- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - An estimated $19 million expansion at Kearney Regional Medical Center could begin as early as this summer.

The proposed expansion includes two single-story patient wing additions, a maintenance building, a helicopter pad and an expanded intensive-care unit with an emergency room and ambulance garage, the Kearney Hub reported (https://bit.ly/1ztFQOy ) Saturday.

All of the additions would be built south of the existing hospital.

Les Mock, an architect at WDM Architects in Wichita, Kansas, said the expansion will be built in phases with an estimated completion in 2016.

“We’re hoping to start this summer,” Mock said.

On Friday, the Kearney Planning Commission recommended approval of the development plans on a 5-0 vote. The commission also approved turning over part of utility easement south of the hospital.

The plans must first be approved by the Kearney City Council before construction begins. The council approved development plans for a future hospital expansion last year, but changes to the plans make it necessary to have the council again consider the proposal.

Community growth has intensified the need for a new patient wing, said Mock, who represented the hospital at the planning commission meeting.

“The (patient wing) was originally a future addition and not something that was going to be built at that time,” Mock said. “Those plans have accelerated to some degree.”

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Information from: Kearney Hub, https://www.kearneyhub.com/

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