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The latest on Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville’s 11-story tower
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Construction at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center's new North Tower construction site pauses Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, so the hospital could hold a media event to update the public on the new tower's progress. - photo by Scott Rogers

Two years from now, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville will have a gleaming, new 11-story tower.

For now, it’s concrete, steel, dirt and tall, tall cranes occupying the vast site off Downey Boulevard and next to the hospital at 743 Green St.

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Northeast Georgia Health System President and CEO Carol Burrell makes remarks Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, at the construction site of the hospital's new North Tower during a media event to update the construction progress. - photo by Scott Rogers

Hospital officials showed off progress Friday, Jan. 20, of the $538 million project. Construction started in spring 2022 on the new tower, which will dwarf the adjacent North Patient Tower that opened in 2009.

“Our goal is to make sure we’re providing the right care close to home,” said Carol Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System.

About 85% of construction dollars are spent on contractors from Georgia and 65% of dollars are regional contractors, Burrell said.

The 927,000-square-foot tower should be finished in early 2025.

The project calls for moving the emergency department to the ground floor of the tower, as well as adding nearly 200 beds.

“We’ll also be expanding access to heart and vascular services, plus adding more operating rooms,” Burrell said.

Also in the plans are a rooftop helipad, 455-space parking deck, a 340-space expansion of the existing deck and a 40,000-square-foot, 75-foot tall building to support the tower’s energy needs, the hospital has said.

The tower will feature 12 emergency treatment rooms just for children. The area, which will be named after longtime Gainesville pediatrician Dr. William T. “Buddy” Langston, will have its own waiting area.

Moving the emergency department “will be kind of a staged transition, a coordinated effort between teams working in the old and new ones,” said Dr. Corey Duncan, the department’s medical director.

The new space was needed yesterday.

“The existing department we’re in was really built to take care of a fraction of the 100,000 patients we see a year,” Duncan said.

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Construction at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center's new North Tower construction site pauses Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, so the hospital could hold a media event to update the public on the new tower's progress. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Construction at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center's new North Tower construction site pauses Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, so the hospital could hold a media event to update the public on the new tower's progress. - photo by Scott Rogers