Osceola Regional Medical Center is spending $7 million to create a combination pediatric unit and pediatric intensive care unit that will more than triple the size of services it now offers.
The medical center in Kissimmee is acting because of an acute need by residents, whose average age is 35, many of which are parents of young children, said hospital spokeswoman Vanessa Guevara.
The young-skewing area is also seeing its population grow. Osceola County's resident base expanded by 15.5 percent between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2014, while the state's population grew 5.8 percent over that period, according to US Census Bureau data.
The 14,000-square-foot pediatric unit will replace a 4,500 square foot unit that doesn't offer pediatric intensive care.
It will be built on one of the floors of the two towers the hospital put in two years ago, the east one. Plans are to begin construction in the middle of next year and complete the project 18 months later.
The work is being paid for by the medical center's parent, HCA, a Nashville-based health care facility operator.