Reid Health Planning $100M Connersville Campus

Reid Health Planning $100M Connersville Campus

Reid Health has big plans for its presence in the city of Connersville, plans that will keep the health system in the community for generations to come.

The Reid Health Governing Board gave its approval for a new state-of-the-art campus in Connersville, a $100 million-plus investment that represents Reid’s continued commitment to the community now and well into the future.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to formally mark the beginning of construction at the former Kmart property, 2500 Park Road. Reid acquired the site in early 2021 and removed the long-standing eyesore that the former retail building had become.

The new facility will replace the current building at 1941 Virginia Ave., which traces its origins back more than 100 years. The complex’s age — along with maintenance that was deferred as previous owner Fayette Regional Health System experienced financial difficulties — made building a new campus the more financially sound option over renovating the current location.

“We want to bring to Connersville and the Fayette County region a very updated, logically laid out, well-planned facility that has services they need and want to have in their backyard,” said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO.

“It’s going to give the region access to top-level, state-of-the-art care tailored to the needs of Fayette County. This facility will provide patients with a place to receive a very high level of service in an outpatient setting without having to travel. We believe this investment will be a source of pride in the community for decades to come.”

 

Most Efficient, Cost-Effective Solution

The Virginia Avenue complex, as it now sits, represents 100 years’ worth of construction and renovation projects, from the original sections on the north end of the site to the most recent addition built in the 1990s. The result is a location that can’t easily be remade to meet the needs of a modern healthcare facility.

Some sections sit unused because of the prohibitive costs associated with necessary renovations. Others, such as the Emergency Department, are simply too small. The outdated spaces have been challenging to retrofit and update with new technologies, workflows, and services. A new facility will provide a clean slate to build a campus that can accommodate today’s technologies and tomorrow’s innovations.

In addition to the space limitations, there are expensive repairs needed for HVAC equipment, the roof, windows, and other systems that are either at the end of their lifecycle or already past it. For example, the boilers and chillers need to be replaced, a multimillion-dollar maintenance expense on its own that would create downtime in building usage.

Put together, it became clear to Reid officials the most efficient, cost-effective solution would be to start over.

“It came down to how do you handle the challenges of renovating a building that for decades had been providing certain services, that has a lot of lifecycle problems — a lot of things that probably based on the financial condition of Fayette Regional they couldn’t get to — and it just became obvious to us the best solution was to build a replacement facility and configure that in a way that makes sense for healthcare today,” Kinyon said.

Plans at this point call for a two-story, 177,000-square-foot facility with more than 400 parking spaces and an onsite helipad. Reid is working with architectural firm HKS to design the new campus. HKS is a worldwide company and widely recognized as the premier healthcare design firm in the United States.

The new building is anticipated to be finished in 2024, depending on weather and other factors that commonly impact construction. Supply chain issues also could affect the availability of needed materials.

Skanska USA Building Inc. and joint venture partner Shook Construction were approved Monday night by the Reid Health Governing Board as the health system’s primary construction partner. Shook and Reid Health have a long history of successful projects including the construction of new Primary & Specialty Care facilities in Winchester and Brookville. Shook is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and has offices located in Richmond.

“Like any Reid project, we choose to work with local contractors whenever possible and that will remain true for this project,” said Jeff Cook, Director of Engineering for Reid Health. “We look forward to having local participation in the building of this facility.”

 

Fate of Current Facility

Once the new campus is open, work will turn to the current complex on Virginia Avenue.

“For all the reasons and concerns that the building doesn’t make sense for us, I’m not sure it would make sense for anybody else,” Kinyon said. “Like most hospitals, it’s unusually configured for being flexible or usable for other sorts of spaces. I think it would be challenging for someone to take over the building.

“Our plan — unless something else comes to light — is to tear it down, fill in the hole, level the dirt, and put grass down. From there, we’ll see where we go. It could be sold at that point or gifted over. The board will address that issue after talking with the community and figuring out what’s the best solution.”

 

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