On a gray and rain-soaked Thursday afternoon, Mount Carmel Health Systems officially began construction on a new Grove City facility.
On Sept. 27, officials from the city, Mount Carmel, Jackson Township and state, national and regional offices huddled under a tent for a groundbreaking and blessing of Mount Carmel's new 36,775-square-foot emergency care center and 68,215-square-foot medical office building at 5525 Hoover Road.
The rain eventually cleared long enough for a ceremonial shoveling of dirt by a number of the project's shareholders.
"Our goal is to make this very supportive and integrated with the community," said Claus Von Zychlin, CEO of Mount Carmel Health Systems. "We are certainly proud to be a partner with you and look forward to your continued growth and our growth right along with you."
Among the speakers was Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage, who said it was a "wonderful, wonderful day for our community."
"The city of Grove City has been truly blessed by Mount Carmel," Stage said. "We now have world-class medical facilities for our community."
Also among the speakers was Jackson Township Fire Chief Lloyd Sheets, who said the project will help people.
"Our department is really excited," he said. "There are many patients who will come here ... we can get back in service quicker."
Dr. Robert Griffith, president of Mount Carmel's medical staff, also spoke about the importance of "better, more timely care."
"The timing of treatment is absolutely vital," Griffith said. "We have very interested and motivated physicians ... As an emergency-room physician, I hope you never need our services, but we will be there if you do."
Griffith also said the facility is projected to open by late 2013.
On Sept. 4, Grove City Council authorized an economic development agreement between the city and Mount Carmel pertaining to the new facility.
By Oct. 31, 2013, Grove City is expected to widen and extend North Meadows Drive from its current intersection at state Route 665 to the intersection of Hoover and Holton roads, running parallel along I-71.
On Sept. 17, council also voted to appropriate $1,505,288 toward engineering and land acquisition expenses related toward these capital improvements. The whole project is expected to cost $12.5 million.
Mount Carmel is contributing $3 million toward construction of the extended road as well as the land needed for the road, a $1.5 million value.
Additionally, the city expects to receive grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Public Works Commission totaling $1.38 million and an interest-free loan from the commission of $400,000.