Rose.

The timeline calls for remodeling the medical building through the winter. After moving into the remodeled building by late spring, the hospital demolition is expected to occur by mid- to late summer.

Mingenback said the “bittersweet” part is that staff cuts are coming. Officials expect to have a better idea of staffing levels by the end of September. The facility currently employs 137 people.

“Many of the positions are based on the fact our operation is physically spread out,” Mingenback said. “By consolidating, it will become a smaller, more efficient space, so we won’t need as many people for the operation.”

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com

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