Rain and thunder interrupt North Central Health Care groundbreaking ceremony

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — As clouds rolled overhead, North Central Health Care (NCHC) held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday.

Dozens of people gathered to mark the start of work on a new aquatic therapy pool. It’s one of several major renovations NCHC has planned.

However, rain and thunder delayed the event. Eventually officials directed attendees indoors, preventing any shoveling of ceremonial dirt.

NCHC leaders said the weather was symbolic.

“It’s been a long time for the people that have supported this pool, to see this happen and they just want to be a part of the day,” said NCHC CEO Michael Loy. “It’s really, kind of, ceremonial that we had a storm today because anything with the pool over the last couple of years has seemed stormy. But, we’re here today and we’re very excited about moving forward.”

Despite the weather, Marathon County representatives said they’re looking forward to the renovation project.

“It’s the first step in a $73 million expenditure at this campus to dramatically re-envision our nursing home, and our mental health and substance abuse programming,” said Lance Leonhard, the Deputy County Administrator of Marathon County. “So, the county saw the value in all of those programs and today it’s a pleasure to be here to take that first step.”

Officials expect the new aquatic therapy center to open in April 2020.

Later this fall, NCHC plans to hold a groundbreaking for a new youth psychiatric hospital, a new crisis stabilization facility and other renovations.

Curtis Aderholdt

Curtis Aderholdt

A WAOW photo journalist since December 2014.

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