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Homer Medical Center Renovation Plans See Expansion

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Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
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Renovation plans for the Homer Medical Center are expanding, and so will the projected price tag. But the expansion will bring cost savings to create a facility that’s better suited to the needs of the future, without taking much more out of the current bank balance.

At its May 17 meeting, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly appropriated $75,000 to expand the scope of design work on the Homer Medical Center. The borough purchased the clinic in 2015 on behalf of the South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area to provide a primary care facility. At that time, the assembly appropriated $150,000 for design work to expand the facility. But Borough Mayor Mike Navarre says that more square footage is needed and more of the existing facility needs some work, as well.

“In looking at the fact that primary care is going to be the focal point of health care — at least from all the consultants and information that we’ve seen — out into the future, we thought we should try to do the project right,” Navarre said.

The new plan is to add 5,700 square feet and renovate the existing facility — including expanding the waiting room, handicap-accessible restrooms and X-ray lab.

“Those types of things that will make for a facility that will be utilized, and something that will provide for their needs well out into the future,” Navarre said.

Currently, South Peninsula Hospital leases space to house some of its services. Navarre says that the newly expanded expansion of Homer Medical Clinic will make room for those services to relocate to the borough-owned building, allowing the rental leases to be terminated. That savings will help offset the cost of the expansion project.

The exact price tag for the construction work won’t be known until the design work is done, but Navarre estimates it could cost $3 million. South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area voters will decide in October whether to fund the project through bonds.

All but assembly member Stan Welles, of Sterling, approved the additional design funds. That money will come from the South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Capital Project Fund.

Jenny reports on the Kenai Peninsula Borough and other stories in the Central Kenai Peninsula for KBBI.