Construction crews reached a milestone on the construction of the new $50 million expansion of Texoma Medical Center Wednesday when they raised the final beam of the structure. The metal beam, which was signed by hospital staff and physicians, was placed just above what will become the new entrance to an expanded emergency department and the hospital’s new four-story tower.
TMC CEO Ron Seal said it will feature 110,000 square feet of additional space. The ability to be expanded to eight stories will increase the hospital’s bed capacity, new and existing specialized services, and staff levels. Through this, the hospital hopes to increase efficiency.
“Our goal as a hospital is to get patients to rooms quicker and not have them waiting,” TMC Media Coordinator Jennifer Reed said, following the brief ceremony. During the ceremony, Reed was wearing a pink hard hat — the same one she wore a decade prior when the hospital first broke ground at the corner of FM 691 and U.S. Highway 75 in June 2007.
The first floor of the new expansion will serve as the hospital’s emergency department, doubling the current size. When combined with the existing emergency space, the department will increase from 24 emergency beds to 48 beds. The floor will also feature a 16-bed chest pain unit, two additional trauma rooms and a dedicated tomography suite and imaging suite.
The second floor will house the hospital’s intensive care unit, expanding it to a total of 52 beds. The third floor will be used as a new neonatal ICU, making TMC the only hospital between the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Oklahoma City to offer this service. The floor will also accommodate additional medical/surgical beds.
The fourth floor will be built out as a shell for future growth. Last year, officials said the fourth floor would likely be used to accommodate an additional 38 patient beds.
With these services, Seal said the hospital is also working to transition from being a level 3 trauma center to becoming a level 2 trauma center. This will make TMC the only level 2 trauma center in the region, Seal said previously.
As a secondary part of the expansion, crews will also build a new helicopter hangar and landing pad for emergency cases. Seal said construction on this phase will likely follow the opening of the new wing.
As the new wing is being built at the former emergency department entrance, Seal said traffic has been routed behind the hospital during the construction phase, but, he said, the construction has not had a major impact and the hospital has remained busy throughout construction, with around 200 emergency patients visiting each day.
“We are under construction, but the patient volume is still high,” he said.
The expansion was first announced last December as the hospital was reaching capacity, officials said. When the hospital first opened its doors after relocating in 2009, it featured six floors, with two shell floors for build out and expansion. The two remaining floors were completed and opened in 2014 and 2015.
Seal said the expansion will produce about 250 new positions at the hospital but did not indicate how many would be physicians and doctors. When the hospital opened in 2009 it had 120 physicians. However, in 2017, it now has a staff of more than 300 doctors, Reed said.
“As we grow our facilities, expand our specialty offerings, and as patient demand grows, we will recruit physicians to meet the needs of our patients,” she said, via text message.
Josh Hayes, representing construction firm Brasfield & Gorrie, said the construction on the project represents about $35 million of investment. Since the project first started in December, Hayes said there have been few setbacks and the project is slated to be finished in early 2018.
Once this is completed, Hayes said crews will begin the renovation of the existing emergency room to connect it to the new expansion. This project is expected to take about six months, he said.