Plans to construct a new North Valley Physical Therapy building in downtown Columbia Falls recently were approved by the North Valley Hospital Board of Directors.
The facility, which, according to a hospital spokesperson has been in discussion for some time now, will be located just north of Smith’s Food and Drug at 253 Nucleus Ave.
The board first started reviewing the building project in February of 2019 as part of the hospital’s capital budget. The new structure will replace the existing North Valley Physical Therapy facility, which is one of the hospital’s oldest buildings.
“As a health-care partner in Columbia Falls since 1988, we are excited to have this opportunity to join in the effort to revitalize Nucleus Avenue, invest in the community, and provide improved care for our patients in a new, state-of-the-art physical therapy facility,” Kevin Abel, chief executive officer of North Valley Hospital, said in a prepared statement.
The lot is already home to the North Valley Community Building as well, which will remain in place and services at the existing physical therapy building are expected to continue throughout the construction period.
Crews will break ground this spring and are expected to complete the 3,000-square-foot, single-story project before next winter. The project is expected to cost around $900,000 — a figure that will include external site improvements such as parking and landscaping.
Abel said he’s proud the hospital will be able to maintain the frequented community center while the separate building is constructed in order “to better serve our patients and provide the high quality care that our patients expect from any North Valley Hospital location and clinic.”
The hospital hired Jackola Engineering & Architecture, PC and Hammerquist Casalegno, LLC to design and construct the new facility on the northwest portion of the lot. According to Shane Jackola, president of Jackola Engineering & Architecture, the building will be a strong asset to downtown Columbia Falls.
“It’s going to be a nice addition to the neighborhood and the look fits right into the Montana scene,” Jackola said. “It’s a big improvement over the current physical therapy facility. It’s going to have a nice amount of daylight coming through and will be open toward the main Nucleus road.”
As a way to further engage in the Columbia Falls community, the press release also states the hospital will be supporting the development of the Boys and Girls Club of Glacier County - HUB community center with a $25,000 pledge to “support a meeting/gathering room” in the proposed building.
Reporter Kianna Gardner may be reached at 748-4407 or firstname.lastname@example.org