Hospital Board Approves $9 Million Lab Project

Hospital Board Approves $9 Million Lab Project

An artist's mockup of the expanded lab entrance at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County. The hospital board recently approved a $9 million contract to expand and renovate the lab area. Image courtesy of MHSC

ROCK SPRINGS – Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County will get a renovated and expanded lab space in 2025 following action taken by the hospital’s board of directors Wednesday afternoon.

The board unanimously agreed to a contract with Groathouse Construction for a guaranteed maximum price of $9,005,.423 for the project. According to Treasurer Marty Kelsey, substantial completion of the project is expected to take place August 2025.

“Everything has really gone quite smoothly,” Kelsey said.

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The expansion will add about 3,000 square feet to the lab area which will allow for a new patient entrance, a large waiting area to accommodate multiple patients at once, private registration areas, ADA-compliant restrooms, and new phlebotomy rooms. Additionally, renovations to the back laboratory will accommodate testing equipment and improve workflow, while a 2,500 square-foot second floor area will be used for storage and new office space for the hospital foundation.

The idea to expand and renovate came about following the COVID-19 pandemic. In an email previously sent to SweetwaterNOW from former hospital foundation director Tiffany Marshall, the hospital discovered patients liked using the foundation entrance to access the lab without going through the hospital and checking in at multiple locations. The hospital received CARES Act funding from the State Lands and Investment Board (SLIB) for new lab testing equipment during the pandemic, which has become hard to accommodate in the current lab layout. The hospital’s leadership decided the future needs of the lab needed to be addressed and when ARPA funds were released by the federal government, Marshall wrote a grant to SLIB.

Overall, the total cost to the hospital is approximately $350,000. The grant from SLIB amounts to $4.35 million and requires a one-to-one match. The county commissioners dedicated $3 million to the project while the foundation committed another $1 million, along with the proceeds of the 2024 Red Tie Gala in February.

“We are so grateful to the Board of County Commissioners and the Memorial Hospital Foundation for providing matching funds for our Laboratory Expansion and Renovation Project,” CEO Irene Richardson said in a statement emailed to SweetwaterNOW. “This is going to be a great addition to our hospital campus that will improve our patient’s experience.”