GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Memorial Hospital at Gulfport is undergoing a $50 million expansion. Construction is already underway to add two new floors to the main patient tower.
As cranes and construction crews worked on the expansion outside, hospital leaders held a news conference Monday morning to unveil details of the major expansion.
"What we will do with our main patient tower, and that currently is the red brick building in the middle of our campus, we'll add two floors. Six and seven," explained hospital CEO Gary Marchand.
Those two extra floors will provide 96 modern and enlarged hospital rooms. And those new rooms will be nearly one and a half times the size of existing patient rooms.
"This is where, in service to our community, we have listened to our patients, their families, their visitors. And also plan to meet the demands and space requirements for new technologies," said Marchand.
Medical staff will have enlarged and more efficient work space to meet the demands of digital technologies, like electronic health records.
"All the coordination that needs to occur between a physician, a nurse, ancillary care provider. We are just increasing the ability for the team to work together," said the hospital president.
The impact of this hospital expansion reaches beyond the medical community. Gulfport's mayor said it will certainly help when it comes to recruiting future economic development to the coast.
"Really a good ripple effect on things with putting this type of money into our economy. When other businesses see our hospital doing this kind of growth, they have to know a lot of good things are going on here," said Mayor Billy Hewes.
Of the $26 million in construction contracts awarded so far, $23 million belongs to Mississippi-based companies, many of them located on the coast.
The next phase of the project will be upgrading the existing patient rooms and facilities on three floors. The old rooms will be renovated and made much larger, which will actually mean a loss of patient beds. However, when combined with the new addition, the hospital will be adding 24 beds overall.