South Charlotte

Hospital tower to be done in 2012

Pineville residents can expect the next phase of Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville to be finished by the end of next year, said hospital officials speaking at the Aug. 9 town council meeting.

The latest expansion is a $160 million tower, which the hospital broke ground on this month, that will be completed by December 2012, officials said.

The tower will add nearly 100 beds and about 280,000 square feet to the hospital, which serves Pineville, south Charlotte and parts of South Carolina.

CMC-Pineville embarked on a $300 million expansion project in December 2007 to increase bed capacity, establish a Level III Trauma Center and allow the hospital to begin offering tertiary care, meaning doctors can perform more complex procedures, such as open-heart surgery.

The move to tertiary care also will involve more high-tech equipment and specialized doctors.

The first phase of the expansion included a new medical office, parking deck, an additional caesarean-section room and operating suite, 10 more emergency department rooms and other renovations.

Phase two started in 2010 and includes the new tower.

The impetus for the expansion was the area's growing need. In the last decade, south Charlotte's population has grown from 170,000 to 225,000, accounting for about a quarter of Mecklenburg County's total growth.

"Pineville and the region around it have created that opportunity and that demand for this kind of growth," said Town Manager Mike Rose.

The first phase of the project, which ended in December 2009, involved expanding the hospital's parking deck, Blumenthal Cancer Center, the lobby, emergency department and other areas.

The hospital just finished adding two operating rooms, and by November expects to be finished with a lab expansion.

At the meeting, CMC-Pineville President Chris Hummer told the council the hospital is committed to becoming better connected with the community. The hospital now has a community outreach department that will handle sponsorships, education offerings, activities, events and festivals.

Rose said the hospital and its expansion have been fantastic for the town.

"It brings a certain regional recognition," said Rose. "As (Mayor George Fowler) said, we're glad to see that (the sign) reads 'CMC-Pineville.' "