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Hospital breaks ground, honors those involved
ARLINGTON The ground was already broken into many little pieces when Cascade Valley Hospital held its ground-breaking party Saturday, May 31, since prep work has been going on for a couple of months already.
Nonetheless, hospital commissioners, administrators and architects on the project took their golden shovels to some gravel in a symbolic gesture that launched the hospital expansion that will add 40,000-square-feet of new building funded by last years bond.
Prep work started in April when the front lobby was boarded up and the MRI building was lifted onto blocks in preparation for its move to a temporary location. The move went forward Monday, June 2.
Friends and families of hospital staff, doctors and administrators gathered with community members in the soon-to-disappear former parking lot.
Project managers from Hoffman Construction were introduced and Ray McClure was announced as the guest of honor: He will be the newest addition on the hospitals Wall of Honor when the hospital reopens in September 2009.
I am definitely honored to join the ranks of those already on the wall. Not only the former commissioners Bob Evans, Bill Roal and Esther Wright, but also former doctors who served the community including Gerard Hook, Sam Neibel, Norm Zook, Dale Huber and Ben Burgoyne, who was in attendance.
The hospital administrator in charge of managing the construction project, Connie DeGregorio described the criteria for getting on the wall.
Any employee or volunteer who served 20 years and who offered more than their job required, DeGregorio explained.
McClure spoke briefly, asking the crowd to give themselves a hand for supporting the bond. He also shared a personal experience when he was a younger man and the hospital healed his wounds after a work accident.
I was pretty banged up, McClure said. I was very glad to have this hospital in our community. Otherwise I would have had to go all the way to Everett. I am sure you all have stories to tell, McClure concluded on the importance of having a hospital in town.
Following the shoveling, the crowd crossed the street to the new parking lots developed in recent years in the long-term planning for this project.
The crowd lined up for barbecued burgers and hot dogs, viewed photographs of the stages of the hospital through the past century and got tested for different health issues. Kids enjoyed a bicycle rodeo and bouncy house. Tents were set up earlier in the morning by the EMS crew of seven under the direction of Harold Smith.
Cascade Valley Hospital Commissioners:
Margo Powell, chair
Construction advisory committee
Kay Duskin, chair