HILL COUNTRY, Texas (KXAN) - Scott & White Healthcare announced this morning its purchase of 116 acres to build a full-service, major medical center to serve the Hill Country.
The project site is located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 281 and State Highway 71. It is adjacent to the water tower recently put up by the City of Marble Falls to support the development of the medical complex and surrounding area.
"Today marks the continuation of our commitment to Marble Falls and the entire region," said Alfred B. Knight , M.D. and Scott & White president and CEO. "The hard work by all parties involved has brought us closer to the building of a health care complex that will provide this community access to the highest quality patient care that has become synonymous with the Scott & White name."
Scott & White Healthcare officials said the purchase is being made independently of the process involving the selection of contractors to develop the property.
They hope to close on this property October 1.
"We will immediately start recruiting specialist physicians to join Scott & White Hill Country group," said Patricia Currie, chief of hospital services for Scott & White. "Most of these doctors will live in Marble Falls and surrounding communities."
The medical complex will include construction of a 40,000 square foot clinic building for physicians and a new hospital with 60 beds and more than 175,000 square feet of space.
Currie told an audience of about 50 that gathered at Lakeside Pavilion the design of the hospital allows for adding space and beds as future needs occur.
Building the hospital will cost more than $100 million.
Construction will occur in four phases, the first already underway.
This announcement comes just months after the Temple-based health care group announced that it had terminated a contract for a piece of land nearby. Termination occurred after the developer failed to complete agreed upon improvements.
Member of the public were worried when the property deal fell through because the city already sunk millions of dollars into extending water lines to the area.
City leaders, however, stood by Scott & White.
"We were confident, the city staff, that it was going to happen," said Ralph Hendricks, city manager. "But to finally reach this point and know that it is going to happen, and let others know it is going to happen, it's good."
Currie reiterated the companies commitment to the area during this morning's press conference.
"We know there were concerns and rumors about our resolve to complete the project, but our commitment and our dedication to this project and to this community has never faltered," Currie said.
Hospital construction is also expected to bring money and between 100 and 300 jobs to the area.
"We are very very proud to be here and I really think that this is the start of something really good for the city," said Mayor George Russell.
"We expect the economy to increase dramatically over the next five years just due to the hospital," Hendricks added.
City leaders told KXAN local construction crews will likely be used.
Construction of the specialty clinic is slated to begin in July 2011 and should be completed by August 30, 2012.
There is no word on when construction for the hospital will begin.
Once the hospital is built, the final construction phase calls for a 30 to 40 bed expansion based on area population growth.
A 17 member capital campaign steering committee was created to generate community donations for the non-profit medical center. Funds raised in the community will stay in the area to help support and enhance services at the new center.
"Every member of this committee has a keen understanding of the need for quality health care in our area," said Bob Sewell, steering committee chairman. "I firmly believe providing access to convenient, comprehensive health care is the biggest thing to happen to our area in the next 50 years. The Scott & White facility will provide the economic catalyst that will make our community the optimum place to live, work or play. The community donations we seek to raise will take this exciting project to the next level."
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