GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Work has started on a major expansion to Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. On Monday, the first of two cranes used for the construction of the Main Patient Tower project went up.
We sat down with the hospital's leader to find out what patients can expect and why this project is necessary in order to care for the next generation of coast residents.
The first of two cranes went up Monday and will be used to help construct the first phase of the Main Patient Tower expansion at Memorial Hospital.
This $50 million project will create floors six and seven on the main patient tower and bring with it 96 modern patient rooms.
Memorial Hospital officials say this is the hospital's way of listening to their customers and providing them with high level medical care by changing with technology.
"We're gonna make our rooms bigger. Brand new bathrooms and new furnishings new beds, new equipment, new technology," said President and CEO Gary Marchand.
The project also consists of replacing the brick façade on the main tower with a glass shell and removing the old brick exterior. The new rooms will be brought up to code and will be 50 percent bigger than the current patient rooms, which provide more space for equipment and families.
But floors six and seven aren't the only ways the hospital is improving.
"The way the construction project is phased right now, is six and seven have been contracted. There is an option to go and renovate the fifth floor following that and then as we assess our bed need and our ability to accommodate our patients. Then we'll do four and then we'll do three," said Marchand.
While construction is underway signs will be posted to make sure patients and their families know what to expect.
"Every admission packet is gonna have information about what's currently going on with the project. It's gonna have ear plugs and head phones available for our patients. So every effort is being made to mitigate the impact of any construction noise," said Marchand.
Marchand said the project has been in design for more than a decade.