LINDSBORG — When Lindsborg Community Hospital began planning renovations to its facility in May 2016, they thought it would take years to fund the project. A year and a half later, the staff learned of a $3.7 million estate gift that would cover what had been named the “Patient Centered Renovation.”

Lindsborg Community Hospital Administrator, Larry Van Der Wege, said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation that plans for a capital campaign were being shaped when the hospital heard they would be a recipient of a significant portion of David J. Nutt’s trust fund.

“What was really special was that it was given to LCH due to the patient-centered careprovided to his parents over 40 years ago,” Van Der Wege said.

Nutt was born in Lindsborg on Feb. 11, 1925, to David G. and Fannie (Cox) Nutt. Nutt credited the community of Lindsborg for their contributions to his start in life, especially in his secular and religious education.

After graduating high school, Nutt was drafted into the Army and became a rifleman in an infantry division, serving from July 1943 to March 1946. He fought in Germany and Belgium and was part of the Battle of the Bulge.

Upon returning to the United States, he attended Kansas State University and graduated in 1949 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Nutt would go on to work for Creole Petroleum Corporation in Venezuela, the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, the Naval Ordnance Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, retiring in 1985 at the age of 60.

Don and Geneva Turnquist were present at the groundbreaking reception for the renovations. Don Turnquist, a classmate of Nutt’s, said he remembered him as being very intelligent.

“Upon exiting this world, I want to share that success with the community that nurtured me in those early years when it was most needed,” Nutt wrote on the form establishing his fund with the McPherson County Community Foundation.

“His overwhelming generosity has enabled this to happen,” Van Der Wege said.

Nutt’s gift will be used to implement a five-phase renovation process at LCH, beginning with building a 1,240-square foot addition to the clinic beginning May 14 with plans for completion around October. The new space, which will be constructed west of the clinic, will contain four exam rooms, a physician office and a nurses’ station.

Phase two, which is scheduled to take place from October 2018 to March 2019, will focus on building a new entryway to the hospital, with patients using a temporary entrance during that time. The new entrance will feature a double set of automatic doors opening into one waiting room, consolidated from the three presently in place.

“We wanted to improve the efficiency of the registration and waiting areas,” Van Der Wege said.

Succeeding phases will be implemented to rearranging offices and services into a more logical layout.

“We’ll finish up, we’re anticipating, in about August of 2019,” Van Der Wege said.

The renovations will allow lab services to be moved to the front of the hospital, shortening the walk for patients who currently have to trek to the back of the facility. Materials management, which is currently using a space near the front of the building, will be moved to the back.

“What we’re trying to achieve as a healthcare organization is to be patient centered,” Van Der Wege said.

The former pharmacy space will be renovated to provide expanded urgent care services all week long. The x-ray suite will be relocated to the same hall as sonography and the business office will be converted into a conference room. Administrative offices and the hospital auxiliary’s gift shop will be relocated and five server rooms will be consolidated into one area.

“There were a number of different items we wanted to improve upon,” Van Der Wege said. “The reality is it’s not a very big facility, but it’s not as efficient as it could be.”

Kristine Pafford, of SPT Architecture in Wichita, was awarded the architectural contract. Simpson Construction, also of Wichita, will handle the renovations.

The hospital and clinic plans to operate during normal hours throughout the construction process. Updates to the public will be published on Facebook and sent via email as the renovations progresses.

“It’s just amazing that it came together for this purpose,” Van Der Wege said.

Lindsborg Community Hospital is a 25-bed facility and employs around 120 people. For more information, visit https://www.lindsborghospital.org.