Construction begins on new hospital

Thursday, May 31, 2007
Construction excavation equipment is on site and ready to begin moving dirt at the site of the new hospital on Highway 231. Construction of the $35 million project is expected to be complete by late 2008. (T-G Photo by René A. Capley)

It's a small first step, but a large beginning -- that is the thought of the day at Bedford County Medical Center, where news of machinery on the building site for the new hospital created a stir.

In a memo sent by CEO Bill Macri to the staff, the news was announced, "For those of you who do not routinely travel up (U.S.) 231 North, I wanted to let you know that construction has begun in earnest.

"There is large equipment moving dirt and lots of stakes laid out defining the roads, parking lots and buildings. It will only be a matter of a short time as the building itself is started."

In truth, there are numerous stakes present on the site. A construction office trailer was moved in last week. Several large pieces of machinery sit, just waiting to be activated. Bit by bit, the dream of a new BCMC is becoming a reality.

The groundbreaking and dedication for the new facility was held in late April. Construction of the 60-bed facility is estimated to take between 15-18 months, pushing the occupation date to somewhere in the late second half of 2008.

The $35 million hospital, located in front of Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Airport Industrial Park, is already bringing new businesses to the surrounding area.

Across the street on the northern corner of the entry drive, First Community Bank of Bedford County has erected a sign announcing a new branch location. Harts Chapel Nissan made the move last year.

"It's exciting to see it all begin," said Pam Fisher, Public Relations and Marketing Director. "This is what we've all been waiting for since the announcement."

Construction of a new hospital had been a condition of the county's sale of BCMC to Community Health Systems in 2005.