Health Care

Wesley hospital wants to spend $100 million on upgrades and add more jobs

Wesley Medical Center is seeking up to $100 million in industrial revenue bonds for renovations and "substantial investment" in medical and surgical units. (Oct. 25, 2017)
Wesley Medical Center is seeking up to $100 million in industrial revenue bonds for renovations and "substantial investment" in medical and surgical units. (Oct. 25, 2017) File photo

Wesley Medical Center may spend up to $100 million on renovation and expansion — and add more jobs.

The hospital at Central and Hillside plans to seek that amount in industrial revenue bonds from Wichita. The City Council is expected to consider the request sometime in June.

That's according to city documents, which said the employer of more than 3,000 would use the money from the sale of the bonds to renovate its 760-bed hospital at 550 N. Hillside, pending approval from its corporate parent. The bonds are essentially low-interest loans that companies have to repay. They are used for capital improvement projects.

"Potential improvements include renovation of the neurological intensive care unit . . . and substantial investment in multiple new medical and surgical units, as well as substantial upgrades to its emergency department," the documents said.

In return for the bonds request, Wesley would add 66 more jobs at an average annual salary of $60,000 over the next seven years, the documents said.

Wesley spokesman Allen Poston said Monday he doesn't expect the request to go to the council until sometime in June. He would not talk about details of the project.

"We'll want to wait until it works its way through the process," said Poston, Wesley's vice president of marketing and public relations.

Even with the council's approval, the documents said the improvements are not guaranteed. The hospital would use the IRB approval "to make the request to its parent company, Hospital Corporation of America, to make substantial investments in Wichita," the documents said.

Unlike most IRB requests from businesses, Wesley is only seeking a sales tax exemption on the improvements.

Most IRB requests include both a sales tax exemption as well as a tax abatement on the property that is being improved.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark
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