Construction to begin on hospital expansion

March 22, 2010 9:52:00 AM

Tim Pratt -


Construction on the Oktibbeha County Hospital renovation and expansion project is set to begin Tuesday as OCH officials, county supervisors and local business leaders gather for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site on Hospital Road. 


Hospital officials also will unveil the facility''s new name, OCH Regional Medical Center, as part of an effort reflect the hospital''s regional patient base. Nearly 40 percent of OCH patients come from outside Oktibbeha County.  


The project will be completed in two phases and take approximately 24 months to complete, OCH CEO Arthur "Sonny" Kelly said recently.  


The first phase involves the construction of a new tower, which will include new patient rooms and a relocated Intensive Care Unit, Caesarian Section area, well-baby area and obstetrics department, Kelly said. He hopes the new tower will be completed within a year.  


The second phase involves renovations to existing portions of the hospital, including one project that will convert every three patient rooms into two larger rooms. Kelly expects renovations on the existing hospital building to begin after the completion of the new tower.  


The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors in February accepted a construction bid from Brasfield and Gorrie LLC, of Birmingham, Ala., to complete the project at a cost of $23,291,000. In November 2008, 61 percent of voters in Oktibbeha County approved a measure for the county to issue up to $27.5 million in bonds to pay for renovation and expansion of OCH.  


The groundbreaking ceremony begins 1 p.m. Tuesday at Oktibbeha County Hospital, located at 400 Hospital Road in Starkville.