Lakewood Ranch Medical Center is planning the largest expansion project in the hospital’s history that not only will make way for additional services, but also move a few employees around to do it.
The $28.5 million expansion will take place on the hospital’s first floor, said Lisa Kirkland, director of marketing for Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.
“When the hospital was built in 2004, it was designed in a way to grow and expand and meet the growing needs of the areas that we serve,” Kirkland said.
Currently, the center of the first floor is where several administrative offices for medical staff, information technology, quality, risk management, marketing and physician relations are housed. Those will be moved to an existing wing of the hospital, Kirkland said.
The shell of the roughly 10,000-square-foot wing is ready, but crews will need to build up the office space inside to make room for the administrators, Kirkland said. They hope to start that construction work by the end of the month.
Officials have plans for that space in the middle of the hospital once the offices are moved.
“This is something that we didn’t take lightly; we have a master facility plan in order to accommodate this growth because we knew it was coming,” Lakewood Ranch Medical Center CEO Andy Guz said. “We’ve been working on this plan for the better part of two years, so this is just first phase.”
The hospital will then have space for two new planned operating rooms, an additional heart catheterization lab, new MRI and CT scans, as well as new and expanded preoperative and post-surgical space, and a surgical waiting area.
“It’s an added capacity where we’re going to be able to serve more patients in a timely manner and surgeons are happier because they’ll have more time,” Guz said.
The hospital’s Breast Health Center will move as well, in order to expand to accommodate an additional 3-D mammography machine and more patients. It will be moved into an office building attached to the hospital that will be in an “upscale setting,” Guz said.
New construction also will begin on about 20,000 square feet of shell space for two additional operating rooms as well, according to Kirkland.
When the expansion is complete, Kirkland said about 40 to 50 percent of the first floor will be reconfigured.
Once completed, the newly renovated areas will be more energy efficient thanks to LED lighting, high performing systems and upgraded emergency power systems, according to the hospital.
Kirkland said that during the project, the hospital’s patient services will not be interrupted, noting the project will be done piece by piece so they are able to continue providing services.
“We’re not closing any department,” Kirkland said. “It’s important to maintain the same quality of care.”
Kirkland said Lakewood Ranch Medical Center officials hope to have the new services and offerings ready by late this year or early 2019.
“It’s definitely a very aggressive timeline,” Guz said, adding the hope is it is completed in time to see even more patients next year.