Northwest NEWS

August 28, 2000


Evergreen Board gives green light to new medical tower


The Board of Commissioners of Evergreen Healthcare has approved plans to build a new five-story medical office tower adjacent to Evergreen Hospital Medical Center.
   The Evergreen Surgery and Physicians Center will replace the existing Evergreen Surgical Center, and more than double Evergreen's capacity for outpatient surgery with eight surgical suites and one procedures room.
   Private medical offices and other medical programs will be able to lease space in the 157,000 square-foot-center which will have a direct access from the new 5th floor plaza level of the expanded parking structure.
   Excavation of the building with Santana Trucking began in May.
   Kaplan-Mclaughlin-Diaz-Inc is the architect; the building contractor is Berschauer Phillips.
   Construction could begin as early as October, with an expected completion date of December 2001. Evergreen expects to fund the project with debt (bonds) issued by King County Public Hospital District No. 2, the parent organization of Evergreen Healthcare.
   The bonds will be paid off over time by a combination of office rents and other revenue generated by the new facility.
   "The Evergreen Surgery and Physicians Center is necessary to accommodate leading-edge technology and the growing demand for outpatient surgery," explains Allison Garr, Evergreen's vice president for facilities. "Evergreen is currently running near or in excess of its physical capacity in a number of key service areas, including surgical capacity."
   The Evergreen Healthcare Board of Commissioners agreed last week to place a Duvall-area annexation proposal on the Nov. 7 ballot.
   The unanimous decision came after Duvall residents expressed considerable support for the proposal at two recent public hearings.
   Evergreen (King County Public Hospital District No. 2), is supported by tax dollars, so if annexation is approved, property owners will be taxed about 39 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or about $78 a year on a $200,000 home.
   In return, Duvall will get a brand-new medical clinic and access to all of Evergreen's medical services, including home health and hospice services as well as educational and wellness programs.
   The annexation area would encompass an area slightly larger than the boundaries of Fire District 45 and include Lake Joy.
   The Evergreen board of commissioners began studying the issue early this year, after being approached by a group of Duvall residents who said the growing area is in dire need of medical services.
   Dr. Gary Rutledge, group spokesman and Duvall chiropractor, told the Duvall City Council last week that for 18 months the group studied the issue and pondered both private and public forms of health care providers.
   "Private clinics have come and gone," he said. "With Evergreen's track record and stability we approached them to discuss the process. Evergreen is a public supported facility and if we want a clinic it will require annexation. Now, we can let the voters decide."