Fast-moving: Oschner Health System medical facility construction on schedule to provide Iberville Parish healthcare

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com
Iberville Parish's $22 million new medical facility is under construction along La. 1 and expected to be completed by next winter. The complex will be run by Oschner Health System and include a wide array of services.
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

PLAQUEMINE - Iberville Parish's $22 million new medical facility was 37 percent completed at the end of the year and is expected to provide healthcare to residents by winter 2014.

"It is moving quick," said Keith Keller, vice president of operations and project management at Lincoln Builders of Baton Rouge, Inc. "In an unusually wet winter, constucting a building in an old sugarcane field can be a challenge but we are still on schedule and there are no setbacks.

"We appreciate the opportunity to be associated with the job and look forward to building a great medical facility for the citizens of Iberville Parish."

The facility is being paid for with the parish's $22 million in hurricane recovery funds from the Louisiana Office of Community Development.

A groundbreaking held in June kicked off construction of the 43,000 square foot complex on a 27-acre site off La. 1 near Senator Gay Boulevard.

Iberville Parish has been without a medical facility since 2009 when River West Medical Center closed its doors due to structural damage from Hurricane Gustav. The new clinic will be run by Oschner Health System.

Grace & Hebert Architects designed the structure that will feature 24 exam rooms including two trauma rooms and laboratory and radiology services offering X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and mammograms.

"We are glad that it is on schedule minus a few rain delays," Iberville Parish Chief Executive Officer Lucky Songy said. "It will bring much needed medical care back to the community."

The facility will feature seven health care providers, including three primary care physicians, a nurse practitioner, an OB-GYN or certified nurse midwife, two rotating specialists and a free-standing emergency center.

A helipad large enough to accommodate military helicopters is another feature of the complex.

"The clinic's construction is going very well and meeting the timeline that was originally identified," said Dawn Pevey, Oschner Medical Center - Baton Rouge chief nursing officer. "The amount of prep work that was put into this facility before construction started has helped to keep the progress timely and things running smooth. We continue to look at every detail and cannot wait to get into the facility and start serving the community."