Psychiatric hospital starts to take shape in Salmon Creek

Rainier Springs to open in summer

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter

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Construction of a 72-bed psychiatric hospital in Salmon Creek is underway and on track for its planned summer completion.

Work on the 53,000-square-foot Rainier Springs Hospital, 2711 N.E. 129th St., began in the spring. Construction will continue through the winter at the 12.5-acre site near the Interstate 205 interchange at Northeast 134th Street.

With the arrival of rainy weather, crews are now working to prepare the building for the winter, said Ken Hoffman, vice president of hospital development and construction for Springstone LLC of Louisville, Ky. The building shell is complete and the roof is done. Heavy plastic is covering window openings, and heaters are being used to prepare the space for interior work, Hoffman said.

The building exterior is beginning to take shape, as well. Stone and wood paneling have gone up on the south end of the building, with more planned for the north end and entrance of the facility. The building will also feature charcoal grey brick, and windows and doors will be installed in the coming weeks. Heating and air conditioning units will be installed on the roof later this week, Hoffman said.

All exterior work is expected to wrap up over the next four to five weeks.

“We’re working really hard to button up the outside,” Hoffman said.

In early 2018, Springstone will hire a leader for the Salmon Creek hospital and then begin hiring staff for the facility. In its first year, Springstone anticipates employing 98 people, the majority of whom would be registered nurses and mental health technicians. The hospital would increase staffing as occupancy increases. By the third year, the hospital expects to have a staff of 149 people, according to its application filed with the state Department of Health.

The hospital is on track to open in the summer.

“We’re all very passionate about getting this hospital open and caring for the community,” Hoffman said.

Legal issue lingers

The state Department of Health approved Springstone’s application to build the local hospital in October 2015. Since then, the application has been tied up with appeals by another company, Signature Healthcare Services, that also submitted an application to build a Clark County facility.

Despite the ongoing appeals process, which is still working its way through the court system, Springstone is moving forward with the $26.8 million project.

Rainier Springs will be the 17th facility for Springstone — the first on the West Coast. The company also operates facilities in Phoenix, Denver, Dallas and Cleveland, among other locations.

Once operational, the Salmon Creek hospital will provide a full range of services — including inpatient, voluntary and involuntary treatment, adult, and geropsychiatric for the elderly, as well as substance abuse services — for patients 18 and older. The hospital also will offer supplemental services, such as nutrition, yoga, music and art therapy. The average length of stay at the hospital will be about eight days.

In addition to the inpatient services, the hospital will have a robust outpatient program. “We came here because the need is here,” Hoffman said.