Work is progressing on schedule for the new Hedrick Medical Center in north Chillicothe. Crews started pouring foundation for the new hospital recently, and that work is expected to continue through October. The steel framework is expected to go up next month.

Chillicothe City Council members received a project update during a workshop meeting Monday evening at City Hall.

Ground was broken for the new hospital on Aug. 1 and, since that time, crews have been moving dirt to prepare the soil for the foundation work.

"For a project of this magnitude, it takes considerable effort to make sure the compaction levels of the soil match a certain criteria, including ensuring moisture levels are adequate following a very dry summer," said Matt Wenzel, chief executive officer of Hedrick Medical Center.

Dirt work continues as planned, and throughout the month of October, construction will focus on the foundation, in preparation for steel work. Assuming everything stays on schedule, steel structures should start to appear in November. Photos are updated weekly on the project website, There also is a video animation of the rendering of the new facility on this site.

"I know I speak for all of our employees, the leadership of Saint Luke's Health System, and the City Council and administration when I say how excited we are, and how much we look forward to moving into the new facility in first quarter 2014." Wenzel said. "We are dedicated to providing the best health care possible in this region, and this new facility — combined with our exceptional team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and employees — will lay the groundwork for the future of health care in Chillicothe."

Hedrick Medical Center is owned by the city of Chillicothe, and has been leased to Saint Luke's Health System since 2003. The facility is expected to open in early 2014.

Total cost for the project is $41 million, including land, equipment, and construction of the new hospital facility and adjacent medical office building. The new facility is designed by Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC. The construction company is J.E. Dunn.

Also during Monday's workshop, Wenzel gave a presentation about features of the new hospital, and stated that Hedrick Medical Center is a regional medical center that is leading the nation in rural health care.

Clubs or organizations interested in having Wenzel present a program may contact him at the hospital.