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Blackfoot hospital undergoes multi-million dollar expansion

One Blackfoot Hospital will undergo a multi-million dollar expansion, adding a brand new facility to their campus. Construction at State Hospital South is on track to begin in the spring.

Like many buildings in Southeast Idaho, the nursing home at State Hospital South is more than 80 years old. Named after the state flower, the Syringa Chalet building will be torn down and rebuilt.

Hospital Administrator, Jim Price says, it’s been a long time coming.

“It’s outdated and there is also a greater increase for a greater number of beds and right now it’s limited to 29 beds.” Jim Price, Hospital Administrator, says.

The new facility will occupy 57,000 square feet and will be able to house 30 additional patients.

“We’re a statewide institution. We bring in residents from across the state and currently out of our population of 29, we have patients from Coeur D’Alene, Lewiston, Boise, Caldwell, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. We serve the entire state.”

Trees, buildings, and the parking lot in the back will be all torn away. Making way for the foundation of the new facility.

Though it is a large project, the city of Blackfoot is rooting them on.

“We’re really excited, obviously it’s been a part of the community for a long time,” Kirk Hibbert, the planning administrator of Blackfoot says. “The state hospital has been there providing services and its driving our economy, its helping people with employment, it’s been an economic engine for a long time.”

However, it was local legislatures, Senator Steve Bair and Representative Neil Anderson, who got the ball rolling on this project. “[They] sponsored a resolution with legislature last year that authorized us to work with the state building authority to get bonding for the new building.”

As the current building celebrates its 81st year in use, hospital staff and administrators are excited to another 80 years in a new and improved facility.

Construction on this project will begin in late April into May. The demolition of the old building will happen after the new building is complete. Developers anticipate the project will take 12-14 months to complete after the foundation is cleared for construction.

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