Piedmont Newnan Hospital project ready to begin

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 3:51pm
By: Ben Nelms

The project to build what will be the tallest building in southwest metro Atlanta was delayed more than a year ago in the middle of the recession. But Piedmont Newnan Hospital is back, with start-up on the new Poplar Road facility near I-85 set to begin immediately. The first phase of the hospital is projected to open in early 2012.

Piedmont Healthcare made the announcement last week that construction activities will commence immediately. The announcement followed the December Piedmont Healthcare Board of Directors meeting.

But the delay did have an up-side. The initial projected cost of $194 million at the groundbreaking in October 2008 has been trimmed to $159 million due to cost savings in construction that accompanied the recession.

“We are excited to proceed with the construction of this world-class hospital,” said Gregory A. Hurst, chairman of the Piedmont Newnan Hospital Board of Directors and executive vice president/COO for Piedmont Healthcare. “As a result of our intentional delay of this project, we expect to realize approximately $35 million in savings from the original cost projections, without compromising the facility or services.”

Piedmont spokesperson Nina Day said work over the past two months has been focused on developing the plan of finance and re-pricing the project. The board was also impressed with the overall performance of Piedmont Newnan Hospital, she said, adding that operational results and realized efficiencies are strong reflections of very effective management. Increased volumes reflect the community’s increased confidence in the hospital, services and management, Day added. The continued support of the medical staff in quality improvement and patient satisfaction initiatives as well as other operational efforts has been critical to these achievements as well, Day said.

Day said the economic climate of the past year has enabled Piedmont to take advantage of reduced construction costs while also awaiting market stabilization to secure more reasonable interest rates for funding. Through re-bidding of the entire project in today’s economy and working with general contractor BE&K and architects Perkins Will, Piedmont officials have been able to extract more than $30 million in construction costs.

“Piedmont’s commitment to this community is evident in the many improvements already accomplished at Piedmont Newnan Hospital, with its steadfast pursuit of this project and its attention to fiscal and civic responsibility,” said Piedmont Newnan president and CEO Michael Bass. “Our intentional delay in this project will ensure a new hospital that will yield a reasonable margin, manageable debt load and acceptable financing costs. We are most appreciative of the continued patience and support of the community as we have navigated the economic challenges over the past year.”

The hospital will be located on the east side of I-85 and on the south side of Poplar Road within the Poplar Road Quality Development Corridor Overlay District. The property has more than 2,500 feet of frontage along Poplar Road.

Hospital construction will come in two phases. The first phase will include the first portion of the nine-story hospital at 360,000 square feet and one of the two 125,000 square-foot medical office buildings. The second phase, with full build-out anticipated in 2020, will include the completion of the second nine-story section of the hospital that will join the first phase and completion of the second medical office building. Plans call for a total of approximately 2,250 surface and deck parking spaces.

Once fully completed in 2020, the hospital complex will include a nine-story, 800,000 square-foot hospital with two bed towers, two medical office buildings at 125,000 square feet each, two parking decks at 245,000 square feet and 166,250 square feet and a central energy plant at 30,000 square feet.

The 136-bed hospital will have 14 post-partum beds, 18 critical care beds and 104 general medical/surgical patient beds. The facility also will feature eight operating rooms and 23 patient rooms in the Emergency Department.

The hospital will utilize sustainable building strategies such as energy efficiencies and water reuse and conservation technologies in an effort to reduce future operating costs, provide a healthier work environment, and reduce the overall environmental impact of the project, according to hospital reports. It has been designed to comply with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

Day said the benefits of constructing a replacement hospital facility in Coweta County are numerous for both the local economy, as well as the general community. An increase in overall economic impact, local jobs created, as well as increased tax revenue from the on-site medical office building and other new community physicians will positively affect Coweta’s economic prosperity, she said.

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