A rehabilitation hospital planned for west Omaha will cost about one-third more than initially projected.
Earlier this year, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital of Lincoln announced that it would build a 120-bed, 200,000-square-foot rehabilitation hospital somewhere on the West Dodge corridor — a site since revealed to be a parcel at 175th Plaza and Burke Street.
The site is owned by a University of Nebraska Medical Center physicians' group.
Madonna originally pegged the project cost at $60 million. But now, factoring in architects, engineers, builders and other site work later in the planning process, the cost has grown to $93 million, said the hospital's chief financial officer, Victor Witkowicz.
The project will be financed with tax-exempt revenue bonds. Hospital lawyers will appear at today's Douglas County Board meeting for a public hearing on the bond offering.
The hospital, not county taxpayers, will back the debt. A public hearing is required because the official bond issuer is Douglas County Hospital District No. 2, which allows underwriters — Wells Fargo and Smith Hayes, in this case — to market the bonds as tax-free instruments.
Douglas County hospitals have used this financing option a half-dozen times in the past few years, said Jerry Prazan, finance administrator for the County Clerk's Office.
Witkowicz said Madonna's goal is to offset 20 percent of the debt — $18.6 million — with private donations.
The hospital is on track to open by late 2015, spokeswoman Molly Nance said.