FLOWERY BRANCH — Design work should begin next month on the Northeast Georgia Health System’s new South Hall hospital.
“Master planning is where we are right now,” said Anthony Williamson, health system vice president at a meeting Tuesday morning of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s South Hall Business Coalition.
“We’re looking at where on the site the hospital is going to go, whether it’s going to be tall or short and how it’s going to lay out,” he said, speaking at the Hall County Library System’s Spout Springs branch.
Once master planning is completed this month, “we’ll start going into schematic design,” Williamson said. “That’s when we actually start drawing lines on paper.”
Construction is slated to finish in the spring of 2014, with the hospital opening in the spring of 2015.
The 100-bed hospital, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, will be situated in what the hospital is calling the River Place campus, off Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway and the planned new Ga. 347/Friendship Road.
“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” Williamson said, adding that some 60 to 70 acres are developable. “We’ve walked it many, many times. ... The sustainability is something that’s really important to us in trying to be a good neighbor and also preserving a lot of the beauty on that site.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation plans on widening Friendship Road between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211.
The project could be awarded in June, with construction starting in late summer or early fall.
The road project will involve construction of four to six lanes. The stretch in front of the new hospital will be built first, as part of the overall project. The new road will run mostly north of Thompson Mill Road between Spout Springs Road and Ga. 211.
“It’s exciting to know that we have to tear some things down and remove a few trees to prepare for the road,” Williamson said. “We’ve been working closely with the DOT throughout the life of this project.”
Even though the new hospital is certified for 100 beds, “what we’re envisioning is large hospital programs,” he said.
“This will be a general, acute-care hospital, but ... we’ll be building on our strengths in cardiology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, rehabilitation, and women’s and cancer services.”
The health system opened the 100,000-square-foot Medical Plaza I at River Place in 2008.
Construction on a second medical office building, which could be about 150,000 square feet, is scheduled to start about the same time as the hospital, Williamson said.
Plans call for it to connect to the hospital, he added.
“We really envision just a lot of outpatient focus,” he said.