KDMC announces plans for major expansion

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 4, 2004

ASHLAND Ky. - King's Daughters Medical Center officials announced at a Thursday press conference a $66.3 million expansion venture - the largest in the hospital's history - that will bring the total campus size to more than 1 million square feet.

The largest and most expensive project is the $43.5 million Heart and Vascular Center, scheduled to open in two years. The three-story building will have medical center access via skywalk and expansion could include 10 floors. The 120,000 square foot building will extend to Bath Avenue.

Dr. Richard Paulus, medical director for the center, said he remembered when he came to KDMC in 1990 his first office was a trailer.

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"Since then, there have been a lot of changes," he said.

Construction began in April with the

$15 million physicians' and surgical weight loss facilities called Medical Plaza B. The three-story structure can also expand to include 10 floors. Power plant expansions account for $2.5 million of the cost. Opening is set for May 2005.

A five-floor, $5.5 million parking deck to be built on one of the current parking lots will hold 526 vehicles and can be extended to eight stories.

The hospitality house construction will begin in the fall. The $2.3 million project is slated to open in the summer of next year. King's Daughters Health Foundation has raised $1.6 million so far to finance the project.

Summer of 2005 is the scheduled time for the hospitality house to open it's doors. The two-story structure will provide lodging, a community kitchen, a living room, laundry facilities and a reception area for a minimal fee.

KDMC President and CEO Fred Jackson said the medical center needs more expansion because of community needs.

"We are privileged that more and more people choose King's Daughters for their healthcare and as a result, we are consistently operating at our capacity," he said.

Jackson said expansion projects are not only about the hospital.

"They are about our surrounding community and the overall region," he said.

Board Chairman David Jones said expansions will bring more than 400 construction jobs that will benefit local subcontractors/suppliers and restaurants. After completion of all expansions, 500 additional employees will be needed bringing KDMC payroll to $155 million.

Final approval for expansions were approved May 24 by KDMC Board of Directors.

"Every decision is made right here in Ashland, Ky., not by a corporation hundreds of miles away," Jackson said.