Things are really starting to take shape on Kootenai Health’s expansion. Behind the plastic lining the sides of the structure, steel beams and concrete floors – the bones of the new structure – are coming together.

“The expansion will remain tented through the winter,” Derek Miller, construction manager, said. “This will protect the structure from the elements and allow us to start putting together the exterior and roof.”

Once the exterior is complete, the plastic covering will be removed and the interior work will begin. This includes everything from lighting and flooring to paint and furnishings.

“We should start work on the finishings in April,” Derek said. “Work on the main entrance and lobby area won’t begin until mid-summer.”

Along with the new birthing center and neonatal unit, the expansion will house Kootenai’s orthopedic and neurology unit, which currently occupies the south end of the third floor in the hospital. This unit will have 32 patient rooms, include space for the total joint replacement program and a small rehabilitation gym for orthopedic patients.

Ultimately, the removal of these units will free up space in the main hospital for a second phase of remodels.

“Plans are already underway to expand the operating rooms in the main hospital,” Derek said. “Moving these departments was needed in order to start working on the main building.”

Watch us grow!

You can view weekly updates and photos of the expansion, along with everything you want to know about the new building at