Clovis hospital project promises jobs, better care

When construction of the five-story bed tower at Clovis Community Medical Center is finished, it will be the tallest building in the city.

At 90 feet, the bed tower will be taller than the Comfort Suites on Clovis Avenue. And it may be taller than the city water towers, city officials said.

But size isn't the most important part of the hospital expansion. With its enlarged campus -- now taking shape along Highway 168 -- the city's only acute-care hospital is expected to boost medical services and create hundreds of jobs.

"The last of the steel framework was placed on the tower last week, and that was a major turning point," said Dwight Kroll, city director of planning and development services.

Construction at the medical center has been smooth and fast since hospital and city officials broke ground on the $285 million expansion and renovation project in February.

The expansion will nearly triple the size of the hospital and lead to about 600 new jobs when construction is completed in 2013.

The project calls for a dedicated women's pavilion, a special-care nursery and a parking structure with 656 stalls. The garage is expected to be open by the end of this year.
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By BoNhia Lee, The Fresno Bee