CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Boone Memorial Hospital will build a new, $34.3 million hospital and clinic space with help from a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan.The USDA Rural Development program approved a $31.8 million Community Facility Direct Loan to build, equip and furnish a new hospital. The funds will be drawn from the USDA as needed, with Boone Memorial Hospital paying interest only through the construction period.A nearly 79,000-square-foot hospital will replace the outdated facility that was built in 1964. The current hospital is "extremely energy inefficient, lacks needed storage space, has inadequate environmental concerns and the safety and security systems do not meet new standards," according to a news release.Boone Memorial's existing hospital would be "extremely costly to renovate or remodel due to the method of construction," the release stated.
Community Facility Direct Loans help develop essential community facilities in rural areas with up to 20,000 in population, according to the USDA.In a news release, Rep Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., called the financing "a needed shot in the arm for Boone Memorial, its dedicated workforce, and most importantly, the families they serve. Federal investments, like this, help raise the health and the quality of life for the entire region."Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said in a release that he has been working with Boone Memorial for years to "get this project off the ground." He continued, "I have known the hospital's CEO, Tommy Mullins, for years and I know how dedicated he is to expanding access to health care in southern West Virginia."Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also praised Mullins' commitment to meeting the needs of Boone County residents.Reach Megan Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org