Houston Healthcare breaks grounds on $40 million expansion

chwright@macon.comMay 7, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Construction on a $40 million expansion of Houston Medical Center will begin soon, after a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday morning.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” said Sonny Watson, chairman of Houston Healthcare Systems. “All of our doctors are really cramped.”

Watson said a small ceremony was held during which he and Stephen Machen, hospital administrator, detailed the renovation and expansion. It will add surgical suites, recovery rooms and pain clinic rooms.

Watson said the project is set to be complete by 2015.

The project has been on the table for a few years as the hospital gained permission from the state and weighed the economy. Bonds were obtained to fund the expansion.

“We feel like we have been very fortunate in the past and have enough money in reserves to build it,” Watson said.

The project includes expanding the east side of the Warner Robins location to the parking lot. The expansion will include six new surgical suites larger than the current ones, four pain clinic rooms, outpatient surgical rooms and a central waiting area.

Some existing space will be used for the latter items, while the existing surgical suites will become something else.

Watson said the hospital opened in 1960, with surgical suites that had been built in 1950. Those rooms are now too small for modern equipment. The demand for recovery and pain clinic rooms has also increased over the years, according to Watson.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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