FORT RILEY, Kan. (KSNT) – After months of delay, Fort Riley has finally announced the completion of their new hospital. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place Wednesday, October 12, 2016 for the Irwin Army Community Hospital. The hospital serves almost 50,000 people and about 1,100 workers – 23% of them are in the military. The building is over 500,000 square feet and cost $343,000,000. But Garrison Commander in Fort Riley, John Lawrence says this hospital is not all about the money it took to build.
“It’s always about moving forward, looking at the future, what we can bring here in Fort Riley to bring other into Fort Riley, as well as, it’s all about the healthcare that we can provide,” Commander Lawrence said.
One feature with the new hospital is the glass wall on the outside of the building. It lets in natural light and produces solar heat for cooler months. The hospital also features a healing garden, water wall, 2 rooftop gardens and a reflective pool for patients. The Irwin Army Community Hospital also has evidence based design. This means a design based on what works best for patients.
“Now with one of our beneficiaries, when they’re going to deliver a baby, they don’t have to leave the room,” Commander in Fort Riley, John Molten said. “We can deliver the baby, take care of the baby and the mother and the family can stay in that same room.”
The hospital was supposed to open more than a year ago. But contractor lawsuits and more than 350 safety violations pushed the opening date back several times this year. Hospital staff will be finished moving clinics from the old building to the new one on October 16th. Outpatient care and services will begin on October 17th.