Mint Hill residents may get a new hospital two years earlier than expected.
Officials of Presbyterian Healthcare announced Friday they have changed their plan to build the hospital in three phases, starting with a freestanding emergency room in 2013 and completing the entire hospital in 2018.
Instead, they now plan to open the full-service hospital all at once in 2016.
Presbyterian, which is owned by the Winston-Salem-based Novant Health, won approval in 2006 to build a hospital on an 80-acre site at the northeast corner of the intersection of Albemarle Road and 485, in Mint Hill.
Ground was broken for the hospital in August 2008, and officials initially projected an opening date in 2009. Delays pushed back the opening date several times. Officials blamed the 2008 recession and a double-digit increase in the amount of charity care provided by the hospital.
In March 2011, when Presbyterian officials gave their last update, they outlined the phased-in building concept, which they said is being used by other N.C. hospitals.
“We considered the needs of the community and area growth and decided to revise our plans and bring all services on line by 2016,” said Roland Bibeau, president and CEO of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews, who is overseeing the project.
The $90 million project will include 50 inpatient beds, a 16-bay emergency department, four operating rooms, maternity services, rehabilitation, cardiovascular services, laboratory service and a pharmacy. In addition, a medical office building for physician practices and other medical services will be built on the Mint Hill hospital campus.
The Mint Hill hospital, with about 165,000 square feet, will be somewhat smaller than the 50-bed Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, which opened in 2004 and recently expanded with a $26.5 million patient tower. Presbyterian Hospital Matthews, with 134 beds in 333,000 square feet, is undergoing a $20 million fifth-floor addition that will be completed this year.
Bibeau said hospital officials decided to drop the phased-in building plan because it would add $25 million to $30 million to the total construction price and because economic conditions are improving.
He said both the population of Mint Hill and the average household incomes have gone up in the last two years, even more than Presbyterian projected.
“To see the growth in the community again … slightly above where our projection was … that makes us feel comfortable in moving ahead with the project,” Bibeau said.