Whidbey General Hospital

Building Project Updates

What’s happened on the building project since the $50 million bond passed in November? In a word, plenty!

Whidbey Island Public Hospital District commissioners voted in March to contract with HDR Architecture, Inc., to design the new inpatient wing approved by voters in last year’s general election.

One of HDR's first tasks is to validate the hospital’s existing master plan, which was presented in 2008. The goal is to keep the best parts of the plan and revise as needed to meet current codes, technology and practices. Master plan validation should be completed this summer.

In April, HDR began meeting with impacted hospital departments to determine space requirements of the new wing and of areas slated for renovation, such as surgical services. Later, project manager Marc Estvold, key members of our Building Committee and HDR staff hit the road to visit two multi-care facilities designed by HDR.

The group (pictured above) traveled first to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, where HDR designed a 63,300 square foot, 48-bed expansion. They then headed east to Wenatchee to tour Central Washington Hospital, site of a 261,000 square foot, 176-bed expansion.

Building Project UpdatesVisiting these facilities and speaking with their clinical staff provided firsthand insight into state-of-the-art inpatient facility design and functionality. Soon after the visits, a goal setting and visioning session (photo at right) was held to brainstorm ideas for the new wing.

When initial space planning is complete, HDR will take the project into design, bidding, permitting and construction.


While many variables remain, current estimates are that the new inpatient wing would be complete by fall 2016.

Construction Method

General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) is one of the construction options available to public organizations with a complicated project such as ours. GC/CM allows the general contractor to get involved early, participating as an adviser and partner during the design process. This improves communication between the two parties and can save time and money as the project develops.

We submitted an Application for Project Approval to the state to use the GC/CM Construction Delivery Method on May 22. The reviewing board was impressed with our application and we were enthusiastically approved to move forward.


Site Survey

Building Project UpdatesHarmsen & Associates is conducting a site survey of the hospital’s Coupeville property, which is an early and crucial step in the construction planning process.

The survey identifies topographical features such as trees and slopes, delineates easements and utilities and determines property boundaries and corners. The survey is being used by architects to establish the site of the new building and parking. Harmsen & Associates is a civil engineering firm with offices in Oak Harbor, Monroe and Mount Vernon.


A Busy Few Months

    • December 2013 -- Bonds sold
    • January 2014 -- Project manager March Estvold hired
    • February 2014 -- Architects interviewed
    • March 2014 -- Board chooses HDR Architecture
    • April 2014 -- Site survey begins; HDR starts to work with hospital staff
    • May 2014 -- State of Washington approves our proposed construction method
    • June 2014  -- Ongoing programming meetings between HDR and hospital staff