JEFFERSON CITY - Construction crews began work Monday on a new hospital in Jefferson City. Workers started clearing the site and pouring cement for the new St. Mary's Health Center.
Beverly Stafford, the administrative director for planning and marketing at St. Mary's, said The new facility will cost $210 million, making it Jefferson City's most expensive construction project ever. The hospital will sit on 44 acres out of a 100-acre plot of land which, Stafford said, St. Mary's bought in 2004. The new St. Mary's Health Center is expected to open in January, 2015.
Stafford said the new hospital will also contribute economically, too. "The Missouri Department of Economic Development, some time ago, did a study on this particular project, the magnitude, the scope," she said.
"[St. Mary's Health Center] provides $400 million of economic development locally, and to the state of Missouri."
The project also features construction of a new interchange along route 179, south of W. Eaglewood Drive and north of state highway C. Construction of the interchange and the hospital will not affect traffic on route 179.
It will replace the hospital's current seven-acre facility, which sits just off of Missouri Boulevard near its intersection with the Rex M. Whitton Expressway.
Project director Tim Gunn said the hope is to have crews remove trees and level rock faces on the site to move their headquarters on-site around July 4. The official groundbreaking for the hospital is Wednesday, July 18 at 10:30 a.m.
Gunn said the reason there is such a long delay between the beginning of site preparation Monday and the official groundbreaking in July is because of the site itself.
"The site is very hilly, very rocky, [with] lots of trees," Gunn said. "We have about thirty feet of rock to remove where the hospital's going, so that will be the biggest challenge."
The St. Mary's Health Center will have a 375,000 square-foot hospital building, 90,000 square-foot medical office building, and 167 private patient rooms.