Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital celebrates new entrance (PHOTO GALLERY) | TheUnion.com

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital celebrates new entrance (PHOTO GALLERY)

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital celebrated the completion of its new front entrance Wednesday.

Staff members and friends of the hospital gathered outside the new structure, which is just one of several improvement projects being taken on by the medical center. The hospital opened its doors in 1958.

Renovations still to be completed include a new emergency department, a new magnetic resonance imaging center, Computed Tomography center, lobby restrooms and a new gift shop.

Katherine Medeiros, president and chief executive officer of Sierra Nevada Memorial, said the front entrance project took a number of months, with construction slowing during the winter months due to cold weather.

"The cold weather slowed down the fire-proofing we had to do," Medeiros said, adding the new projects will all be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

Sierra Nevada intensive care unit monitor tech Stacy Anderson performed the national anthem at the ceremony held to celebrate the new entrance, while hospital employee Jason Hardy — a 20-year Army veteran — raised the flag.

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Local construction firm Streamline Construction built the new entrance.

Calob Rangel — plant operations manager for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital — oversees all the construction on the property. Rangel said there were multiple reasons for creating the new entrance.

"The canopy is part of our ADA accessibility project," said Rangel. "It's providing an accessible path of travel for our patients. The main focus was a patient drop-off that met ADA requirements. In addition to that, it just provides further shade and protection from the elements, and to give the facility a nice architectural front."

Medeiros was uncertain when the remainder of the hospital's improvements would be complete, but said that Wednesday's celebration was a way of recognizing progress and building the excitement for the other renovations.

"It was fun," said Medeiros. "It was just a way to keep people interested and motivated."

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.

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