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Harrison breaks ground on new facility

Ground was broken — at least ceremoniously — Wednesday on a construction plan that will more than double the size of Harrison Medical Center’s Urgent Care facility in Port Orchard.

“This is going to be bigger and better than ever,” said Scott Bosch, Harrison’s Chief Executive Officer, noting that the new building will be three stories and 36,000 square-feet — 3,000 feet more than the existing building.

Also, once construction is complete — scheduled for January of 2009 — Bosch said that the facility will be open for patients 24 hours a day, rather than from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., as the current facility is.

“We’re here to make sure people have access to health care locally,” he said, explaining that South Kitsap residents won’t have to drive to Bremerton or Gig Harbor once the new facility is operating.

“We welcome Harrison’s commitment to our city and our community,” said Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, who was on-hand for the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

In addition to being open 24-hours a day, the new facility will offer physician offices, “expanded imaging services” and numerous outpatient services when open in about a year.

The building represents “phase two” of what Harrison described as its “master plan” for its Port Orchard campus, which began in 1995 when the existing building was built.

According to Dan Ryan of Tim Ryan Properties, Harrison entered into a “unique sell-and-lease partnership” with the Poulsbo company.

Ryan explained that Harrison sold its seven-acre healthcare campus to Tim Ryan Properties, freeing $7 million in capital funds that Harrison can reportedly use to expand its programs and services while leasing the buildings.

“It was a mission-driven decision,” said Bosch. “This sell-and-lease model frees millions of dollars that we can reinvest in more healthcare services.”

“This deal is a winner for everybody concerned,” said Ryan. “It is a great addition to the portfolio of (our company), it helps Harrison Medical free capital to better serve the community, and, most important, the community will (gain) a brand-new, 24-hour urgent care facility.

“Change is constant and necessary and, I want to add in this case, is exciting,” he added.

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