Construction on KGH's newest campus ramps up

Construction on KGH's newest campus ramps up
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- If you haven't been to Southridge recently, you might not recognize it. Construction on the new KGH campus near the high school started last year -- and boy did it ever shoot up quick.

Cranes hoist material, bolts are riveted into place, and droves of workers make the construction site look more like a beehive.

“Probably have about 120 men on site," says project manager Joe Baker.

It's the new 112 million dollar KGH campus at Southridge -- and some locals say it couldn't come sooner.

"Our area is growing and the buildings around here and structures need to accommodate the size of the population," says Benet Toon.

She recently went to the ER at the old KGH campus. She says she's ready for a new hospital. But Benet worries about the added traffic it will bring around Southridge High School where her sons go.

"I just hope they continue to monitor the best way to ease the flow of traffic, because you're gonna have people coming into school, school buses, children, as well as people going down to the hospital," she added.

Constructing the hospital is a feat in itself. The new KGH will be 170,000 square feet. A football field is 57,000 square feet. The massive hospital will hold 74 hospital beds and more than two-dozen emergency and trauma service rooms. Managers with CD Smith Construction say they're about half way done -- and right on schedule:

"We have begun finishes, which is always an exciting time. Starting to see things go together, starting to see colors pop," says Baker.

Construction of the building has created 250 jobs and generated more than eight million dollars in sales tax revenue. When completed, the building will create 100 new jobs for our area -- which means even more growth for that part of Kennewick.

"I think it's great. It's going to be newer, bigger, and accommodate more people and hopefully expedite in and out in your stay,” Benet says.

While the building itself will be done in the spring -- it will take a while to outfit all the machines and equipment that make up a hospital. The first patients will probably be seen in the spring of 2014.