Exactly one year after breaking ground the Kearney County Health Services Hospital in Minden has a brand new addition.
But CEO Fred Meis says the new cardiac rehab area, wound care room, and 10 new inpatient rooms are only the beginning.
"Phase 2 will actually be turning what used to be our inpatient to outpatient, so we'll have some exam rooms for our visiting physicians," says Meis.
He says then the final phase will be a renovation and expansion of the hospital's emergency room.
"We simply have a one bay emergency room now, it will be a large two bay emergency room, and we're also adding a procedure room along with that particular part of the project," Meis says.
The hospital's principle architect says there are a lot of factors to be considered in designing a health care facility besides the look - he says energy efficiency was an important long term aspect they tried to achieve with things like window shades.
"It's something we take a lot of time in designing and make sure we get it right," says architect Jim Brisnehan of Cannon, Moss, Brygger & Associates. "A building's going to last you 50 years and the biggest cost that comes with it is operational expenses."
Kearney County residents voted in March 2011 to finance the $10 million project with bonds. Meis says the communities they serve need a local hospital.
"It is a central location for a lot, and to have an emergency room 24 hours a day available to our farmers and those that might need it, it's just real important," he says. "Yes, they can be transported to Kearney, but time is of the essence and sometimes you don't have that time."
The hospital says they expect it to take about another year before they're finished with all their planned renovations.