On September 1, 2011, board members of the Sioux Center Community Hospital & Health Center Avera approved a motion to move forward with the design of the new hospital and medical clinic.
The design of the new medical campus was created by HGA Architects and Engineers of Minneapolis and Cannon Moss Brygger Architects of Sioux City.
“The new facility will be a remarkable landmark for Sioux Center and will symbolize our commitment to healthcare,” says Kayleen Lee, CEO. “The campus will act as a ‘medical center’ for our patients and we can’t wait for them to experience it.”
The current slogan for the new facility is ‘Built around You,’ which emphasizes that good architectural design is driven by the way you experience it from the inside looking out.
“The building is visually appealing, but more importantly it connects with nature and allows patients and families to experience a total healing environment. People feel good when they are close to their family, friends and nature,” said Kayleen.
The new facility is expected to begin construction in 2012 and near completion in the fall of 2013. The total project will take approximately 18 months to complete and the estimated size of the new facility is 123,500 sq ft.
“The hospital is 107,000 sq ft and the primary/specialty clinic area will be 16,500 sq ft.” says Kayleen. These two areas will be joined into one large, accessible ‘medical center’ for our communities.”
The cost estimate for the entire project is currently at $48.5 million. This includes site development, building construction, design, major equipment/furnishings and other associated costs such as contingency and initial financing.  This will be the largest building project in the history of Sioux Center .
The building is a split level with 3 entrances into the facility. The main entrance is angled to the east to reduce the heavy north winds. The other two entrances are the emergency department on the main level and rehabilitation on the lower level.  Bright canopies and reflective stone will be prevalent around these entrances.
One unique design aspect of the new facility is a Town Center . The circular shape of the building maximizes convenient access and optimizes way finding to all the departments. Registration for the clinic and/or hospital will be visibly apparent from the Town Center .
“Almost all of our departments are visible from the Town Center , making it easy to find where you need to go. We also made private waiting rooms to increase privacy for our patients. Privacy was a big concern during our focus groups last fall and we made sure to incorporate this into our design.”
The first direct view from the Town Center is towards the Chapel. This conceptual design reflects the healing ministry of Jesus and inspires healing for the mind, body and spirit. The design team turned to scripture for inspiration and found Psalm 23 which speaks about restful waters, green pastures, restoring my soul, and comfort.
“We combined this Psalm with our historical and cultural values prevalent in a Christian rural community to create a holistic approach to healthcare,” says Kayleen. The staff hopes this will eliminate stress among patients and clinicians and support a positive, healing environment.
Included with the site plan is a potential small pond and healing garden on the south side of the facility where hospital patients will have a direct view from their room. The dining area also faces south and is placed on the garden level with a walk-out area to encourage exercise and enjoy nature.
“A major focus on the design of the facility was placed around the delivery of patient- and family-centered care. The patient rooms are family friendly and allow for guests to have comfortable sitting arrangements and amenities,” says Kayleen. Included near the main entrance is a registration area patients and a gift shop for all visitors.
The new floor plan allows for additional space in the Outpatient Services area which accommodates the growing trend of same-day surgeries and specialty care. The addition will expand specialty services for residents and help recruit/retain the best doctors in the area.
“There has been a significant need for more outpatient services which continues to grow and now represents 75% of our business. Another area of focus is our Emergency Department with more rooms, space and technology to withstand Level IV trauma or injuries,” says Kayleen.
Placement of the departments and key service areas were tested using Evidence-based Design concepts. The path from the Trauma Room to CAT scanner was measured for direct access in case a patient has a head injury. Another route tested was from the Labor Room to Operating Room in case of an emergency c-section. Similar concepts called ‘LEAN’ were used throughout the facility to maximize patient flow and operational efficiency.
“We are very happy with the outcome of our design. The hard work and diligent planning of our staff and design consultants allowed us to maximize every square foot in the new facility. It reflects the needs of our community and I am very proud of that,” says Kayleen.