Grand River in midst of $18 million Rifle expansion
RIFLE — The services will increase with Grand River Health’s expansion project, but the cost of the care will not.
The hospital is undergoing an $18 million expansion project that will be done in two phases. The first is construction of an “Anti-Aging” institute and women’s health services on the third floor of the main building. The second phase will include two new surgery suites and accompanying support services. The hospital hopes to eventually add obstetrics services if a bond issue going out in 2017 is passed.
“That’s one of the number one things people want,” said Annick Pruett, community relations director for GRH. “A lot of people would prefer to have their children close to home.”
A new parking lot to accommodate the increase in hospital staff has already been constructed on the north end of GRH property.
“We started construction in late summer and we expect to finish the first phase of this project by early 2015,” Pruett said.
The expansion was needed with the increase of physicians went from 19 to 47, according to Pruett.
“Every time we add a physician, it creates about five new jobs, from radiologists, lab technicians and nurses,” Pruett said. “And these are all primary jobs that come with benefits.”
In the next year, Grand River Health expects to add more physicians and create approximately 20 more jobs.
The construction company is FCI Construction out of Grand Junction and the majority of the workers being used on the expansion are from the local area.
“That was a real clincher for us that we used local workers,” Pruett said. “Health care construction is very regulated from the codes and construction to day-to-day operations.”
The third floor construction encompasses more than 21,000 square feet, that includes a reception area, offices, a large break room, exam and treatment rooms and a consultation area,
The new surgical units will be on the northeast end of the main building and will be another 11,500 square feet.
Materials for the third floor construction have been brought in through a window to eliminate any patient disruption in the floors below.
“We’ve tried to make this as seamless as possible so we don’t interrupt services,” Pruett said. “We’ll start the second phase next spring and that should be done by early 2016.”
The expansion is part of Grand River Health’s goal to offer more services to the community.
“We will be able to service the needs of our community and beyond,” Pruett said. “We do a lot of primary care and being a community hospital, we accept Medicare and Medicaid, which some private physicians do not.”
Grand River Health also operates the E. Dene Moore Care Center in Rifle and the Grand River Health Clinic West in Battlement Mesa.
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Monday’s arrival of the Garfield Re-2 School District’s mask mandate was met by an organized protest and march in Rifle.