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County hospital has 'up' news

The elevators at the Douglas County Hospital are getting a boost.

Elevators in the old main lobby - the ones that are used most often - are being remodeled, according to Randy Anderson, the hospital's director of engineering.

Some of the changes will be visual and include new doors, new inside and outside controls and different handrails.

The same cars will be used and the inside will still have a familiar look.

Anderson hopes the public will also notice that the elevators run more efficiently.

This will be due to the new unseen technology that is being added to the elevators. The main changes to the elevators are "behind-the-scenes" controls that will make great improvements to the elevators, said Anderson.

The hospital budgeted $370,000 for the upgrades of the elevators. It received three bids for the modernization and it accepted the lowest bid of $279,110 from Otis Elevator.

Anderson mentioned that the budgeted money not used toward the work that Otis Elevator will be doing will go to other work done to the elevators or will remain with the hospital's overall budget.

Currently, there is not a set time that the remodeling will begin. Anderson added that the process of setting up payment plans is still in progress. After preparations are complete, the time for the remodeling will be set.

The remodeling and updates are being done outside of the new construction that is already under way.

State elevator code officials set new safety requirements, said Anderson.

He added that the hospital was notified of the requirements five years prior to when the updates must be done and that they prepared for this remodeling to be in the budget for this year.

The remodeling has to be done by 2012 for the elevators to be up to code. Anderson added that they are also hoping to do remodeling around the elevators while they are being worked on.

The project includes both elevators, which will be worked on at separate times. This will allow access to at least one of the elevators while in the remodeling process, said Anderson.

The remodeled elevators, which provide access to four floors, will be used mainly for staff purposes.

The public will most likely be using the new elevators in the new addition to the building. This is due to the hospital's new layout, said Anderson.