Singing River Hospital gets a makeover

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Hospitals are usually quiet places, but not these days at Singing River Hospital. Hammers are pounding and drills are whirring. The entire building is receiving a facelift.

"We're gutting the floors from the floors to the walls to the ceilings to the electrical to the plumbing and it's going to give us really what we need to move forward," said Chief Operating Officer Kevin Holland.

In the highly competitive hospital industry, moving forward is a must according to Chris Anderson, the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital.

"This is an older facility, and I think we've done a great job of keeping it very modern, but sometimes it just gets harder after a number of years. So, we think this is a very important part of sending a message to our community about this health care system," Anderson said.

Every room is getting an upgrade, complete with private bathrooms and showers. Patient care and convenience during construction is an absolute necessity, something hospital officials are well aware of.

"We try and have the proper signage, and we also depend a lot on our employees," said Public Information Manager Richard Lucas.

"Our employees are very patient friendly. If they see a visitor or a patient that needs help with directions on whatever, they'll jump right in there and help them so we're very cognizant of making this the best flow possible."

One of the major provisions of this renovation is to make Singing River Hospital stronger, more hurricane resistant. For instance, the windows need to be strengthened. Right now, they can take up to 90 mph winds. After the renovation is complete, they will be able to handle a lot more, according to Holland.

"Every window on the exterior of this building is going to be replaced with windows that will accommodate up to 150 mph strength winds, also impact resistant, and it's really going to make this place a fortress," said Holland.

The hospital will be a fortress that will protect future patients from illness, and the forces of Mother Nature.

Work has been underway at the hospital for the past several weeks. Officials hope to have the renovation completed by July at the latest.

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