With the original 70-year-old hospital building as a backdrop, Johnson County Health officials broke ground Wednesday on the largest construction project in its history.
The $47 million project includes a new emergency department and outpatient services facility to be built on the east side of the hospital campus. When it is finished, it will feature more than 50,000 square feet of services, such as radiology, laboratory and wellness activities.
A 20,400-square-foot orthopedic and rehabilitation building already is under construction on the west side of the hospital.
“This symbolizes growth, allowing for new jobs, allowing for expanded care for our community. It allows for us to be that community partner that we’ve always wanted to be,” said Larry Heydon, president and CEO of Johnson Memorial Health.
Johnson Memorial Hospital opened in 1947 and featured a 62-bed patient wing, an 18-bassinet nursery, two operating rooms, an X-ray room, emergency room and other features.
The ceremony celebrated the move forward for the hospital, while also paying tribute to the original building that will be demolished to make room for the new expansion.
“In an outdoor ceremony not unlike this one, a building was opened that would birth thousands of babies, cure and give hope to the sick and injured and comfort those when all that could be done still wasn’t enough,” said Sandi Huddleston, president of the Johnson Memorial Health board. “For 70 years, this building has served the test of time, serving as an anchor for the health care campus buildings that would blossom around it.”
Demolition is expected to start on the old hospital building in November. The new orthopedic and rehabilitation building will be finished by the end of 2017, while the emergency department and outpatient services facility will be done in 2019, Heydon said.
Go back in time to the birth of Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin.