Valley View expansion continues |

Valley View expansion continues

As Valley View Hospital staff settle into their new digs in the high-rise addition, workers are continuing the expansion.

Mike Biles, director of facilities management for the hospital, brought the Garfield County Commissioners up to date on the expansion last week.

With a number of departments moving into the new building, Biles said other departments are expanding outward into the vacated space. Surgery recently moved into the space left open when radiology and the family birthing place left to move into the new building.

On tap are new operating rooms, recovery room beds and day surgery, Biles said. That work is expected to take 14 months.

“We are finishing the final design for cardiology” department, he said, that will feature a new state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab. Associated with the lab will be a new critical care unit, Biles said.

Both are expected to be opened in March.

Cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic tool used to test for heart disease and can be used to determine pressure and blood flow in the heart’s chambers, collect blood samples from the heart, and examine the arteries of the heart.

With the addition of the catheterization lab, Valley View moves to another level of service in the valley.

“It puts the building blocks in place for it to be a regional health center (as it’s strategically located between Grand Junction and Denver),” said hospital board member Mark Gould.

Also new, and which will be very visible at the front of the building, is a helicopter landing pad.

Work on the helipad will begin in February or March and be completed in August or September, he said.

Once the components of phase two are completed, according to its master plan, the hospital will embark on phase three, which will involve the build-out of the acute care unit for medical surgical patients and will feature all private beds, Biles said.

“If it survives, we’ll also expand acute rehab,” he said. Acute rehab treats patients needing rehabilitation after surgery such as hip replacement. The program has suffered significant funding cut backs recently and is in danger of being discontinued.

Following that phase of expansion, the hospital will redesign its loading dock on Blake Avenue.

Biles said the hospital has had problems with delivery trucks sticking out into the road and impeding traffic.

In order to construct what Biles called a “service court,” the hospital would have to expand toward the Mountain View building just south on Blake, which is owned by the county.

Finally, the last leg of the plan will involve tearing down the original hospital building constructed in 1955 and expanded in 1962.

“It allows more space out front,” Biles said, and will move the hospital entrance farther away from the intersection of 19th Street and Blake Avenue.

Valley View has also applied to the city of Glenwood Springs for a variance to erect a sign at the entrance to the building, hospital CEO Gary Brewer said.

County Commissioner John Martin urged caution in its expansion plans, especially as it pertains to the hospital’s old building and the Mountain View building.

“You need to be sensitive to historic preservation,” he said.

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