Olathe Medical Center is embarking on a $100 million-plus expansion, its largest ever, which will include the addition of a four-story obstetrics wing and neonatal intensive care unit.
The projects for its 250-acre campus between 151st Street and Interstate 35 will add more than 200,000 square feet of new construction by early 2017.
Hospital officials said the new construction “will change the face” of the medical center, adding a wing on the northeast side of the hospital. The new wing will be a little less than one-third the size of the existing hospital building.
The developments put the Olathe system on a long list of multimillion-dollar medical center expansion projects in the Kansas City area in recent years.
Major recent projects include $342 million in expansion announced by the University of Kansas Hospital, $330 million in a new heart institute at St. Luke’s Hospital and $121 million in expansions at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, among others.
“Olathe is now competing with some very aggressive health systems,” said John Leifer, a Kansas City area health industry consultant and author. “Once upon a time, it was a geographic fiefdom, but if it wants to hold on to market share and not cede it to Overland Park Regional, Shawnee Mission or St. Luke’s South, it needs to offer the latest and greatest, too.”
Olathe’s plans, unveiled Friday at an Olathe Chamber of Commerce meeting, also call for changing the hospital’s entrance and expanding its food service areas, adding to a freestanding cancer treatment center, building a new memory care facility and expanding its cardiovascular center.
“This is a game changer for the city of Olathe,” said Nicolle Welsh, outgoing chair of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce. The expansion “means citizens of Olathe will have available to them the full continuum of care — from birth to the end of life.”
The hospital system also opened a Hospice House for end-of-life care in October 2014.
The not-for-profit Olathe Health System dates to 1953, when it began with a 30-bed hospital. The independently and locally owned system now includes the main 300-bed acute care hospital in Olathe, the Miami County Medical Center and 35 family care or specialty clinics.
The system has about 2,500 employees and 300 physicians on its roster. About 200 new jobs are expected to result from the announced expansions.
According to a recent ranking of Kansas City area hospitals, Olathe is the seventh largest based on patient admissions.
Mike Jensen, vice president of the health system, said the hospital “will do our best with ‘pardon our mess’ messages while the construction is underway.”
The hospital will have a temporary main entrance on the southwest side of the hospital, next to where the emergency room entrance is located.
Jensen said the new wing will be built where the current visitor parking lot is now, and new parking will be added on the south side of the hospital.
The Olathe City Council in December approved a $47.1 million bond application in connection with $67 million worth of the expansion. The city is issuing the bonds, and the hospital will repay them from its revenues.
Medical center president and chief executive Frank Devocelle led a contingent of officials who introduced specifics about the expansion projects.
Construction on the new four-story, 105,000-square-foot hospital wing for obstetrics and infant care will begin in April, with completion scheduled for early 2017.
The new wing, to be built on the northeast side of the hospital, will include a cafeteria and dining area to serve the entire hospital. The design also calls for outdoor gardens and water features.
Work on the new 25,000-square-foot cancer center will begin in July 2015, with completion expected in early 2017. The new facility is designed to pull together all of the medical center’s cancer diagnosis and treatment services.
A 29,000-square-foot expansion — a memory care facility for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia — already has begun on the medical center’s Cedar Lake Village property. The expansion, scheduled for a November 2015 completion, includes apartments, a courtyard and activity spaces.
The fourth project, expansion of the existing Kansas Cardiovascular Center on campus, is planned to be underway this April until February 2016. The expansion will provide more sophisticated technology and more space for its cardiac catheterization labs, its electrophysiology physicians and its cardiothoracic surgeons.
HMN Architects Inc., based in Overland Park, is the project designer. The contractors are J.E. Dunn Construction and McCownGordon. The structural engineering firm is Bob D. Campbell & Co. Inc., the civil engineering firm is Payne and Brockway, and Brack and Associates Consulting Engineers is the engineer for the entire project.