Governor to attend hospital ceremony
September 29, 2009
Gov. Chris Gregoire will attend the Oct. 12 groundbreaking ceremony for a new Swedish Medical Center campus in the Issaquah Highlands.Mayor Ava Frisinger and other city officials, hospital executives and dignitaries are expected to attend the 10:30 a.m. ceremony at the hospital site, 401 N.E. Blakely Drive. The event is not open to the public.
Excavation work at the site began in August.
The first part of the campus, a medical office building, is planned to open in mid-2011, followed by a second phase with 80 hospital beds in the first quarter of 2012. The number of hospital beds will increase to 175.
As work continues on the project, Swedish executives must clear administrative and legal hurdles.
Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities wants to amend its development agreement with the city to allow underground fuel tanks at the hospital. Officials and residents have raised concerns about ground water contamination from leaky tanks. Swedish representatives said safety measures would prevent problems.
City Council members will review the proposed change to development rules Oct. 5.
Rival Overlake Hospital Medical Center filed a lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court June 1 against the state Department of Health, in order to slow construction of the new Swedish hospital. Swedish executives said construction would proceed as planned.
Gregoire last came to Issaquah to speak at a Sept. 8 luncheon put on by the local Kiwanis and Rotary groups.