Northeast Georgia Health System filed a letter of intent Monday, Feb. 22, for its certificate of need application to construct an 11-story patient tower costing $700 million.
The health system announced the plans in December for the expansion that would go next to the existing north patient tower as early as 2024.
The plan includes an expanded emergency department, more operating rooms, more beds and other additions.
“Filing this letter of intent is the next step toward making this project – which is vital to our community’s health – a reality,” NGHS President and CEO Carol Burrell said in a statement. “The $700 million cost estimate includes the initial phase of construction, as well as a future phase to add even more operating rooms; expand clinical space for heart and vascular care, neurosciences and other services; and add patient beds as needed.
Burrell said the 11 stories account for “future expansion.”
“Our clinical teams are currently working with the architects as they develop designs, and we look forward to sharing more as the process moves closer to construction,” Burrell said.
NGHS officials previously provided a project budget between $450 million and $500 million in December.
NGHS spokesman Sean Couch said that estimate was for the first phase of the project, which would be the initial tower construction and surrounding area.
“Some of the 11 stories of the towers will be unfinished shell space when the tower opens,” Couch wrote in an email. “The total estimated project cost of $700 million also takes into account Phase 2 – which will include adding even more operating rooms, beds and expanded clinical space as demand drives the need to finish the empty shell space.”
The letter was filed with the Department of Community Health’s Office of Health Planning
According to the letter, the new tower will add outpatient observation beds, five shared inpatient/outpatient operating rooms, a rooftop helipad, a central energy plant, parking garage and 144 more inpatient acute care beds.
The cardiac catheterization labs and the emergency department would be relocated.