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Ground-breaking Thursday for $37M Madison hospital

MADISON (AP) — Construction is to begin next week on a $37 million hospital in Madison, a project officials say is one of the biggest ever undertaken in the city.

A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled Thursday for the 104,000-square-foot facility that will replace the existing Madison Community Hospital, hospital officials said in a statement. The hospital is an independent nonprofit governed by a local board of trustees that has provided medical care in the area for more than 100 years.

The new hospital on 22 acres of land on the south side of the city of 6,500 people will employ about 160 workers when it begins operating in early 2015.

The new facility will include state-of-the-art equipment and expanded services including MRI testing, hospital officials said. It also will have an expanded emergency room and surgical department, and more space for same-day medical procedures.

Planning for the hospital started three years ago. The Madison Daily Leader reported earlier this year that city officials waived building permit fees estimated at $50,000 and committed $150,000 toward the project for expenses including material and labor. The money will come from sales tax revenue and a community development fund.

The federal Agriculture Department's Rural Development agency is financing much of the project.