Lawrence City Commission to review details of new medical facility

This rendering shows a proposed Lawrence Memorial Hospital outpatient facility that would be located in west Lawrence, bordered by Kansas Highway 10 and Rock Chalk Park.

At its work session Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will hear more about Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s plans to build a 200,000-square-foot medical facility on the northwestern edge of Lawrence.

The commission received an economic incentives application from LMH last week requesting that the city issue up to $65 million in hospital revenue bonds to finance the project, which the hospital will repay using its revenue. At the work session, the commission will receive a presentation that will provide details about the facility and project timeline.

The hospital’s application for the bonds states that the services offered at the new medical facility are expected to meet the existing and long-term health needs as Lawrence grows and attract patients from throughout the region.

“This facility will enhance the ability of the Lawrence medical community to attract and retain physicians and other providers to our community,” the application states. “This is a vital strategy for addressing future forecasts of a significant gap between physician needs in our community and the supply to meet those needs.”

The new facility will be built on a 20-acre site northeast of the intersection of Kansas Highway 10 and West Sixth Street, according to the application. The area is just south of Rock Chalk Park. The hospital expects the project will create 15-30 new jobs with salaries ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 per year.

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In January, the hospital announced details of the new facility, which will provide a number of outpatient services. Plans call for a complex of doctors’ offices, outpatient surgery rooms, physical rehab centers and other services on the site. The project’s price tag is estimated at $93 million.

In addition to the new building, the funds will be used to make improvements to the hospital’s main site in northern Lawrence, as well as make improvements to the medical building located at 1112 W. Sixth St, according to the application.

The new medical center is expected to be complete in late 2019 or early 2020, according to the application.

LMH is a municipal hospital and is run by a board of trustees. Members of the board are appointed by the mayor and subject to City Commission approval.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.