By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Monday through Thursday are busy days for the work crews directed by Commercial Builders, Inc. of Hays.
Crews have been working 10-hour days and despite the recent rain this past week, have stayed on target for their work schedule. However, rain has delayed some of the concrete work.
The local work crews are under the direction of Superintendent Lance Routledge of Commercial Builders. Rick Summers, part owner and Commercial Builders vice president is also working in Larned on a six-man crew.
The company bid successfully for various jobs at the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital for Murray Company. The company is a general contractor that builds homes and works construction on various projects.
“You always have to be more careful when it’s raining,” said Routledge. “Everyone just takes their time and makes sure the tools they need to work with stay dry. Everyone enjoys the 10-hour days and their Friday are free”
Commercial Builders stripped the metal roof at the Pawnee Valley Medical Associates clinic. A new roof that will match the new hospital building will be installed. Routledge said crews have worked in the clinic’s attic and are reworking trusses to prepare for a new flatter roof that will slightly be higher than the Pawnee Valley Hospital for drainage purposes.
“It takes time for each step,” he said. “We’ve worked in the attic and started getting everything ready for the next step.”
The new Pawnee Valley Community Hospital roof will feature a rubber membrane and 8 to 10 inches of foam installed on top. Mechanical and electrical engineers are installing some of their hardware.
The $18.3 million hospital is constructed with funding from Medicare reimbursement, profit from Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, a 1 percent sales tax and an annual 6-mill county-wide healthcare levy.
Commercial Builders currently also has ongoing major projects in Hays, Phillipsburg and Scott City.
The Commercial Builders crews will work on various aspects at the hospital over the next year. They’ve hired workers from Pawnee and Barton County.
PVCH, under the ownership of Pawnee County, has started construction on a replacement building for its critical access hospital. PVCH will maintain its operating capacity of 25 inpatient beds and its emergency care facilities while increasing its outpatient capacity, as well as its focus on long-term patient care.
Pawnee County waged a successful legal battle to secure a critical care access license and determine its medical future in a partnership with HaysMed. The city of Larned, Pawnee County, Pawnee County Attorney John Settle and HaysMed officials have worked together effectively.