New Ohio Hills building coming to Woodsfield
WOODSFIELD — A new Ohio Hills Health Services location has been delayed, but the health care provider will be erecting a new and expanded building in Monroe County in 2020.
Ohio Hills CEO Jeff Britton and Jan Chambers, director of outreach and development, visited the Monroe County commissioners Tuesday to discuss plans for moving forward and to seek county support in securing more funding.
Engineering the project has caused a delay, but the new timeline indicates they expect to open bids in January or February.
“Even though it looks like there’s been nothing happening, we have been actively working,” Chambers said. “Hopefully we will get started next spring and have a groundbreaking.”
Britton said the delay arose when bids came in too high. He said the organization has a budget of $3 million.
“Our first go-around, the architect said it was going to be $2 million and the bids came in at $3.8 to $4.8 (million),” he said, adding that the new construction plan is to invest $3 million.
Ohio Hills has been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provided an architect to value-engineer the protect with the goal of reducing costs.
“And right now we’re under budget,” Britton said.
“We obtained a $3 million loan through the USDA, so that’s how we’re able to afford moving forward. They’re also providing some guidance and oversight as to how to stay within our budget,” Chambers said.
“The USDA, they want to see this project come to fruition,” Britton said. “They’re real excited about the possibility of funding a health care facility.”
Ohio Hills also is seeking additional funding.
“We met with (Ohio Rep.) Jack Cera, (D-Bellaire) and introduced the project to him, which he was very excited to hear about. He’s committed his efforts to get us some (Capital Appropriations Bill funding),” Britton said.
That funding will go toward an emergency generator and equipment, he noted. Commissioners Tim Price, Mick Schumacher and Carl Davis signed a letter of support.
Britton said the building will be located at 584 Lewisville Road in Woodsfield, beside the Woodsfield Savings Bank. The structure is expected to encompass 12,500 square feet, and the parking lot would be expanded.
“Ohio Hills Health Services has been in Woodsfield since 1976, and we’ve rented a location since then, so this building will be our own and designed to meet the needs of the community moving forward,” Britton said. “We’ll have four physicians in the building. Currently we’re seeing more than 80 patients per day, which has been doubled over the last five years.”
He said this project will mean more services and available treatment.
“We’ll be having expanded hours because the community doesn’t have an ER and urgent care. We’re not trying to take the place of an ER and urgent care, but we will be offering expanded hours to meet the community needs,” he said. “We’ve already, in our current location, seen an expansion and growth in volume, and this new building will allow us to sustain that growth that we’ve seen, but also will allow us to further expand and provide additional services.” he said.
Ohio Hills will hire additional providers to expand hours, he added.
“Once we get in that new building, we will have expanded hours in the evenings. Whether it’s one night a week or three nights a week I’m not sure yet, but we won’t be Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.”
Ohio Hills will also offer walk-in services for acute care needs.
“We do that at all four of our sites, and it’s worked out very well,” he said, adding there is a lack of emergency care available in the area. The nearest emergency room is at Barnesville Hospital, located nearly 20 miles to the north.
“Being this far from a hospital, that is important,” Davis said. “I’m anxious to see dirt being pushed around.”
Britton said Ohio Hills will offer substance abuse rehabilitation programs. He said cardiologists and other services might also lease space, and providers will be able to use space for behavioral health services. There will be a community room in the basement.
“Medical, dental, behavioral health and rehab will be offered at this building at this point and time,” Britton said. “We want a building that’s going to allow us easy expansion so we can add on … another 50-by-50 wing on either side. We’ve got the ability to expand and grow when that time comes.
“The plan’s finalized. They’re developing the construction documents, reaching out to local contractors and engineers,” he said, adding the goal is to work with local tradespeople to keep costs down.