Officials from Good Samaritan Regional Health Center, Shores Builders, BSA LifeStructures, the city of Mt. Vernon, local tourism and the Jefferson County Development Corp. receive help “turning dirt” from a few development center children in a ceremony marking the groundbreaking of a $1.8 million Good Samaritan Child Development Center to be located at the new hospital under construction in Mt. Vernon. Those children who helped “break ground” on the project include Charlie Shupe, son of Wes and Andrea Shupe and grandson of the late Peg Edwards; Trevor Millenbine, son of Donnie and Sarah Millenbine; Logan Heater, son of Joe and Mendie Heater; Keegan Christ, son of Brian and Angela Christ; Ava Lowery, daughter of Dave and Ann Lowery; and Wyatt Heifner, son of Tiffani and Jeff Heifner. St. Mary’s Good Samaritan CEO Phil Gustafson took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking, as did Good Samaritan Regional Health Center President Mike Warren, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Vice President Chris Adams, Sister Andrea Chudzik, Good Samaritan Child Development Center director Carol Whipple, Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley, Bonnie Jerdon of the Mt. Vernon Tourism Office, Mary Ellen Bechtel of the Jefferson County Development Corporation, Mark Abbey of BSA LifeStructures and Steve Shores of Shores Builders.
(Mt. Vernon, Ill.) Hospital and local officials broke ground Tuesday in a ceremony announcing the addition of a $1.8 million child development center to be located on the campus of the new Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon.
The Good Samaritan Child Development Center will be located immediately south of the new hospital under construction off of Veterans Memorial Drive. The 10,000-square-foot Good Samaritan Child Development Center is being constructed by Shores Builders and is expected to be complete by Patient Move Day to the new hospital on January 20, 2013.
The new child development center will include eight classrooms, a gymnasium, a playground and something new – a safe room to protect children from extreme storms.
“Because safety is of utmost concern in our hospital and in the Development Center, the facility will include a tornado-resistant room,” said Good Samaritan Regional Health Center President Mike Warren. “Constructed with reinforced masonry walls and precast concrete walls, the room can resist the wind and debris associated with a tornado.”
With members of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center administration on hand, the ceremonial groundbreaking included Steve Shores of Shores Builders, Mark Abbey of BSA LifeStructures, Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley, Tourism Director Bonnie Jerdon and Jefferson County Development Corporation executive director Mary Ellen Bechtel. Also on hand to help “turn the dirt” were a handful of children currently enrolled at the hospital’s child development center and their parents, who are employees of Good Samaritan.
Sister Andrea Chudzik prayed to bless the new facility, while St. Mary’s Good Samaritan CEO Phil Gustafson also spoke of the center and its importance to the mission of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan.
Warren thanked those who worked to make the new child development center a reality and reiterated the hospital administration’s commitment to continue providing child care at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center.
“For decades, the Good Samaritan Child Development Center has cared for many of our most precious assets – our children,” said Warren. “From the beginning of construction of the new Good Samaritan Regional Health Center we were dedicated to continue having a child care option at our new hospital.”
Warren also expressed gratitude to the Development Center staff for “their exceptional care and education they provide to these children.”