Winter Park Memorial Hospital is getting a $90 million expansion.
In a Winter Park City Commission meeting on Aug. 24, the extensive plan was unanimously approved in a 5-0 vote.
The plan includes expanding the 60-year-old hospital's emergency department from 14,100 square feet to 29,100 square feet, making room for new patient rooms and a new entrance. A 177,000-square-foot, five-story patient tower also will be built, adding 97 beds in private patient rooms. The total number of beds is rising to 417, up from 320, according to documents.
Construction of the emergency department will begin in spring 2016 and be completed that winter. Construction on the private patient rooms also will begin next spring, but be completed in early 2018.
Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor, and spokeswoman Tracey Sibley said subcontractor bids will open in the first quarter of 2016. Between 250-350 temporary construction jobs will be created, as well as about 50 permanent hospital jobs.
This is the last major project under parent company Florida Hospital's master plan that dates back to 2005. The growth of the population, in particular senior residents, is a factor behind thes project. Currently, about 25,000 seniors live within a five-mile radius of the hospital, and Winter Park residents are turning 65 years old at a rate of eight per day, according to Florida Hospital.
A meeting attendee who did not disclose his name, said to the commission, "The community is not being taken over by the hospital, but the hospital is being taken over by the community."