The city of Gig Harbor Design Review Board in January recommended the approval of St. Anthony Hospital, with some revisions. A public hearing was scheduled for Jan. 24, with a final decision by the Gig Harbor hearing examiner expected in February.

This drawing shows the front of St. Anthony Hospital, which will be located in Gig Harbor North. The emergency department entrance is visible to the right. The hospital will be easily accessible from Canterwood Boulevard. Illustration courtesy Franciscan Health System

Officials with Franciscan Health Systems, the developer of the facility, said construction is planned to start as soon as June 2007. A groundbreaking ceremony is expected in late April or early May.

“With a planned opening in early 2009, the vision for St. Anthony Hospital and its lifesaving medical services is becoming a reality,” said Joe Wilczek, president and chief executive officer for Franciscan.

The 217,000-square-foot hospital will include design elements inspired by Gig Harbor’s maritime heritage. The hospital is named after St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of sailors and fishermen.

The plans include an outdoor water feature and healing garden, along with a cafeteria, a nearby medical office building, parking for 700 vehicles, and free wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi). The large construction crane has been reserved and orders are being placed with manufacturers for steel beams that will be used in construction, Franciscan said.

The hospital will include a 24-hour emergency department as well as inpatient and outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, physical, speech and occupational therapies, and a heart catheterization and vascular unit for heart-attack patients and those suffering life-threatening problems in their veins or arteries. The project is estimated to cost $150 million.

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