St. Francis Hospital will proceed with its plans to add 36 patient beds and expand its nursery care for prematurely born infants, Franciscan Health System spokesman Gale Robinette said.
The hospital was approved for the additions in June 2007 when the Washington State Department of Health awarded St. Francis, an affiliate of the Franciscan Health System, with a Certificate of Need. Soon after the certificate was given, Auburn Regional Medical Center appealed the decision. The three entities have since been able to come to an agreement that will allow the expansion to continue.
The 36 beds will be roomed in a new patient tower. Construction details and a timetable for the work are to be announced at a later date, Robinette said. The construction will be paid for by the Franciscan Health System and Catholic Health Initiatives.
Upon completion of the new tower and upgraded nursery, St. Francis will offer 146 patient beds and a Level 2 nursery. This will be the first time the number of beds has increased since St. Francis opened in 1987, Robinette said.
This project is not the same as the addition of the hospital’s critical care unit, under construction now, which is slated for completion this summer.
Update in Britt killing
Joseph N. Njonge, 24, of Kent, pleaded not guilty to murder in the first-degree of Federal Way resident Jane Carol Britt.
Njonge was a nursing assistant at Garden Terrace Alzheimer’s Center, where Britt’s husband resided. He is accused of attacking and killing Britt in the facility’s parking lot after she left the center late March 18. Britt’s body was discovered in the trunk of her car, still parked at the care facility, March 19.
A DNA sample under Britt’s fingernails connected Njonge to the slaying. He is currently still being held on $1 million bail at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. He will next appear in court April 30 for a case setting hearing.
Protest and arrests at Weyerhaeuser
Police arrested four protesters at the Weyerhaeuser Company headquarters, 33663 Weyerhaeuser Way S.
The group — one woman and three men — chained themselves to a flower pot while shareholders arrived for the annual shareholders meeting.
The protesters are believed to be part of the Rainforest Action Network, an environmentalist action group stationed in San Francisco, Calif., and Tokyo, Japan. The protesters were attempting to call attention to an area in Ontario, Canada, where the region’s indigenous people are trying to put a stop to Weyerhaeuser’s logging of the area, according to an Associated Press news brief.
Hylebos Day on May 3
The Federal Way City Council declared the first Saturday in May to be Hylebos Day in Federal Way. Annually, the city will recognize this day as a chance to appreciate the Hylebos Wetlands and the efforts of Friends of the Hylebos to preserve and restore 745 acres of the Hylebos Creek. Friends of the Hylebos was created 25 years ago by Federal Way residents and leaders.
A celebration will be held May 3 at the West Hylebos Wetlands Park. More details will be available. To learn more, contact Chris Carrel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 874-2005.
Pac Highway construction
• SCI Infrastructure will break and continue setting forms for the wall fascia panels near the Overlook Condominiums, 29645 18th Ave. S., April 21. Concrete will be poured on Fridays. Forms will be broken free and reset the following week for the next pour. Reinforcing steel will be set ahead of forms. Fascia panel construction is expected to last a total of 10 weeks. Expect this work to continue into May. Pavement and slope restoration behind the north half of the wall will begin April 23.
• The electrical subcontractor will be installing the new signal components for the South Dash Point Road and Pacific Highway South intersection at least through May 2. The signal mast arms will be erected sometime in May.
• Work on the new north entrance to the View at Redondo Apartments, 29421 Pacific Highway S., is progressing. Paving will be done between April 18 and 22, weather permitting. SCI will begin working on walls at the south end of this same complex the week beginning April 21.
• SCI will pave southbound Pacific Highway South between the Buddhist Learning Center, 28621 Pacific Highway South, and the View at Redondo Apartments, 29421 Pacific Highway S., and eastbound South Dash Point Road between Redondo Way and Pacific Highway South April 18-22. Paving between the north project limit and the Buddhist Learning Center could begin on May 1. Paving could be delayed due to wet weather conditions.
• Curb and gutter will be placed on top of the new pavement April 22. Access to properties will be briefly interrupted while the curb is being poured. Temporary “bridges” will be installed to allow access over the wet concrete. Curb and gutter work could be delayed due to wet weather conditions.
• Concrete driveways will be installed beginning April 23 and continue at least through May 2. Properties with two driveways can expect closures of one driveway at a time to pour and cure the concrete. Properties with single driveways may experience brief interruptions in access while concrete is poured and bridged.
Certain properties will be provided temporary parking on the new asphalt if access cannot otherwise be provided. Concrete work could be delayed due to wet weather conditions.
• SCI should complete placing wall blocks near the Redondo Vista and Soundview Condominiums on April 22.
Expect daytime lane closures for much of this work.