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Samaritan Health Services announced plans this week for a $2.5 million expansion of the Mario Pastega House, which offers overnight accommodations for patients and families who travel to receive specialty care at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center campus in Corvallis.

A short walk from the hospital at 3505 NW Samaritan Drive, the hospitality house was built in 2004 at a cost of $2.3 million. Fundraising for the project was kicked off with a $350,000 gift from the late Mario and Alma Pastega, and private donations continue to support operation of the facility.

The expansion project will double the size of the house, Samaritan officials said, from 6,600 square feet with 12 guest rooms to 14,000 square feet with 24 guest rooms. The new rooms will have two queen-sized beds apiece, to accommodate larger family groups, and a new kitchenette and laundry room will also be added.

“We typically run at 100% capacity during the week,” said Lisa McAlister, who manages the house. “The expansion will allow us to serve more patients and families in need from out of the area.”

The house accommodates people who must travel more than 25 miles for cancer treatment, cardiac surgery and other major procedures at Good Sam. Guests pay $30 a night if they can afford it; no one is turned away for lack of funds.

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In addition to getting a low-cost room for the night, guests can get a shower and a hot meal, wash their clothes and relax in a quiet setting near the hospital where their loved ones are getting treatment.

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The Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation raised $1.4 million toward the cost of the expansion, with the remaining $1.1 million coming out of the hospital’s budget, Samaritan officials said.

Among the major donors were the Mario and Alma Pastega Family Foundation, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, LeRoy and Judy Hultberg, Starker Forests, Cut Down Cancer, the Thompson Foundation, Irving and Martha Dayton, and Peter and Rosalie Johnson.

A public groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Aug. 1.

Construction will start later this summer and is scheduled to be completed next spring.

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Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.

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