Sometimes, when a new project idea is unveiled in this community, people are often told that it will take several steps to finance, design, and eventually complete.

Oftentimes, the larger the proposed project is, the more time local residents have to wait before the idea becomes a reality.

Fortunately, this has not been the case with the new St. Charles hospital in Prineville. Work began toward building a new hospital in August 2012 when St. Charles Health Systems and Pioneer Memorial Hospital completed a join feasibility study to look at the viability of building a new health care facility. By March, the decision had been made to close down PMH to make way for the new hospital. Only one month later, St. Charles announced that they had chosen the Ochoco Lumber site for the new facility. Then, in late August, St. Charles held an open house to unveil not only their hospital design, including the floor plan, but also their site plan for the entire surrounding property.

Once the ground thawed, and a wastewater issue had been resolved, construction began, and to commemorate the occasion, they held a groundbreaking ceremony last week.

We commend not only St. Charles, but the City of Prineville for making this project move swiftly. So far, less than two years have passed since the first public mention of a new hospital and citizens will soon see the walls go. By fall 2015, if all goes as planned, Crook County residents will have a new hospital to replace one built more than 60 years ago.

The entities involved have not only managed to move quickly, and avoid the snags that so often slow down major projects, they have kept the public involved with open house events, where input was taken into consideration prior to shovels hitting the ground.

We understand, based on the amount of time other projects can take, that this is no small achievement and we applaud the effort. We can’t wait to see the finished project.

Contract Publishing

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