Castle Rock Adventist Hospital days away from opening

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It seemed everyone was there for the July 17 ribbon-cutting and gala event at the new Castle Rock Adventist Hospital: number crunchers, CEOs, doctors, politicians, the public and the artists who have put things on its walls – including a relatively small person, when compared to the 48-foot-tall, 15,000-pound steel aspen trees he created for the lobby.

And there were the architects who put the hospital on the map — exactly where they thought it should be.

The builder wanted the hospital next to the road so the huge building loomed even larger, but designer Aurelio Posada and architect Chuck Cole, of Florida-based Hunton Brady Architects, had a different idea, upon visiting the site.

“We wanted to capture the soul and spirit of the site,” Posada said. “We wanted to understand what the site was telling us.”

Cole said the building needed to be up on the ridgeline, farther east. He said that as he and Posada stood on that site, they could “feel it,” that that was where it was supposed to be.

But they still wanted all of the patients to have a good view of the mountains, so the hospital rooms aren’t the usual shape. He said they needed to be “cranked” to the west and so aren’t your typical rectangular rooms, more like parallelograms, he said.

At the ribbon-cutting, it’s not known what if anything the site was telling Castle Rock Mayor Paul Donahue, but he had some things to tell.

He related how when he first got on the council six years ago, the bottom was falling out of the economy and the council was trying to figure out how to keep the town in a good financial position. Along came a hospital.

He said Adventist was the first major company to make a commitment during those “rocky times.” Donahue said having the hospital is not only great for the health and well-being of the community, but it has also helped attract more development in the area.

He asked God to bless the hospital and “be a light on every patient.”

Donahue and Todd Folkenberg, the hospital’s CEO, and other speakers received strong applause from the crowd of about 400, but one of the most admired there had on a white hat and didn’t give a speech at all.

Responsible for all of the gala food, which included local products and produce from the hospital’s community garden, was the hospital’s executive chef, Dan Skay, who was written up in the Wall Street Journal a couple years ago for winning a contest as the country’s best hospital chef.

In addition to healthful food in the cafeteria, the hospital will have a free bicycle-rental program and the opportunity for the general public to hold exercise meet-ups there. The plan is for the 212,240-square-foot hospital, a 50-bed Centura Health entity with 300 employees, to surpass the expectations of the average health care facility and become a center point for health and wellness for the residents of Castle Rock and surrounding areas, according to a news release.

The hospital has been providing emergency care since its phase one opening in 2011. When the grand opening happens on Aug. 1, there will be the addition of a labor and delivery service, an intensive care unit, an acute care wing and a full-service women’s imaging center that includes equipment for determining bone density and provides digital mammography.

The hospital, at 2350 Meadows Blvd., officially opens at 7 a.m. Aug. 1.

For more information, go to www.castlerockhospital.org or call 720-455-5000.