Formal planning begins for Centegra's Huntley hospital project

HUNTLEY – Eyeing an October groundbreaking, Centegra Health System officials unveiled Monday the first detailed designs of the five-story, 128-bed Huntley hospital that represents one of the largest developments for the booming village.

Around 10 Centegra executives and consultants who have been planning the $233 million project all year showed the Huntley Plan Commission the preliminary designs that would put the hospital in the center of Centegra's Huntley health campus, located between Reed and Algonquin roads and bordered by Haligus Road to the west.

Commissioners and residents alike peppered Centegra officials with questions about the increased traffic, noise, maintenance and landscaping that will come once the new hospital opens in 2016, shortly before the commission unanimously sent the preliminary design plan to the full Village Board for consideration.

"They are all realistic requests and definitely things we will take seriously as we move through the process," said Susan Milford, Centegra's senior vice president of strategy and development. "We are really excited with the collaboration, and the fact that we continue to move through the planning process successfully."

The Monday meeting represented the first formal planning step for Centegra in what has already been a lengthy journey to build Centegra's third McHenry County hospital.

Centegra officials initially approached the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board with the Huntley hospital proposal in 2010. The board consequently rejected it twice, before reversing course and approving the plan last July without explanation.

The state board's change of heart drew a court order from a Will County judge last week. The order for a more detailed explanation did not faze Centegra, which remains confident the board's decision will stand.

The new hospital would be located between the Centegra Health Bridge, which borders Algonquin Road, and the existing ambulatory care mall located within the 107-acre Huntley health campus.

It would feature 100 medical surgical beds, an eight-bed intensive care unit, a full service emergency department and a helipad for transporting critical needs patients under the designs officials presented Monday.

The hospital's exterior would be made of precast panels with various finishes and include a stoneface, glass atrium tower at the main entrance.

The project would also create a four-story, 80,000 square-foot medical office building located east of the ambulatory care mall and three new traffic entrances, including a new traffic signal at the main entrance of Haligus and Faiths Way.

The new traffic patterns concerned some residents, who feared increased traffic would create problems for homeowners entering and leaving their homes along Faiths Way in a nearby subdivision.

Milford said Centegra will continue to work with the village and other stakeholders on fine-tuning the designs as the planning process develops. Centegra will present a final design plan to the planning commission later in the summer, once the Village Board votes on the preliminary design next month.

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