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Century Project Ground Blessing

March 30, 2007
St. Mary’s expansion and renovation is officially underway. The Century Project ground blessing ceremony held Friday, March 30th, marks the start of the largest construction effort in the history of the hospital. The Century Project will provide 440,000 square feet of new construction and 120,000 square feet of renovated space with a total project value of $261 million. The ceremony was held at the location that will become the main entrance to the 12-story patient care and services addition.

Commenting on the purposes of the ground blessing ceremony and the meaning of the traditions involved, Sister Barbara Aldrich, Mission Integration Coordinator for St. Mary’s said, “The blessing involves not just a dedication of the ground to a new purpose, but calls for each of us to dedicate ourselves once again to our mission of healing and love. As we reflect on over a century of service and healing, we look forward with tremendous anticipation to an exciting future with this great new facility.”

St. Mary’s Hospital Chaplain Bryan Newman and Father James Plough, Sacramental Minister, blessed the ground . Then Sister Barbara Aldrich directed traditional groundbreaking with assistance from hospital leadership, hospital board and foundation members, hospital staff, and several Sisters of the Order of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth founded the hospital in 1896.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Robert Ladenburger, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary’s, commented that, “We have accepted a tremendous challenge by choosing to undertake such a large project on this site while we maintain uninterrupted service to our community. But as good stewards of the resources entrusted to us, we want to preserve our investment and the investments of others in the healthcare community in our current facilities and location while building to meet population growth, provide space for new and emerging technologies, and create a healing environment for patients and their families.