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By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
    With keys in hand following mammoth construction of the new HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, officials are now making a home of the $300 million project, which officially debuts Nov. 4.
    From the outside it looks complete, but inside, many final touches remain before move-in.
p01 hshs tourOne of the 17 visitors from the Japan Province of Hospital Sisters of St. Francis looks over newly installed equipment during a recent tour of the new HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. The visitors took a tour of the soon-to-be-complete hospital in O’Fallon with CEO Peg Sebastian and members of the hospital leadership and project management teams. Many such tours have been granted in recent weeks.p01 hshs landscapingA view of the newly planted exterior landscaping. The hospital is placing much stress on vegetation and other calming factors as part of a design that stresses patient comfort and recovery.    More than 1,500 staff, doctors and other vendors are getting oriented to the building while the contractors proceed on a punch list. Only limited construction will take place over the next several weeks. The keys were presented to the hospital Aug. 10.
    Viewed from Interstate 64, the facility has a long, low profile that belies the tall, five-story structure viewed up close. It is located just off Green Mount Road. The outside signage was put up late in the month, with the word “hospital” covered over so passersby don’t mistake it for a functioning hospital.
    Facing the front and from the left, the overall complex features a hospital building; then two centralized towers; then a medical building called the O’Fallon Health Center. Each of the floors are connected throughout the length of the complex so doctors and staff never need to use an elevator to get from one end to the other. The first-floor hallway of the hospital is dubbed Main Street and will be home to many services visitors, colleagues and outpatients (not inpatients) would need.
    President and Chief Executive Officer Peg Sebastian and Director of Construction Management Sue Holloway took the Illinois Business Journal on a tour. Each is proud of her role in shaping the hospital’s future.
    Recruitment of staff, particularly doctors, has been “very good for us. The best it’s been in years,” Sebastian said. “Everyone wants to work with new technology.”
    Holloway has spent the better part of two years as the hospital’s director manager of construction, which was done by Alberici-Holland Joint Venture. Alberici is based in St. Louis and Holland Construction Services is based in Swansea.
    There are only three public entrances into the hospital as opposed to the 16 at the current facility in the 200 block of South Third Street in Belleville. The current hospital will be closed and no longer used for hospital services after the new building goes live. Other buildings on the Belleville campus will, however, house some related medical services and several support staff departments. Services remaining in Belleville include: Walk-in Clinic, Primary Care Clinic, Outpatient Laboratory, Imaging (including 3D Mammography), Physical Therapy, physician offices, and coffee shop with grab and go sandwiches.

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
    JERSEYVILLE — A heavily agricultural region that has historically catered to livestock, crops and orchards is increasingly setting its sights on business development.
    Jerseyville and surrounding towns could be on the brink of a new era, says a local economic development director.
    “It’s a great time to be in Jerseyville because of all that is happening,” said p01 AlbrechtAlbrechtShari Albrecht, the economic development director for both the Jersey County Business Association and the Jerseyville Economic Development Council.
    A big project at the moment is planning for development along the proposed Jersey Bypass, part of the 32-mile, four lane that will complete U.S. 67 through Jersey and Greene counties.
    Also on Albrecht’s radar are investment and rebuilding in downtown Jerseyville, business retention and recruitment throughout the county, and tourism. Jerseyville is the county seat and its biggest community. Grafton and Brighton are also key communities.
    The most potential for growth is completion of the U.S. 67 corridor, which is on the state’s long-range plan. Right now, the highway coming north from Godfrey stops near the town of Delhi, in the southern part of Jersey County, and takes back up again just north of the Greene County city of Roodhouse.
    The Illinois Department of Transportation’s plan is to do a new bypass around Jerseyville, since there is no room to do it within the community.
    The highway represents all sorts of development possibilities, chief among them a railroad transload project that Jerseyville has been discussing with Kansas City Southern Railroad. Such a project would allow cargo brought in by train to be offloaded onto trucks for shipping. Multiple sites adjacent to the city limits are being considered.
    “Mayor (William) Russell has been working with Kansas City Southern for the better part of three years,” she said. “In the economic development world, three years on a project is not a long time. He has the vision these could be really good-paying jobs.”
    Beyond that, many of the details, including potential sites, remain confidential.
    Another major effort is underway that could bode well for development. In December, local officials applied for an Illinois enterprise zone designation. The first review board meeting was held about a month ago and officials were “pleased with comments on our application,” Albrecht said. Many letters of support from businesses and leaders were included.
    The zone is being sought jointly by both Greene and Jersey counties and includes a 13-square-mile area across a portion of each.
    No other enterprise zones are in place in that market.
    “Around 12 applied, and we are thinking they will approve six. They will announce the ones that are approved the first of October,” she said.
    Albrecht, who is married to former Macoupin County Sheriff Don Albrecht, had a similar economic development job in Macoupin before retiring. She was lured back to the field about 18 months ago.
    “I was at home enjoying my grandkids when I got a call. The CEO of the JCBA was retiring and they thought it was a good time to look at their organization and see what they needed to do,” she said. That led to a six-month contract to evaluate the group and make recommendations.
    Then, she was asked to stay another six months to implement JCBA’s restructuring. Eventually, she became economic development director for both organizations. The JCBA will focus on traditional chamber of commerce responsibilities, and the Economic Development Council will focus on the larger projects in and around Jerseyville.
    An official agenda of the Jerseyville Economic Development Council was rolled out in May. The group is separately targeting large and small businesses with the help of two advisory boards comprised of a cross section of business people meeting under Albrecht’s direction.
    The large-business/industry effort is called “Explore Jersey County.” It looks at industrial, manufacturing and agribusiness projects and focuses on business retention, expansion and recruitment.
    Board members will analyze the business climate and provide appropriate support for applications, legislative efforts and recruitment. The board is working with consulting members: Erika Kennett of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Carl Fisher of Ameren Illinois; Tony Heitzig, of MJM Electric Cooperative; Philip Lasseigne, an aide to Republican Congressman Rodney Davis; and state Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville.
    “From May until now we’ve been putting together a brand and a website,” Albrecht said. “We’ve started to do some business retention visits, and I think we’ll see some different twists on those.”
    During the visits, retention committee members have been accompanied by a videographer and photographer to record things for posterity.

By ALAN J. ORTBALS
    Imagine being able to take a self-guided, 3D, virtual tour of a residence, office, hotel, hospitality venue or museum, being able to move from room to room at your own pace and zoom in to get a better look at details, all without leaving your home or desk.
    That’s what Belleville-based, InvelopNow provides its clients using the revolutionary immersive media technology of Matterport, a company founded in 2011 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.
    “Scans from InvelopNow provide a 24-hour open house,” said p01 MalacarneMalacarneChris Malacarne, co-founder and vice president of InvelopNow. “Viewers can go online and see the virtual tour and walk through it on any mobile device or desktop. They can view the space, the room layout, the furniture arrangement. They can see the floor plans. There is a 3D showcase that shows a 3D model structure of the home.”
    While some may have seen video tours of homes for sale or venues for rent, the Matterport process is different, says Malacarne. The viewer is able to move from one room to another at their own choosing and at their own pace. They can stop and zoom in on some detail they want to look at more closely. The video can also include tags on items that the client wants to call particular attention to in the home or venue, giving more information about particular features. It also provides a 3D view so that the viewer can get an overview of how the rooms relate to each other.
    Malacarne says they have been working primarily with residential real estate agents but the uses are endless. They’ve scanned hospitality venues like hotels and banquet centers and museums are another client base. The Sheldon Concert Hall and the Moto Museum have used their services.

 

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    Simmons Hanly Conroy, the largest plaintiff’s personal injury firm in the St. Louis area, has again matched $25,000 in donations to the “$5 for the Fight.”
    Since 2012, the firm’s match challenge has raised more than $175,000 for the “$5 for the Fight” Emergency Relief Fund, established by the Greater St. Louis Labor Council and supported by the United Way.