Work begins today on the new $312 million MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.
A groundbreaking ceremony happens at 2 p.m. to mark construction of the 640,000-square-foot hospital, with completion expected by the summer of 2014, according to a press release. The construction is expected to employ 630 workers at its peak and bring in an estimated $266 million in direct and indirect spending. The hospital itself is funded entirely with private sources, including a $35 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation, $10 million is a matching gift. MaineGeneral sold more than $280 million in bonds to finance the project. Last month, MaineGeneral received a $1.2 million federal grant to help pay for a new I-95 interchange to service the 192-bed hospital, joining $6.6 million from the Maine Department of Transportation, $3.2 million from MaineGeneral and $1.2 million from the city of Augusta via a tax increment financing deal.
The new hospital will combine the inpatient services of the Thayer campus in Waterville and MaineGeneral's existing Augusta hospital, which will close along with the Seton campus in Waterville, while operations at Thayer will be scaled back.