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Olathe Approves Bond Funding For Hospital Expansion

One of the biggest hospitals in the southern part of metropolitan Kansas City is about to get even bigger.

The Olathe City Council this week approved $47.1 million in bonds on behalf of Olathe Medical Center to help finance expansion of the hospital. The project carries an estimated $67 million dollar price tag.

“Projects of this magnitude show the commitment Olathe Medical Center has to this city and this region,” Erin Vader, a spokeswoman for the city, said in a phone interview.

The expansion calls for a 25,000 square foot-cancer center and a 105,000 square-foot patient-room tower for obstetrics and neonatal intensive care. Plans also envision a new entrance, kitchen and dining area.

The hospital, not the city, will be responsible for repaying the bonds.

The first phase of construction is expected to get underway by April.

Olathe Medical Center occupies nearly 250 acres at Interstate 35 and 151st Street. The 300-bed facility treats more than 42,000 patients annually.

In September, the hospital opened a $4.3 million, freestanding inpatient hospice with eight beds. The hospital eventually hopes to expand it to 32 beds.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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