The shovels hit paydirt on Tuesday morning as work is underway on the $30.5 million renovation project of the OSF Center for Health-Streator.
“We’re very excited as far as the construction, and you can see here things are moving along schedule and, knock on wood, a little ahead of schedule,” said Vice President of Ambulatory Services Don Damron. “So we’ve really been pleased with the work and we’re also extremely appreciative of the community’s patience through our ‘pardon our dust’ phase.”
The exterior renovations began April 9 as a portion of the main parking lot has been taken up by construction equipment while the canopy and surrounding area is demolished.
Patients and visitors have been asked to enter through the emergency room entrance for the time being.
The Rev. Father Michael Driscoll was on hand to say a short prayer and bless the construction site.
OSF St. Elizabeth President Ken Beutke said the new renovations continue the organization’s goal to implement a rural health care system to serve the city of Streator.
Beutke said the project was the result of planning, work and community feedback.
Jack Dzuris, OSF Healthcare Foundation Council and feedback committee member, said the feedback committee meets a monthly basis to go over concerns.
“Some people are happy the improvements are being made and some people, quite honestly, they feel maybe we could spend money on others things,” Dzuris said. “But we’re trying to answer the question of how to keep Streator healthy and that’s what it’s all about.”
He added in addition to OSF’s services, other health-based community organizations will have a home inside the building.
Dzuris himself has been happy with the direction being taken and looks forward to seeing continued growth in the facility.
“I think OSF has shown they want to be here, they’re going to provide a good quality staff and service and a good product,” Dzuris said.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he added. “I think this is going to be great and I think it’s another positive action going on in Streator.”
The project is in phase one, which consists of relocating offices temporarily while interior demolition begins. Therapy services have moved to the sixth floor, infusion services have moved to the fifth floor and occupational health has moved to the fifth floor.
Construction of phase one includes the laboratory and is expected to be complete in the middle of June, according to OSF Project Manager De Hardenburg.
The St. Francis Hall demolition has been completed which will be used as a parking lot.
Construction has also grown to include the second floor, which is currently unoccupied. The rehabilitation and orthopedic departments will be located on the second floor with windows overlooking the lobby. The second-floor work was expected to be a part of phase two, but that schedule has been moved forward due to the floor’s vacant use.
The other entrance will be blocked off during phase two, which is expected to last until just after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Hardenburg said the construction effort has gone well so far despite the need to continuously relocate offices to fit the construction schedule.
The following two phases will include additional interior renovations including diagnostics as well as the new community center with a final completion date expected in August 2019.
While a number of offices and structures are being moved around, the hospital’s community bricks already have a home selected for them.
The bricks, which were removed prior to construction, will be cleaned and restored prior to being relocated to the Community Education entrance.
The bricks are expected to be available for public viewing in summer 2019.
For more information and updates on the construction effort, you can visit osfhealthcare.org/locations/streator/about/construction/