Huntsville Hospital works on largest construction project in four decades

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HUNTSVILLE, - Ala, - The City of Huntsville 's rapid growth has led to an increase in health care needs. Huntsville Hospital is working on the largest medical construction project downtown has had since 1980 in order to try to meet that need.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Huntsville Hospital officials announced their plans to build a seven-story, 375 thousand square foot Orthopedic and Spine Tower.

Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers Says " More people are driving 50, 60, 70 miles from Huntsville to have healthcare here."

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

As to how much the cost would be? "When you include the first year's operating and the equipment we are going to put in this tower, will be about 250 million dollars," said Spillers.

The plans include 72 private rooms for patients and 24 operating rooms. Officials say they will move their entire orthopedic program into the building and the majority of their spine program.

Jeff Samz, COO, said the new facility will give patents easy access to the building. "If you're having orthopedic surgery or spine surgery, you probably won't be able to walk well so this building has its own entrance to make it easily accessible, " Said Samz.

Officials said the expansion goes beyond orthopedic and spine to help with the overcrowding issues the hospital is facing today.

"There are times when we run out of capacity today. So this will give us capacity to take care of numerous types of patients, not just orthopedic and spine patients," Sillers said.

The hospital will also offer a variety of physical therapy programs.

Huntsville Hospital leaders said not all of the seven floors will be used right away but the large building gives them the opportunity to expand with the city.

They are also working on construction projects at some of their other locations, including the Decatur-Morgan campus and the Athens campus.