PLAQUEMINE — If all goes according to plans, the new $20 million Ochsner Iberville Medical Complex will be open for business on Dec. 1, Ochsner’s CEO, Eric McMillen, reported to the Iberville Parish Council on Tuesday night.
“This will be a modern, nice, first-class facility,” McMillen said as he showed a brief PowerPoint presentation of architectural renderings of what the 40,000-square-foot building will look like from a variety of perspectives.
Located just south of town on a 27-acre site off La. 1 near Senator Gay Boulevard, the building is more than 60 percent complete and workers were still up on scaffolding as the sun began to set.
The clinic will feature a free-standing 24/7 emergency department with 20 patient exam/procedure rooms. Hospital officials anticipate seeing 10,000 to 12,000 emergency patients a year, McMillen said. Two trauma rooms and a segregated decontamination unit are included in the clinic, “because of the chemical plants,” he said.
Ochsner also will be hiring 50 to 60 employees. McMillen reassured the council and small audience they would be hiring many local workers.
“We employ a lot of folks from this area already,” McMillen said of its Baton Rouge facility. Ochsner already has a women’s clinic in Plaquemine featuring seven gynecologists and six certified midwives and also has an eye care facility, he said.
Matthew H. Jewell, council president, said afterward that they were all pleased with the report and the clinic’s progress.
“We are very excited,” Jewell said. He recently toured the sprawling building and added, “It’s beautiful — it will be a great asset to Iberville Parish.”
The parish is using its share of $22 million in hurricane recovery funds from the Louisiana Office of Community Development to build the facility. Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. said in his report that he anticipates having all that paperwork completed and will call a special meeting in the summer to explain it. The council voted to approve a resolution giving Ourso authority to sign it.
In other matters, the Grosse Tete bridge recently reopened after being hit by a passing barge and put out of commission several months ago, Ourso reported. He thanked a collection of agencies and businesses that assisted residents dealing with the closure in crossing the canal. The parish spent $150,000 of unallocated funds, Ourso said, and 18,000 residents were transported on ferries provided by the state Wildlife and Fisheries Department.
A new utility department building underway in St. Gabriel is expected to be finished in 200 days, Ourso said, and he expects the $660,000 facility to improve parish service to residents on the east side of the river.
A public hearing was set for June 17 regarding the purchase of 3.09 acres of land owned by the Diocese of Baton Rouge adjacent to the Bayou Sorrel Catholic Church for $57,000. The land is already being used as a baseball field, outdoor pavilion, walking trails and was a former Head Start facility.