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Winner $23 million hospital expansion ready for bid

WINNER -- Six months after unveiling plans for a $23 million expansion, the Winner Regional Healthcare Center announced Friday it is ready to send the project to bid.

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WINNER - Six months after unveiling plans for a $23 million expansion, the Winner Regional Healthcare Center announced Friday it is ready to send the project to bid.

Now, organization officials will begin advertising for bids on the multi-million dollar project with hopes of breaking ground in the spring.

The delay, charged to an extended timeline needed for the project’s approval, postponed Winner Regional’s initial start date, originally slated for winter, according to Communications and Foundation Director Jody Engel.

“We were a little disappointed that we couldn’t break ground in early fall, but we sure are excited to move forward,” Engel said. “We had hoped we might be able to do interior remodeling on the front end done through winter but getting all of our I’s dotted and T’s crossed took longer than we anticipated.”

But, the postponement could help Winner Regional in the long-run, Engel said. She said hospital officials are hoping bids are more competitive in the winter months “when work is slower.”

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The renovation is expected to include a 28,000 square-foot expansion to the facility, along with another 16,000 square-foot overhaul to its current structure.

The project will focus on the construction of a new clinic, emergency room, operating room and lab and radiology department, along with a streamlined registration area for the entire facility.

Meanwhile, the original 1947 building will be demolished to make room for the construction, although laboratory and radiology spaces in the building will be repurposed.

All hospital services are expected to continue throughout the course of construction.

The project will be funded, in part, through a low-interest Community Facilities Loan from the United States Department of Agriculture.

In addition to the loan, the amount of which was not disclosed, a gift of $3 million from the late John and Raymond Erickson, $1 million in other pledges and $3 million in local philanthropic donations will be put toward the project.

In addition, more than $130,000 was raised during Winner Regional’s annual holiday festival Dec. 3, Engel said.

An official date for the project’s groundbreaking has not been set, and Engel said a “community celebration” will likely be held at the same time.

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