SPRINGFIELD — For Baystate Medical Center — and the patients and families of western Massachusetts — the future is underway.
The hospital’s plans for its new facility, known as the Hospital of the Future, passed a major milestone with a successful foray into the municipal bond market. Investors snapped up $135 million of Baystate Medical Center bonds in a matter of hours last week as demand for the financing instruments far exceeded supply. This major piece of funding helps the project remain on schedule for expected completion in 2012.
“In many ways, this offering was a test of our organization’s strength and planning. Clearly, investors liked what they saw in Baystate Health,” said Mark R. Tolosky, president and CEO of Baystate Health. “This project means so much to our city and to our community—in terms of quality health care in the coming decades and economic opportunity right now.”
Site preparation for the new facility commenced last summer, and now foundation work for the new facility is underway.
The nearly 600,000-square-foot building will include:
- A dedicated, state-of-the-art Heart and Vascular Center
- Single-bed patient rooms designed with the guidance of patients, families and clinical staff to support as restful and comforting a hospital stay as possible
- The latest and highest standards for environmentally responsible building, including recycled materials and a rooftop green space
- $9.6 million in new community benefit initiatives for Springfield related to the project
Baystate Health is a not-for-profit health system; the municipal bonds are in essence approval for a $135 million “mortgage” for the new construction and the largest funding source for the $246 million project.
The project is also benefiting from $70 million in new market tax credits, which support construction projects in low-income neighborhoods. Baystate’s building project will stimulate the local economy and bring job opportunities. It is estimated that the new facility will bring 300 plus jobs to area trade workers during construction, and 550 permanent clinical and physician positions when completed.
Forty million dollars in capital funds is still needed for this project, and is expected to come from government sources, philanthropic giving, and Baystate Health capital funds. Baystate Medical Center is working with the Governor’s office and legislature to identify economic development funds that this shovel-ready construction project could utilize.
To ensure the most responsible use of financial resources, the plan for the project has remained flexible and attuned to the broader healthcare and fiscal environment. Baystate Health has lowered the cost of the project by $13 million with minor revisions to the original plan.
“We move forward today, continuing our unwavering focus on our patients to ensure that we provide the best healthcare to our communities in western Massachusetts - now and for generations to come,” said Tolosky.