Life Flight to land at fairgrounds as Summit Pacific readies for expansion

The hospital is preparing a temporary helipad at another location as well

A parking lot at the Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds will temporarily be used as a helicopter landing pad to transport patients to nearby Summit Pacific Medical Center as the hospital breaks ground on its major expansion project.

Instead of bringing critically injured patients directly to the hospital, the Life Flight helicopter network will, until Jan. 31, land in parking lot “C” in the fairgrounds at 32 Elma McCleary Road. Grays Harbor County Fair and Event Center Manager Mike Bruner said the parking lot is currently not in use and is generally an overflow lot.

The temporary landing spot at the fairgrounds is about one mile from Summit Pacific Medical Center. That lot won’t serve as the Life Flight landing zone throughout the entire construction process, as the hospital is preparing another temporary pad at Abundance Life Church, about one-quarter of a mile from the emergency room.

“Summit is working swiftly to install the requirements including constructing a concrete landing pad for effective patient transport for a long-term temporary helipad,” said Patricia Haught, a spokesperson for the hospital, in an email.

According to Haught, “preparation is underway to begin excavation work on time” for the hospital’s $60 million expansion, which will double the amount of acute care beds from 10 to 20 with the flexibility for 25.

The expansion will also renovate an emergency room to increase capacity. Haught said the Summit ER team is preparing to relocate an ambulance bay that’s required before starting the first part of the hospital addition.

Summit Pacific will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the expansion project on Wednesday, Jan. 31 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Contact reporter Clayton Franke at 406-552-3917 or