Groundbreaking event at St. Joseph Healthcare lets kids try out construction equipment

Silas Leavitt (left), 2, of Bangor works the controls of a front loader while his older brother Colby Leavitt, 9, of Bangor waits his turn Saturday during a ground breaking ceremony for St. Joseph Healthcare's medical office building at 900 Broadway. The event included an opportunity for people of all ages to explore construction vehicles.
Silas Leavitt (left), 2, of Bangor works the controls of a front loader while his older brother Colby Leavitt, 9, of Bangor waits his turn Saturday during a ground breaking ceremony for St. Joseph Healthcare's medical office building at 900 Broadway. The event included an opportunity for people of all ages to explore construction vehicles. Buy Photo
Posted Oct. 12, 2013, at 4:36 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 14, 2013, at 9:30 a.m.
A rendering of a new medical office building St. Joseph Healthcare plans to build at 900 Broadway.
Courtesy of St. Joseph Healthcare
A rendering of a new medical office building St. Joseph Healthcare plans to build at 900 Broadway.

BANGOR, Maine — A ceremonial groundbreaking Saturday afternoon for St. Joseph Healthcare’s 22,000 square-foot medical office building at 900 Broadway was an opportunity for children of all ages to explore a variety of construction vehicles.

Bess Leavitt brought her three sons, ages 2, 6 and 9, to the Touch-A-Truck Event. The boys took turns working the levers on a front loader before running off the jump in the bounce house and picking out a pumpkin.

“They wanted to climb on trucks,” the boys’ mother said when asked why the family attended the event.

The new building will be completed by June at a cost of between $5 million and $5.5 million, according to architect Jon Boyd of Portland. Renovations to the emergency and ambulatory care departments of St. Joseph Hospital, totalling 16,000 square feet, will undergo $3 million to $3.5 million in renovations, which are to be completed by next September.

Mary Prybylo, chief executive officer and president of St. Joseph Healthcare, said Saturday that the office building will house primary care physicians now located in other buildings at 900 Broadway.

“In the past 18 months, we have more than doubled the number of primary physicians working for us due to the demand for them,” she said. “People want the continuity of care they get with a primary care physician. They want that kind of a relationship with their doctors.”

Prybylo said that 39 primary care physicians, including some who previously worked for Sunbury Medical Associates, which was purchased last month by Eastern Maine Medical Center, now work for St. Joe’s. Eighteen months ago, 14 primary care physicians worked for the Catholic organization.

“We want this to be a place where the community can gather,” Prybylo said of the new building.

She said the building could be used for educational events and future plans included walking trails on the grounds.

St. Joseph Healthcare is owned by Covenant Health Systems of Tewksbury, Mass. The new building and renovations are being funded by private bonds issued by the company, Prybylo said Saturday.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story requires correction. Mary Prybylo is chief executive officer of St. Joseph Healthcare, not chief financial officer. Also, there are four primary care providers located at Evergreen Woods, according to Amy Allen, director of public relations. Those providers will not be moving to the new Medical Office Building at 900 Broadway.

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