TRHC Facility Replacement Project Paused

Nov 22, 2023

The board of directors cites projected costs and affordability as a primary factor

Richland Center, WI – On Monday, November 20, the board of directors of The Richland Hospital and Clinics (TRHC) voted to discontinue further planning for a replacement facility at this time, citing the projected costs and affordability of the project. This difficult decision was made after much consideration and is consistent with the recommendation of the TRHC Executive Management Team (EMT).

When TRHC began this journey five years ago, leadership imagined a building of roughly $80 million in project cost, which would have been very affordable. Post-COVID, construction and materials costs have increased dramatically, and TRHC’s ability to afford a more expensive project has not kept pace. Even with a project budget of $115 million, TRHC leaders and their team of consulting architects, engineers, and project managers have been unable to design a building that would meet patient and staff needs.

“As hospital and clinic leadership advanced further into the design of our replacement facility, it became increasingly evident that affordability was the most significant hurdle we were going to face. In the end, it was clear to both leadership and the board of directors that the project, as we had envisioned it, was unaffordable, and we needed to make the very difficult decision to pause further development of the project at this time,” TRHC Board Chair John Annear shared.

A recent comprehensive assessment of the current Richland Center facility indicated that it could remain safe and serviceable, however, with further investment. The board of directors has directed management to develop a capital spending plan to sustain and improve the current facility. TRHC also intends to retain the 40-acre parcel purchased several years ago, the former Koch Tractor site, to develop a new hospital and clinic facility at an unspecified time in the future, working with the City of Richland Center to establish utilities there in the meantime.

TRHC CEO Bruce Roesler addressed all staff yesterday by saying, “While I share your disappointment in this news, I also believe this change presents us with an opportunity. The board has directed us instead to focus our energy on optimizing patient services, organizational culture, and financial performance, factors that we believe will strengthen our organization and make this a better place to work and receive care. That is a prospect that excites our leadership team, and we hope it excites you.”

As additional details develop, more information can be found on the TRHC website at Facility Replacement Project | Richland Hospital or richlandhospital.com/about-us/facility-replacement-project/.  Questions for TRHC leadership can be forwarded to communityrelations@richlandhospital.com.

The Richland Hospital and Clinics is a nationally awarded health care facility dedicated to caring, educating, and healing. Providing compassionate care for nearly 100 years to residents of the greater Richland County area, TRHC operates an independent, integrated group medical practice in three locations, including rural health clinics in Spring Green and Muscoda and a critical access hospital at its primary health center in Richland Center, WI.