New facility, location for MMSC

Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center CEO John Hughes announced plans for the future of the hospital Tuesday – which includes building a new facility on Highway 14 on the southern edge of Marshalltown.

The current MMSC site in central Marshalltown has several inefficiencies and was built at a time when there was less outpatient care and more inpatient care, he said. Years of planning has led the hospital to commit to move forward with a new facility at a new site.

“We’re behind and we intend to move forward and become the modern healthcare facility that our communities deserve,” Hughes said.

The MMSC project includes three phases. The first phase is expected to cost $35 million with groundbreaking in the spring of 2014 and completion in mid-2015. The first phase focuses on relocating outpatient services including urgent care, surgery, imaging, physical therapy and rehabilitation and a lab.

Phase two would add a cancer center, though this phase is uncertain at this point. Hughes said the process of adding a cancer center is challenging, but it is their hope to see this phase through.

Phase three would move the rest of the hospital operations to the new site including the emergency room, support services, patient units, and a medical office building.

“We will leave the downtown location,” Hughes said. “One thing we will not do is leave this campus abandoned. We will be responsible corporate citizens.”

Hughes said they will try to sell the buildings with value and demolish those which are past their usage life.

Hughes said there is no estimated cost of the second and third phases and no concrete timeline on those phases.

“We would like to make those happen in the next few years,” Hughes said.

MMSC has purchased 30 acres at the southwest corner of Highway 30 and Highway 14 for the new site. The location is directly across from the campus of Marshalltown Community College.

“It will be very accessible to our rural communities, so we are excited about that location,” Hughes said.

MMSC leaders decided to select a new site rather than build on their current site as the space was a concern. Building on their current site would have taken up valuable parking spaces and caused disruption at the hospital, Hughes said.

Hughes said they are landlocked on 7 acres and it would take $30 million just to update the current facility, without much improvement for the patients.

Hughes said they don’t foresee any changes to staffing levels as a result of the new facility. The Iowa State Health Facilities Council approved the certificate of need for phase one on Monday.