Work begins on Lutheran hospital's new location

Bob Wooley
bwooley@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/14/21

Ground has been broken for the SCL Lutheran replacement hospital campus in Wheat Ridge. The new hospital will be located in the new Clear Creek Crossing development near I-70 and 44th Avenue. The …

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Work begins on Lutheran hospital's new location

Posted

Ground has been broken for the SCL Lutheran replacement hospital campus in Wheat Ridge. The new hospital will be located in the new Clear Creek Crossing development near I-70 and 44th Avenue.

The June 9 affair was attended by Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker, several city council members, Police Chief Chris Murtha, first responders, hospital staff, board members and supporters.

Lutheran Hospital’s roots date back to 1905, when it was known as the Evangelical Lutheran Sanitarium. When the new facility is completed, it will be the newest and one of the most advanced hospitals in the country with a Level II Trauma Center designation. It will also have the capability of turning most of its rooms into ICU rooms when necessary — an innovation driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Described as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” by SCL Health CEO Lydia Jumonville, construction of the replacement hospital will allow SCL Lutheran to serve the community for decades to come.

“Health care comes into our lives at our most critical moments of joy and vulnerability,” Jumonville said. “Today is the continuation of our mission and it marks the start of the construction of our new building, but as you all know, a hospital is so much more than steel and concrete.”

Michael Fordyce, SCL board chair and former president of Craig Hospital, said, “We look forward to the day when the joy of recovery and healing echoes through the halls of the new medical facility that will be built on this site.”

Lutheran Medical Center President Grant Wicklund said the replacement hospital will be a more flexible and patient-centered design that will be more efficient, while expanding access to critical and emergency car and services to families across Jefferson County and the west Denver-area suburbs.

“We look forward to continuing to drive economic growth in Jefferson County and west Denver by employing 2,000 people in well-paying jobs and contributing more than $1.1 billion in annual, local economic impact through the hospital,” Wicklund said.

Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker said the city and SCL Lutheran have begun reimagining the historic campus on the existing 100 acres at the existing 38th Avenue Lutheran site.

“This master planning process is engaging our community as they share their ideas and excitement for the future of the Lutheran legacy campus,” he said. “Breaking ground today is an important first step in the process of ensuring our community continues to have access to high-quality, advanced healthcare at this new replacement hospital at Clear Creek Crossing.”

According to an SCL press release about the new construction, once the replacement hospital is built and open, SCL Health Lutheran Medical Center will stop acute hospital operations at its current site, estimated to occur in mid-2024. Lutheran Hospice will remain on the site. 

Additionally, SCL Health plans to expand its inpatient behavioral health services currently at West Pines in coming years, which could include building a new facility at a new site. 

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