Ivinson Memorial Hospital has broken ground on a $36.5 million construction project. The two-year expansion will upgrade patient rooms, renovate operating rooms, build a new dialysis center and add a 30-room patient tower to the Laramie hospital.

IMH CEO Carol Dozier says the project is aimed at improving patient care by adding state-of-the-art technology. Other improvements include private showers in patient rooms and increasing the dining area in the cafeteria. Since it is fully funded, Dozier says the project will not increase patient fees.

“We’ve been saving our money and being good stewards and we are going to pay cash for it,” Dozier told KOWB. “With the uncertainty in health care and health care reform, we didn’t want to leverage the hospital or risk it.”

Wyoming First Lady Carol Mead spoke at the ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. She noted the commitment Albany County has to health and thanked IMH for its near century of service to the community.

Construction is expected to begin in mid-October once all of the proper permits for the project are obtained. The west side parking lot will remain closed throughout construction.