CALDWELL, ID — With Wednesday’s groundbreaking, West Valley Medical Center continued its commitment to offer southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon residents more local options when making important healthcare decisions.

About 30 people gathered at 12:30 p.m. at the hospital’s Caldwell campus to watch CEO Betsy Hunsicker and other members of West Valley’s leadership team break ground on a $6.25 million expansion and renovation of its surgery department. The project will add 2,771 square feet of operating and recovery space to the hospital’s current 10,900-square-foot surgical department. “Whether it’s an unplanned emergency or an elective procedure to improve quality of life, we are proud to provide our friends and neighbors with access to highly skilled surgeons and staff and top of the line operating facilities,” Hunsicker said.

Groundbreaking of the new surgery centerAn attached building will be constructed in the current parking area for a new pre-operative Day Surgery Unit and recovery room for post-operative patients. This new space will include three new rooms for surgical patients, bringing the hospital’s total to 12. A new, larger family waiting area will be located within the expansion, as well as a new staff lounge.

A new 609-square-foot operating room — the hospital’s fifth — will be added as part of the 5,755- square-foot renovation to the current surgery department. The renovation will also include increased storage space for the surgery department and a new high-filtration ventilation system for enhanced patient safety.

In order to accommodate this expansion, 10th Avenue will close briefly to through-traffic from Wednesday, March 25, to Friday, March 27, between Logan and Elm streets for an upgrade to existing sewer lines. These dates fall during spring break for local schools. With no school buses on the roads and many local residents out of town, the temporary disruption to traffic will be minor.

The construction costs for this project — slated for completion in January 2016 — are estimated at $3.6 million, with a total investment of $6.25 million. The hospital partnered with Gould Turner Group for architectural services; Batten and Shaw Construction Management will serve as contractor.

“We consider this expansion and renovation to be an investment in the health of our patients, but also in the future of our community,” Shawn Lindsay, executive director of Perioperative Services, told the crowd.

The project will enable West Valley to support its many surgical specialties, including as neurology; orthopedics; ear, nose and throat; urology; gynecology and general surgery for pediatric and adult patients. It will also help meet the needs of Canyon County’s growing population by recruiting more highly skilled surgeons to serve local patients.