Work should begin within the next two weeks, and possibly as early as Monday, on a new hospital near Arkansas City.
Ben Hutton, vice president of Hutton Construction, said the new hospital, to be built about two miles north of town, should be finished in February 2011.
Hutton Construction is the design-builder for the hospital, working with architect Perkins & Will.
The hospital will replace the South Central Kansas Regional Medical Center, built in Arkansas City in the early 1950s. Construction of the one-story hospital is being financed in part by a 10-year, half-cent sales tax that Arkansas City voters approved in 2008. The city will own the hospital; its operations are overseen by a hospital board.
Hutton said the hospital will have 36 beds, along with an emergency room, operating rooms, pharmacy, laboratory and "everything a hospital has."
The building will be on about 15 acres along U.S. 77, near Strother Field. The city owns 168 acres there, offering room for expansion and development of other medical services.
The hospital will have about 62,000 square feet and a guaranteed maximum cost of just less than $16.5 million, Hutton said.
Hutton Construction was hired about six months ago, Hutton said, but planning for a new hospital has been in the works for years. Earth work could begin as early as Monday, depending on the weather.