Trip to hospital will be fun Saturday in Rifle

by Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

RIFLE – The clock is ticking fast towards the grand opening of the new Grand River Medical Center in Rifle on Saturday.

From 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, the doors at 501 Airport Road will open wide to the public, when the medical center’s staff and administration celebrates the grand opening of the new building.

Kris Swanson, public relations director of the Grand River Hospital District, said she’s looking forward to showing off the center.

“We’ll have guided tours of the building, which will take roughly an hour or so, and we’ll have a barbeque for folks after they finish the tour,” she said. “This is a great time to see the center, and the only time people will be able to tour the entire building before access to the hospital is secured.”

Swanson said local Masons will be joined by Masons from Denver to lay the final cornerstone at 2 p.m., and a Boy Scout troop from Rifle will send up the flagpole an American flag that previously flew over the U.S. Capitol.

Third District Congressman Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction, will be on hand with other local dignitaries.

Nice place to visit

On Tuesday, workers were putting the final touches on the hospital’s electronically operated cherry wood doors, while sparkling new hospital beds sat in the center’s hallways, waiting to be assigned a room.

This isn’t just a hospital. The new building is being called a medical center since it not only replaces Clagett Memorial Hospital, but also contains a medical clinic, a rehabilitation and therapy center and physicians offices.

And it doesn’t look very much like a hospital. Sure, there is an emergency room, bright white operating rooms and in-patient rooms, but special touches take the sting out of the typical, sterile hospital atmosphere.

Outside, stonework curves around the entranceway, making the place look more like a hotel than a medical care center.

Inside, giant squares of dark, textured slate and deep wood accents mimic the mountains outside.

The in-patient rooms all have rosewood flooring, and a sunroom offers big windows, stained glass and views across the valley.

“We tried to use as many local contractors as we could in this building,” Swanson said.

The center’s medical office building opened March 31 for patient office visits.

Staff and administrators from the the new rehabilitation center and hospital won’t start moving into the building until May 16. The hospital will be fully up and operational by May 19.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

grand river medical center grand opening celebration

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

501 Airport Road, Rifle

Public tours, food, door prizes

2 p.m.: Official ribbon cutting and cornerstone ceremony

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