ECM hopes to break ground on new facility in Florence - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

ECM hopes to break ground on new facility in Florence

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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

ECM Hospital in the Shoals will soon break ground on a new facility in Florence.

Many residents said they are excited for a new hospital in Florence.

"Doesn't much go on out here as far as economy wise, so anything like the hospital is going to give us a great boost we need something like that," said Florence resident Dwight Patterson.

Patterson said he hopes the new facility will bring jobs and growth to the area.  

"It's going to mean a whole lot, you know; we're going to get new doctors. We're going to get new technology here, and it's probably going to surround the area with other building companies, so maybe I can get some work out of it, who knows," said Patterson.

Before crews begin construction, ECM spokesman Tom Whetstone said the hospital will have several hearings over the next few months with both the administrative law judge and the city's certificate of need board before getting the final approval.

"We anticipate that all the hearings will be completed and a final decision will be made maybe by late summer," said Whetstone.

Officials hope to break ground for the new hospital on Veteran's Drive this time next summer.

"It's a part of town that needs development," said Whetstone. "We think it's a beautiful site -- an opportunity to not only be more accessible to everyone in the shoals but also to be a true economic impact on the community watching that whole corridor develop."

Officials estimate the new hospital to take anywhere from 24 to 32 months to complete once they break ground.

Hospital officials said the old ECM would not be torn down, but would have new occupants. They said they've already spoken with city as well as university officials about the future of the building.

"What we anticipate doing is once we get the final approval then will move ahead with the formation of a community interest group and we will assist them in developing plans for the future use of the current facility," said Whetstone.

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