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Work begins on new Bayview emergency medical services building

Work began last week on Whidbey General Hospital’s new emergency medical services building at Bayview.

A fence has been put up around the construction site, and heavy equipment moved in.

The 4,500-square-foot structure, funded by a levy approved in 2006 and to be built along Highway 525 near Bayview Road, is designed by Mahlum Architects of Seattle and is expected to cost about $2.2 million total.

The building is being constructed by Corstone Contractor of Snohomish, whose winning bid was $1,348,000 for the structure. The bid was one of six submitted.

The building will have three vehicle bays and will accommodate six people. It will feature broad planes, prominent visibility and natural wood siding, and will reflect the rural character of nearby farms, according to designers. The vehicle bays will face the highway.

It will replace the current facility in Freeland, and will be a more efficient location to serve the hospital’s emergency medical coverage area in the South End, hospital officials said.

The project is one of two that will make Bayview the hub for South End medical services offered by Whidbey General.

Plans also are moving forward on the long-discussed Whidbey General South Healthcare Services Center, to be built on hospital-owned property across Highway 525 from Casey’s Red Apple Market.

The hospital board last month approved acquiring $18 million in revenue bonds to construct the two-story center.

The 24,000-square-foot structure, also designed by Mahlum Architects, is projected to cost about $10 million and would centralize patient services offered on the South End.

It is expected to offer home healthcare, a rural health clinic, a lab, rehabilitation services, digital imaging, oncology and medical ambulatory care, a wellness center and community outreach and education.

An urgent-care and walk-in clinic may also be included if there’s enough money available, officials said.

Final plans for the health center are expected to be completed in the next few months.

Construction is scheduled to begin next spring and the building is expected to be completed a year later.

When the new health services center opens, the current rural health clinic operated by the hospital in Clinton will close, said hospital spokeswoman Trish Rose.

The Clinton clinic, in a storefront along Highway 525 at Ken’s Korner just north of Lumbermen’s Building Center, has no room to expand at a time when the number of patient visits continues to increase, Rose said.

Last year, the clinic, with only four exam rooms, had more than 7,000 visitors, she said.

Roy Jacobson can be reached at 221-5300 or rjacobson@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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