Financial Boost for New Merced Hospital

July 21, 2008 8:18:38 PM PDT
The massive new Mercy Medical Center is starting to take shape in north Merced. Construction crews are beginning and ending their days earlier to deal with the sweltering summer heat, and they're making very visible progress.Bob Ayers, Mercy Medical Center Capital Campaign: "It's awesome to watch it go up as fast as it's going up and to find out they're actually a week or so ahead of schedule."

The 265 thousand square foot hospital now has its first walls, windows, ceilings, and floors. The facility will eventually include 196 patient rooms, and will replace the hospital on 13th street that was built more than five decades ago.

Bob McLaughlin: "The facility is really built for the future of health care. The rooms are larger, and one of the things we're excited about is most of the rooms in the hospital are private rooms, so you won't have to share a room with anyone else."

The new Mercy Medical Center will be eight stories, or 150 feet high when it's complete. That will make it the tallest building in Merced. It's also one of just 2 privately funded hospitals currently being built in the state.

But a project of this size and scope doesn't come cheap. The 262 million dollar facility is funded primarily by catholic healthcare west, but a capital campaign is also underway. Monday morning the mercy medical center foundation presented a one million dollar check to the hospital.

Barry McAuley: "We're going to try to raise between 4 and 5 million dollars. We've already reached about half of that, and now we're going to the community and see if they can help us out too."

Construction is expected to be complete in December of 2009, and the new hospital is set to open its doors in the spring of 2010.

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