Huntley hospital construction won't start this month
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The much-anticipated construction of a new hospital in Huntley won't begin this month.
A hearing date might be set today in the Advocate and Mercy health systems' joint lawsuit against the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board and Centegra Health System over the proposed Huntley hospital.
Centegra's attorneys will appear before Will County Circuit Court Judge Bobbi Petrungaro at 9 a.m. today to request an "expeditious resolution" and ruling date, spokeswoman Kim Kubiak said.
The health facilities board in July 2012 approved the proposed 128-bed, $233 million Centegra Hospital-Huntley, to be located on Reed and Haligus roads where Centegra currently operates an outpatient health center and a fitness center.
The board explained its reasons for overruling its staff to approve Centegra's proposal in a court filing last week. Commissioners thought there was a growing need for health services in the area around Huntley and that a new hospital would not duplicate services provided by existing facilities, according to court documents.
"Basically, they said that (they) voted on it based on its merits, and it met 17 of the 20 criteria," Kubiak said.
The facilities board's reasoning did not satisfy officials at Advocate or Mercy.
"While we appreciate the board seeking to explain its vote, the statement does not address the court's request for the board to explain why they voted to approve the Centegra project after it had been denied twice previously," Advocate Health Care spokeswoman Stephanie Johnson said in an emailed statement.
"However, we strongly believe the level of transparency the judge is requesting greatly benefits the health planning process, and ultimately helps to ensure we continue to provide the safest and highest quality of care and service to our patients in McHenry, Lake and Kane counties."
Mercy Health System Vice President Rich Gruber said the judge will likely schedule a hearing date for all parties to file briefs.
The Huntley location would be the fourth hospital for Centegra, McHenry County's largest employer. The new hospital is expected to employ more than 1,000 people.
Groundbreaking on the project, originally planned for late fall, won't happen this month. But officials are anticipating final plan approval soon.
In August, Huntley's village board approved Centegra's preliminary site plan after Centegra agreed to add two access points to the future hospital, one on Reed Road and another just off Algonquin Road for emergency vehicles, bringing the number of access points to four. Centegra also agreed to install a traffic signal at Faith's Way, the hospital's future main entrance.
Huntley Village Manager David Johnson said his staff is reviewing the final plan, which should be completed by the end of next week. The plan should go before the plan commission and village board for review in November before a final vote.
The hospital is planned to open in September 2016.
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