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Work may start in January to convert building to health system offices

POSTED: December 23, 2013 11:52 p.m.

Construction work should begin in January to convert the old Sam’s Club building in Oakwood to Northeast Georgia Health System’s corporate support service center.

The health system, anchored by Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, is still designing and selecting furniture for the new offices, said Scotty Williams, director of facility operations.

The revenue cycle department, which handles patient accounts and billing, and Northeast Georgia Physicians Group administration will be the first to move to the center in late March or early April. Over time, additional support departments will join as needed, officials have said.

Initially, some 200 employees will work in the building.

The health system announced the project in May, signing a lease for the building at 3137 Frontage Road, near Mundy Mill Road and Interstate 985.

Carol Burrell, president and CEO, said at that time that NGHS had “outgrown what our Gainesville campus can accommodate,” as the health system “expands and the needs of our support services grow.

“Additionally, as we build our new hospital in Braselton, a more central location is needed for support services that will serve both campuses.”

Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, which will be off the new Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway near Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway, is slated to open in the spring of 2015.

Burrell also cited the convenience of the new offices being near I-985, a main artery through Hall County.

The health system will renovate the building to make it conducive to office functions, she said.

Hospital officials are designing the space “to take advantage of more efficient work flows between departments that can now be positioned together due to the larger space this location offers,” hospital officials stated in an earlier news release.

The hospital earlier expected renovations to start in summer with completion estimated for early 2014. The project was delayed but hasn’t had any issues, Williams said.

The health system has been working on layouts “to ensure our most effective use of the space,” he said.

According to Hall County records, the building’s size is 107,826 square feet with a 2,072-square-foot “service repair garage.” The building, owned by Wal-Mart of Bentonville, Ark., was built in 1992.

Sam’s Club operated out of the building until several years ago, when it moved to a site off Mundy Mill near Thurmon Tanner Parkway.

A furniture store and flea market previously occupied the old Sam’s building.


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