Selby project: Plans in works for some major upgrades

Plans are in the works for some major renovations to Selby General Hospital.

Fundraising efforts are already under way for the roughly estimated $5 million project that will include private room upgrades, handicapped accessibility throughout the building, better signage and more convenient parking facilities.

“Patients have suggested some facility upgrades at Selby, including more private rooms and other improvements,” said Daneka Hedges, executive director of the Memorial Health Foundation that’s dedicating the foundation’s annual appeals drive to the Selby renovations project.

She noted an independent survey ranks Selby in the 85 to 90 percentile range for patient satisfaction, and the planned upgrades should help maintain and improve that ranking.

“We decided the project would be a great improvement for the local community,” Hedges said.

Vienna, W.Va., resident Lacy Wilson brought her husband to Selby for surgery on his broken elbow Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s a nice hospital-small and comfortable, and everyone seems so friendly here,” she said.

Nearly half a century has passed since Selby General Hospital moved from 304 Putnam St. to its present location along Colegate Drive in Marietta.

In 2008 Selby became an affiliate with the Memorial Health System, which includes Marietta Memorial Hospital, the Harmar Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Glenwood Retirement Community, Marietta Health Care Physicians Inc., and the Marietta Health Foundation that provides financial support for health system facilities.

“Since then the health system has invested a lot in Selby’s facilities, including an upgraded operating room, and improvements to the pre- and post-op areas. And a lot of our orthopedic surgery facilities have been moved to the Selby campus,” said Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing and communications for the Memorial Health System.

She said prior to the health system affiliation, the last major improvements to the Selby facility would have been completed in the 1980s.

Offenberger noted Selby is still a full-service hospital with an emergency room and on-site clinic facilities.

“An average of around 9,000 patients are seen in the ER every year, and we’re expecting that number to continue to grow,” she said, adding that’s another reason the upgrades are needed.

The project, still in the early design phase, is expected to take two to three years to complete. But Offenberger said some changes could become evident soon.

“Improved gateway entry signage will hopefully be done this year,” she said. “The current signage is not easily seen, so there’s a need to let people traveling on Colegate Drive know where the hospital is located.”

In fact, Wilson said she missed the hospital entrance when taking her husband to Selby Tuesday.

“I passed it up before I saw the sign,” she said. “It was easy to miss.”

Another upgrade that will be noticeable to the public is the staining of the light-colored bricks on the exterior of the Selby building to match a red brick hue. And Offenberger said better parking lot access will also be among the first improvements made at the facility.

Inside work will include renovating 25 patient rooms to private rooms with private baths in each room.

“The trend for most hospitals now is toward more private rooms for patients,” Offenberger said. “So all of Selby’s 25 beds will be changed to private rooms.”

The Selby renovations project will be completed in phases, she said, noting none of the work has begun at this time.

Hedges said the health foundation is hoping for major support from the community.

“We want to encourage and invite people to be part of these exciting changes by donating whatever they can to this important project-every little bit will help,” she said. “The fundraising campaign runs through the end of this calendar year, but gifts to the foundation designated for the Selby project will always be welcome.”

Hedges said money raised through contributions would help offset the amount the hospital system will have to finance for the project.