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Hospital expansion estimated at $175 million

ASTORIA, Ore. — A filing with the Oregon Health Authority has revealed the estimated price tag for major expansion plans at Astoria’s Columbia Memorial Hospital — and it’s big.

In a letter of intent to the state, the hospital says the project is estimated to cost $175 million, not including interest.

The 180,000-square feet of new construction planned at the hospital’s current campus is about equal to the size of the Warrenton Fred Meyer and would include an expanded emergency room, improved operating rooms, and upgraded patient rooms. 

The filing with the state confirms that the hospital will not increase the number of beds at Columbia Memorial from its current 25.

Earlier this year, the hospital had said the expansion would broaden the scope of its services including new specialties often found only in large institutions. But in the recent letter to the state, hospital CEO Erik Thorsen wrote, “This expansion will not add any new services.”

A spokesperson for the hospital declined to provide further explanation to KMUN.

The letter says the new development will provide a resilient structure that can serve as a safe harbor in case of natural disaster. This will be done by building up and by putting critical infrastructure on the roof.

According to the hospital, the estimated $175 million dollars needed for the expansion would be raised through loans, donations, cash reserves and grants. Groundbreaking is planned for late next year.