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Construction begins on Braselton hospitals obstetrics wing
Addition of new floor expected to be ready in late 2016 or early 2017
Turner Construction crews work on the roof of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton on Thursday morning above the elevator shaft as they prepare to add another level for the hospital's OB-GYN wing.

New obstetrics unit

Where: Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton
Size: approximately 22,500 square feet
Cost: $16 million
Includes: 10 labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms, two cesarean section suites, a nursery and reception and waiting areas
Completion: By January 2017

Sometimes, when a new hospital opens, there’s a need for extra space and certain services.

And if all goes according to plan, a new wing with extra rooms will be delivered after two years.

Construction began Monday on a new obstetrics wing at Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Braselton location. When finished, the expansion will offer 10 rooms, two suites for cesarean sections, a nursery and reception and waiting areas.

“We are extremely pleased that we will be able to offer OB services for our community,” said Anthony Williamson, president of the Braselton location, in a news release. “We recognized the need for health care services in South Hall County many years ago, and it is exciting to be able to plan for our first expansion so quickly.”

Beth Downs, spokeswoman for the Braselton hospital, explained that the 10 rooms will serve for all stages of having a baby ­– labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care.

“(The rooms include) all of the amenities that the mother and the family would need for their entire stay,” Downs said, “so they won’t have a separate labor and delivery suite and won’t move to a different room for their postpartum care.”

At the Gainesville hospital, located at 743 Spring St., new mothers experience their labor and delivery in one room, and then are transported to a separate room for recovery, Downs explained.

That particular location is home to the Women & Children’s Pavilion, featuring 18 obstetrics beds plus eight antepartum rooms and a neonatal intensive care unit.

The one-room experience is to encourage more family participation, Downs said.

“Part of the reason we opened up the ICU (at Braselton) for 24 hours a day is so family members can stay with a sick loved one,” she said. “We want family members to feel welcome … so they can be a part of the whole process.”

The hospital is adding a third floor for the new wing, with the unit going above the second floor’s surgical suite.

“The only thing that patients may notice might be at some periods there might be noise, but otherwise all the services in the hospital will continue uninterrupted,” Downs said, adding that a portion of the courtyard area outside of the dining hall will be closed due to the scaffolding.

Doors to the 100-bed Braselton location opened April 1. It’s located off Ga. 347 in South Hall, about one mile west of Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway.

Barring any complications, the new addition is expected to open within two years.

“We anticipate … visible signs of construction on the outside until next summer, and then it will take us a few months to outfit the space and get all the furniture in and get the staff ready,” Downs said. “We anticipate opening our OB services at the end of 2016 or January of 2017 at the very latest.”