Renovations to hospital awaiting approval

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 3, 2006

Plans for renovations and new construction to Crenshaw Community Hospital are awaiting approval, which Hospital Administrator Jim McKnight hopes will be coming in April.

The hospital had originally held a groundbreaking ceremony in September of 2005 for the new renovations, but after the immense destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the increase in construction costs put the project on hold.

&#8220We thought we'd be under construction by last October or so,” McKnight said. &#8220But, Katrina caused such an increase in construction costs, the Healthcare Authority had to go back and obtain additional financing, and that has taken extra time.”

McKnight said that with the additional costs in construction, the hospital renovation project exceeded the state of Alabama's threshold for a waiver for the Certificate of Need process, which is a permit to proceed with the project.

The Healthcare Authority and hospital management have submitted the required applications for the renovations, which will be considered April 18, according to McKnight. If approved, construction would begin immediately.

&#8220We have every reason to believe that it will be eventually approved, and we are extremely hopeful that it will occur on April 18,” McKnight said.

Renovations and new construction to Crenshaw Community Hospital include a new emergency room, a new kitchen, the replacement of the roof of the hospital, plus renovations and refurbishment of storage areas, the front entrance and lobby area, as well as surgery and labor and delivery departments.