JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - A hospital that was destroyed by the May 20 tornado that devastated Joplin is preparing to move into a second temporary hospital that will be larger and studier than its current mobile medical unit.
The new temporary hospital for St. John's Regional Medical Center will be three times larger than the existing temporary hospital, which is a 9,000-square-foot tent near the destroyed hospital.
It will be supplied by Johnson Portables, Bay City, Mich., which has signed a $4.7 million contract, The Joplin Globe reported Thursday.
St. John's will use the portable hospital until it brings in a component hospital, which will be used while a permanent structure is being constructed, said Miranda Lewis, spokeswoman for St. John's.
"With the component hospital still several months out, it was decided we needed to get into a hard-sided situation before cold weather moves in," she said "This portable hospital will come in phases over the next several weeks. We should be out of the tent by the end of August."
The new temporary hospital, which is 29,000 square feet, will be assembled over six weeks, starting Saturday, said Brian Johnson, with Johnson Portables. It will be used for nine to 12 months while the prefabricated component hospital is assembled.
Meanwhile, the board of the Joplin Industrial Development Authority will meet next Friday to consider a request from Freeman Freeman Health System to issue revenue bonds that will allow it to finish additional rooms on two floors that are not being used at Freeman Hospital West.
Freeman spokeswoman Christen Stark said the additional rooms are needed for an anticipated increase in patients because of the May 22 tornado.
Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com