Stonewall Hospital seeks millions in loans to cover construction cost overruns

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The Stonewall Living Center patiently awaits its grand opening later this month, and hospital district officials hope the new facility will generate revenues to aid in repaying millions in unanticipated costs.. (PHOTOS BY STEVEN ELLIS)

As the date grows near for the official ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the Stonewall Living Center anticipated later this month, the SMH administration and board are struggling to come up with the near $2 million in additional costs and keep money in the bank to operate.

During last month’s board meeting, SMH CEO Billie Carter broke the news to the district’s board of directors that although the construction on the now three-year-long project was nearing an end, the final cost was going to exceed the bond amount by roughly $2 million by the time all the work is completed.

Despite gaining approval for an almost $400K loan in September 2019 to furnish the building’s interior, Carter asked the board during its meeting last month to consider allowing an additional loan for an estimated $3.75 million to cover construction overruns, and continued district operations. Carter explained that while the bond revenue covered a majority of the construction, with over $1.4 million still to be paid to the contractor, other costs— including those to transition away from Athena— until other revenues come available.

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