WEST CENTRAL TRIBUNE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 234 2013 – 2:06 AM
OLIVIA — The Renville County Hospital and Clinics has obtained financing from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development to build a new health care facility on the east side of Olivia.
The hospital received confirmation that it would be receiving the low-interest financing earlier this month, according to Nathan Blad, CEO of the county-owned health care operation.
It is now finalizing agreements for interim financing for the project with AgStar of Mankato and local financial institutions.“It’s very much a community effort,” said Blad of the process to obtain the USDA-Rural Development funding. It will make possible the construction a 62,000-square-foot facility on a 43-acre site along U.S. Highway 212 in Olivia.
The financing will fund 80 percent of the project, with AgStar and other local commercial institutions providing the remainder.
A decision made earlier this year to pursue the funding — despite the added time that might require — should significantly reduce financing costs. Blad said the Rural Development option offers long-term financing at a fixed interest rate of 3.5 percent.
The hospital has a purchase agreement to acquire the property for the new campus site, and can now go forward to close on the land, noted Blad.
The hospital is working with Pope Architects to develop bidding documents. If all goes as expected, a groundbreaking could take place in the spring. Occupancy of a new facility is projected for late August or early September 2015.
Blad said a “modern, state of the art” facility will allow the hospital and clinics to improve the delivery of health care services to the Renville County area, as well as expand the services available on-site.
Expanded obstetrics and surgical offerings will be made possible. The hospital and clinics have been adding providers to expand its on-campus and outreach services, he noted.
“You have to continue to invest, look forward and be optimistic going forward to give your constituency the services they need,” Blad said.
The health care facilities will be leaving a landlocked campus in Olivia originally constructed in 1951.