Red River ER in Sherman is planning an expansion in a process it hopes to use to become a new specialty hospital. The freestanding ER, located along U.S. Highway 75 between Lamberth and Taylor, received initial approval from the Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission to add on new facilities to the existing building which will allow the company to expand the scope of its services.

“The site currently is operating as Red River ER, and what we are looking at doing is adding approximately 9,300 square feet to the building and turning this into a micro hospital,” said Kelly Gomez, representing KRG Civil Engineers.

Representatives with Medistar Corporation petitioned the commission for a specific-use permit that would allow the company to operate as an inpatient hospital in a retail and highway overlay district. The request was unanimously approved with light discussion by the commission.

Artist renderings for the project show a new addition directly adjacent to the existing building with the words, “Red River Hospital” displayed across the front of the building. Gomez said the addition would be slightly larger in size than the existing facility.

The new building will feature four patient beds including a patient isolation room, MRI suite and other support and holding space. Representatives with the ER said last week that the existing building will continue to operate as a 24-hour emergency center even after the conversion.

Red River ER Medical Director Alex Roby said the new facility will be focused on elective surgery and will offer CT scans and MRI work on site. Roby said the region has an unmet demand for MRI services that require some patients to travel as far as McKinney.

“We see a lot of potential with the market we have here,” he said.

Red River was one of three freestanding emergency rooms that opened in Sherman over the past five years. While the other two ERs changed ownership in 2019, Red River will be the first to full change its scope.