HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville Hospital is giving the public a first glimpse at what their new medical tower will look like when it’s built.
The seven story Orthopedic and Spine Tower is currently under construction. It is Huntsville Hospital’s biggest project in nearly four decades.
Officials spoke to the media Wednesday about how it’s coming along and why it’s needed.
“More patients are choosing to drive from 50, 60, 70 miles to Huntsville to have healthcare here. People who previously went to Erlanger, Vanderbilt or UAB are choosing to come here because we have the services where we can treat anyone that those facilities can treat. It has required us to continue to invest in healthcare in our community,” explained David Spillers, CEO of the Huntsville Hospital Health System.
It will take up an entire city block across from the main hospital entrance at the corner of Gallatin Street and St. Clair Avenue and will feature 375,000 square feet of surgical, patient care and specialized physical rehabilitation space.
There will be 72 private patient rooms, as well as two dozen state of the art operating rooms dedicated to inpatient and outpatient procedures, including spine surgery, knee and hip replacement surgery, tendon and ligament repair, sports medicine, arthroscopy, repair of open and closed fractures and surgery involving the hands or feet.
“The additional patient beds will allow us to meet the growing needs of additional medical beds in the main hospital. It helps us grow and serve the community. It allows us to keep up with the growth in the community,” said Jeff Samz, COO of the Huntsville Hospital Health System.
It’s scheduled to open in 2021- a $250 million-dollar investment.
“We are committed to taking care of everyone in this community and this project is going to allow us to do that,” Spillers stated during the press conference. “The trickle-down effect of this is that it’s going to help a lot of patients. It’s focused on orthopedic and spine, but it’s going to help all of the patients that come into our hospital in some way or another.”
There will be a restaurant on the first floor of the tower.
For the next few weeks, the remaining existing buildings on the site will come down and then the new facility will be built.
A new 600-space parking deck is also being built on the campus to alleviate congestion.
The building will feature large pre-surgical prep and post-surgical recovery areas, and provide a new home for the hospital’s popular Joint Camp program. It provides specialized care and group physical therapy for patients who have just undergone joint replacement surgery.
“You know about Mazda Toyota, you know about the FBI. You know about those projects. So when we develop our strategic plan looking out into the future, we have to build to accommodate that,” Spillers said.
It is the biggest medical construction project in downtown Huntsville since the hospital opened its north patient tower in 1980. Robins & Morton is serving as general contractor. The tower was designed by Chapman Sisson Architects.
“This has its own entrance, it’s easier to access. It has parking immediately attached. Not only does it help us grow a program, we think it is more customer friendly. It will be easier for our patients and it’s easy for surgeons to use,” Samz added.