As part of ongoing efforts to modernize and accommodate growth on its campus, Baptist Medical Center Beaches submitted a request to amend its Planned Unit Development to the Jacksonville Beach Planning Commission Monday, Jan. 8.
The development changes would include converting the proposed five-story parking garage between Medical Office Building B and Medical Office Building C (which house the Wilson Cancer Care Center and the Surgery Center, respectively) into a new medical office building (D), and redesigning and relocating the parking garage to a 35-foot structure oriented along Roberts Drive. The proposal also includes increasing the approved number of beds at the hospital from the current 182 to 186 beds, among other changes.
“The Planned Unit Development has been in place since 2004, and periodically, we’ll review it just to make sure we’re meeting the medical needs of the community,” said Barbara Prettyman, public relations and community relations coordinator for the hospital. “We want to make sure that if there’s an opportunity and the demand for a service, then we have the right planning in place to meet those needs. This is a growing area, and this is also an aging area, so we want to make sure that we can meet those demands for the future.”
According to Prettyman, the alterations are a long-term project that would just be the next on a list of construction projects the hospital has undergone over the past few years.
“Recently, we’ve actually had three pretty big construction projects here,” she said. “The first one, in August of 2015, we completely renovated our emergency department, and just last year we completed the renovations of our labor and delivery unit. Everything was modernized.”
Currently, the hospital is undergoing construction to expand its surgery center.
“We are adding on 34,000 square feet to our facility,” Prettyman said. “We’re rebuilding all of our operating rooms, and the rooms themselves are going to be much larger than they are right now. We’re going to have 19 pre-op and post-op rooms, 12 recovery rooms and, of course, it will all be state-of-the-art.”
When the new operating rooms are finished, Prettyman added, the old rooms will be converted for use in sterilizing and storing equipment, with construction expected to be completed by October.
“If you take a look at the outside of our hospital, it looks like a huge construction project,” she laughed. “It really is going to change the exterior of the hospital, and it’s exciting because it’s a big step for us.”