by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Mary Engler-Guccione, Joplin area
Skaggs Community Health Center of Branson marked the completion Nov. 23 of the first phase of its Skaggs Outpatient Center with the relocation of a city street. The hospital opened a new portion of
Skaggs Road, which runs along the southwest corner of the hospital, while closing a portion of Cahill Road, which runs through the hospital property.
The $650,000 road relocation project was necessary because a wing of the new five-story Skaggs Outpatient Center will cross Cahill to connect to the existing hospital building.
Cahill Road was rerouted as it provides the only access to a residential subdivision. The layout of the new road also will allow the number of patient parking spaces to be doubled at Skaggs Medical Plaza Two, a doctors' building that connects to the hospital,
With the completion of the road project, the next phase is the construction of a 350-space, four-level parking garage.
The prefabricated concrete slabs are in storage in Springfield and will be put in place beginning in mid-January; the garage should be completed by April.
Starting the first week of December, work was scheduled to begin on the footings and foundation for the new 112,000-square-foot, structural steel outpatient center. The final phase of construction will be the interior finish work. The center is scheduled to be completed by January 2000, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Skaggs Community Hospital.
According to Skaggs CEO Bob Phillips, the design-build contractor is FDS International of Irving, Texas, a full-service facilities development company that specializes in hospital construction. The $20 million project is being financed in part by monies from the hospital's reserve fund and by the issuance of bonds. The not-for-profit facility receives no tax support.
Developers say city needs a variety of housing types to meet demand.