Lawrence Memorial Hospital leaders had a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for a $2.5 million medical center in Eudora.
It is scheduled to open next July.
The 10,500-square-foot building will have 11 exam rooms, a procedure room and dedicated X-ray equipment. LMH Kreider Rehabilitation Services will offer outpatient physical therapy, and Byrne’s Pharmacy will lease space in the building.
LMH President and CEO Gene Meyer said the center will have enough room to accommodate three physicians.
Dr. Daniel Dickerson will relocate from a clinic near downtown Eudora, where he has worked since 2002. The clinic has three exam rooms.
“It has not changed much since probably the 1970s,” Dickerson said. “The X-ray machine broke 10 years ago, and we’ve had no X-ray abilities.”
LMH hopes to announce the hiring of a second primary doctor within a few weeks.
The hospital plans to offer specialty care at the center. For example, a cardiologist may visit once a week.
“I am excited, ecstatic,” Dickerson said. “Just to have the X-ray facility will be nice.”
He also is looking forward to being in a more visible location along Kansas Highway 10. The center will be located on 24 acres just southeast of the Church Street exit.
“It’s phenomenal that we have people who have been in town for seven years and they will come in and say, ‘I never knew we had a doctor here. I never knew we had a pharmacy here.’ They’ve been here for 50 years,” he said, with a chuckle.
About 70 people attended the ceremony, including longtime Eudora doctor Kenneth Holladay. He owns the clinic where Dickerson is now located and practiced in it for 43 years. He retired six years ago.
“When I came, it was just a one-doctor office with two exam rooms,” he said.
Holladay delivered 1,440 babies over the years and watched Eudora grow from a rural community into a small city on the outskirts of Lawrence with 6,000 people. He said Eudora “absolutely” was in need of the medical center.
“No question about it,” he said with a smile.
Meyer recognized Holladay during his speech.
“I hope that this project in some way recognizes your legacy and your contribution to the city of Eudora. Thank you for all that you’ve done,” he said.
Meyer said the hospital purchased the property in 2006. But the project was delayed because of a dispute about who would supply water to the center, the city of Eudora or Douglas County Rural Water District No. 4.
“There were some real technical issues that evolved, but that’s all been settled. It’s all been worked out, but it did cause some delay,” Meyer said.
Two weeks ago, construction began at the site. The goal is to have the outside work done by winter.
Dickerson said the work can’t be done soon enough. Last year, his clinic had 5,000 patient visits.
“There’s definitely a need,” he said. “We are full every day, as full as we can get.”