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Via Christi renovating waiting rooms, cafeterias at St. Francis, St. Joseph

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at 9:01 a.m.

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Two Via Christi hospitals in Wichita are undergoing a $5 million renovation of public spaces that is expected to be complete by this summer.

The projects are taking place at St. Francis and St. Joseph, and include lobbies, cafeterias and waiting rooms.

“It’s dated,” said Art Huber, senior administrator for facilities for Via Christi Hospitals. “It was the ’70s or ’80s the last time these spaces were renovated.”

“At St. Francis, it will be a whole new look. We’re opening up the front entrance to make for a better flow and more natural entry so you can see where you’re going, and it will be much more intuitive directionally to walk in and know where to go.”

Most services will continue as usual at both locations, Huber said, with temporary partitions in place to block off construction work.

During construction, the employees-only dining space on the upper level at St. Francis will be closed, and all dining services will be in the Garden Market. When the construction is done, the Garden Market will be closed and food services will be upstairs, Huber said.

“We want a better environment for our patients and our staff. When you enter a Via Christi facility, we want a common feel and look and aspect of nature, which provides a more healing environment,” Huber said.

Toward that goal, Via Christi will incorporate more natural colors and lighting, as well as nature-themed artwork.

The renovation is in addition to the $20 million per year Via Christi has allocated for hospital improvements, most of which is going toward making all patient rooms private rooms at St. Francis and St. Joseph.

Project architect is Howard and Helmer. The Law Co. is contractor for the lobbies. Conco is contractor for the cafeterias, and Eby Construction is doing the waiting rooms.

St. Francis is also undergoing a $50,000 exterior project, including an outdoor picnic area and garden on the west side of the campus. That project also is expected to be completed this summer. Brady Nursery has been hired for the garden’s design and construction.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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