The hospital's Board of Trustees has awarded $20,000 to the architectural firm Rodriguez Park of San Diego to complete a schematic design and detailed cost estimates.
The $4.6 million project includes plans to remodel and redesign the lobby area as well as refurbish the exterior of the 32-year-old building.
The proposed 9,600-square-foot remodel and expansion includes a single-story 4,500 square foot addition to the east side or main entrance of the building.
The primary thrust, according to project manager Roger Sedway, is to increase patient comfort and make the hospital more friendly.
"In a patient satisfaction survey, the (hospital's) number one shortcoming concerned patient confidentiality and the registration process," Sedway said, noting the expansion will provide a large central registration area, as well as a conference room and extra space designed to accommodate expanded information services.
"The health industry is moving toward more interactive medicine as more consumers have access to computers," CTH marketing director Richard Linkul said, noting government mandates, such as the electronic medical records system, will require future expansion of the information technology department.
Carson-Tahoe chief executive officer Steve Smith said plans include space for medical staff and the Board of Trustees, which presently meet at Carson City's Community Center. The new conference room will also provide space for physician in-service seminars and classes.
The new exterior primarily enhances the entrance, which will be updated with a new main canopy, secondary canopy, courtyard enclosure, trees and trellises.
Architectural firm Rodriguez Park designed the Rehab Center and Minden Medical Center as well as smaller projects, such as the operating room and labor and delivery rooms.
"We've worked with them in the past and we've come back to this firm because we are comfortable with them," Sedway said.
The project has almost completed the first of a five-phase process designed nail down details such as advanced design. The project will be put out to bid in phase four, which should be completed in the spring of 2001, and construction starts during phase five.
According to Sedway, the project should take about 15 months.
Two other major construction projects, the catheterization lab and the air handler replacement project, must be completed before the lobby project is started.