Construction begins on new ER

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

Construction has finally begun at Crenshaw Community Hospital, which will include a new 10,400 square-foot emergency room located directly adjacent to the hospital.

Crenshaw Community Hospital Administrator Jim McKnight was absolutely ecstatic when the bulldozing equipment arrived on the hospital grounds and began work this past Monday.

&#8220No one will believe just how excited we are to see this bulldozer and all of the other equipment,” he said. &#8220It is great to finally get it all started. The Hospital Authority, the In-Med group and our administrative staff have put a lot of work into making this a reality.”

McKnight said that the contractor for the project is W.K. Upchurch out of Montgomery and that the project is being funded through USDA loans obtained by the Crenshaw County Healthcare Authority. The total project will cost approximately $6.5 million.

Healthcare Authority Chairperson Prissy Johnson was just as excited as McKnight.

&#8220The plans for vast renovations of the hospital began several years ago,” Johnson said. &#8220The Crenshaw County Hospital Board has been relentlessly committed to this project, and we are extremely excited that the construction has actually begun.”

McKnight said that the new emergency room would be completed in 10 months. This first phase of the renovation project includes not only the new ER, but also a new patient registration/ reception area and a new kitchen, both in the existing building.

In the second phase of renovation, which McKnight said would be completed by Oct. 5, 2007, they will be renovating the existing ER into additional operating rooms for surgery and renovating and expanding the X-ray area. In addition, the hospital will also renovate and convert the existing OB department into new labor, delivery, and recovery rooms. These new patient suites will provide more of a bedroom atmosphere for the mother and family.

Furthermore, McKnight added that the new operating rooms in the existing building would also allow the hospital to expand its scope of surgical procedures, specifically in the area of orthopedic surgery and procedures.

&#8220Upon completion of the project, we anticipate hiring from 10 to 20 additional employees to staff the larger ER and other areas,” McKnight added.

Also by the end of the project, there will be a new sloping, angled metal roof on the entire building.