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Local

Kishwaukee Hospital proposes $46 million wellness center that could open in 2019

DeKALB – Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital officials want to build a 111,105-square-foot health and fitness center at a cost of $46 million on vacant land on Bethany Road, according to a proposal filed with a state regulatory board.

Northwestern’s proposal calls for a two-story structure that will be on the hospital’s campus at 626 East Bethany Road, southeast of Bethany Road and Greenwood Acres Drive. The facility will be adjacent to the Kishwaukee YMCA, which has one of the biggest fitness centers in the area.

The proposal is on the agenda for the March 14 meeting of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. The board regulates the construction of health facilities based through the Certificate of Need Program, which is used to assess whether proposed health services projects are necessary and economically sustainable.

If board members give the go-ahead, hospital officials expect to start construction in April, according to the application. The anticipated completion date for the health and fitness center is March 2019.

The goal of the center is to provide access to preventative methods of health care and to improve the overall health of DeKalb County, according to the project application.

“The proposed health and fitness center will focus on wellness and prevention, with special emphasis on the most preventable health conditions and lifestyle behaviors impacting the health of individuals and the community,” the application reads. “Programs and services, including but not limited to recreation and fitness and educational programming, will address the needs of the community.”

The fitness area will compose 72,500 square feet of the total area of the building, and will include an indoor track, weight and abdominal training, therapeutic pools, a child care area and other services.

There also will be 19,200 square feet of doctor’s office space, 4,000 square feet for conference rooms and an auditorium, a 4,500-square-foot lobby, administrative spaces measuring 7,000 square feet and mechanical, electric and plumbing systems measuring 3,705 square feet, the application shows.

Construction of the building is expected to cost $35.5 million, the application says. The remainder comes from $1.8 million in site preparation, $3.2 million in contingency funds, $2.5 million in engineering and architectural fees, $75,000 in consulting, $2.7 million in moveable capital equipment and $1.8 million in additional costs. Plunkett Raysich Architects out of Wisconsin will be designing the building.

Alternative proposals were considered for the project, such as creating a facility without physician office space to save money or converting an existing fitness center to be medically affiliated, but no other options were realistic or fit the needs of the hospital, the application said.

Officials from Northwestern and the Y could not be reached for comment Friday.

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