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Voters approve hospital bond

ARLINGTON Friends of the Cascade Valley Hospital celebrated big Tuesday, May 15, when Cascade Valley Hospitals bond request for $45 million was approved by voters in a result that shows people will pay for taxes in a life or death situation.
Even before 8 p.m. when the polls closed May 15, votes in favor of the bond had already passed 72 percent. The bond required a 60 percent supermajority to pass.
Current results, as of Friday, May 18, have the yes count at 71.29 percent.
Its absolutely wonderful to get this firm, solid support from the community, said hospital administrator Clark Jones after a long list of thank yous was presented by the campaign committee co-chair, Dale Duskin.
Duskins enthusiasm was matched by all the 80-plus attendees, just a portion of the team of community members who helped the campaign in a variety of ways, from a letter-to-the-editor campaign to phone calling and brochure design and production.
Now we can move forward on the schematic design, working simultaneously with the architects, designers and contractor and builders in a new approach called a design-bid-build contract, Jones said.
We will get started as soon as that approach is approved, Jones said.
One of the most common reactions among those in attendance was amazement.
How come the schools cant do this? was perhaps the one comment repeated by the most people.
The chairman of the CVH Board of Directors, Margo Powell expressed appreciation to all the committee as well as to Jones, for being the bean counter.
This is an awesome area. I am proud to be a part of this community, Powell said.
Duskin thanked a whole list of volunteers: the subcommittee chair persons, and all the people who helped make phone calls to remind people to vote in support of the hospital.
And to Connie DeGregorio the glue who held it all together. DeGregorio is assistant administrator at CVH.
The campaign started on a snowy day in January, and now it ends on a bright sunny spring day, Duskin said, with a big smile on his face. His fellow co-chair, retired commissioner Ray McClure said it more succinctly, Thanks.
The $45 million will be used to expand the emergency room thus reducing wait times; it will provide state-of-the-art medical diagnosis technology and improve the efficiency of the north Snohomish County facility over all. The expansion will replace the 1958 cement-block building, which now houses administrative offices. The three-story building built in the late 1980s will be renovated and services reconfigured for operational efficiency.
The hospital administrators are seeking permission from the state General Contractors Construction Manager Review Board to proceed with the remodel project in a slightly different format than is traditional, said Jones. In this scenario, the project is designed with the architect and designers working together with the contractor, so that the building process is part of the design concept.
It comes in handy for hospitals where we need to continue offering services during construction, Jones explained. The review board will consider this proposal June 15.
If all goes well, we could break ground this fall, Jones said.

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