For more than five years, the AICS Clinic has been serving patients on Wood St. Everyone has been up there, at one point or another. Most probably visit on a regular basis, be it for their own upkeep or looking out for the fam. It’s a beautiful building, so much so that the new concept designs of the hospital feature the same color palette, roof designs and timber accents.
It’s also a spacious building, with enough room to share space with the hospital. Because of the potential to share space, the price tag on this project will decrease significantly. The main entrance will be shared with the existing clinic entrance, the meeting and break rooms will serve AICS and WMC staff, while exam and procedure rooms will serve both entities. Something that gets overlooked is approx. 2,700 sq. ft. of underutilized space that most patients don’t know is sitting overhead.
There is an entire floor above the clinic that is earmarked for hospital use. Right now, it’s currently home to medical records upon medical records, along with some storage for maintenance items. Those items will be re-located, and office space for 6-10 hospital staff will take its place.
There are some mechanical portions that will be walled off upstairs, but even excluding that space, there will be more than enough room to accommodate those hospital employees who don’t need to be on the ground floor, in the middle of the action. Finance staff, HR, Administration and others will most likely find themselves on the second floor. Given the amount of square footage available, there should even be enough space for a meeting area. Gables should provide opportunities for large windows to harvest some natural light. There’s even a designated area for an elevator and stairs, so they had some sort of inclination that this space might get used one day, even way back during the clinic design stages.
Without the unfinished 2nd floor, and all the potential shared spaces, who knows what the cost of this building would actually be? Conceptual plans show the joint campus as 44,500 sq. ft. Of that, 10,000 sq. ft. are shared areas, and 2,700 sq. ft. is the upstairs space. Previous attempts at new hospital design in Wrangell has boasted of a 53,000 sq. ft. facility. In the healthcare world, bigger is not always better. Just over 30,000 sq. ft. of new construction, along with some renovation in the existing clinic, would check off every item on our wishlist to continue providing the level of care Wrangell deserves. We just may need some help scanning all of these files.