St. Cloud Regional Medical Center planning Emergency Department expansion

St. Cloud Regional Medical Center is now the third major hospital in Osceola County to embark on a major expansion this year.

The hospital filed a Site Development Plan (SDP) with the city of St. Cloud and went before the Development Review Committee last week for a plan to expand and renovate its emergency department. 

In addition to the expansion, the plans call for reconfiguring the ambulance entry, main entry and associated drive aisles. Since the new ED will replace an existing parking lot, the hospital plans to utilize underground stormwater retention in order to build a new parking lot on the site. 

Hospital officials have declined to comment on the project. Based on plans filed by the project engineer, Littlejohn/S&ME, the hospital had hoped to begin construction in July with an April 2018 completion date. That timetable is moot, however, as the city's planning staff is waiting for the firm to resubmit its SDP in response to staff comments.

Once staff approves the SDP, the hospital can apply for a building permit. Hospital officials told city planners there are no immediate plans to add to the facility's existing 84-bed count, so they are not required to add more parking spaces. The hospital expects to hire approximately six new employees when the facility is fully operational.

Built in 1962, the hospital used to be a part of the Orlando Health System. Franklin, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems purchased the hospital in 2006 for $15 million.

Last year, CHS bought 4.2 acres on U.S. 192 in the Four Corners area of Orange County for a a freestanding emergency care center.

Meanwhile, this is the third major healthcare expansion in Osceola County announced this year. 

Orlando Health announced plans in April for a new $32 million free-standing emergency room and medical pavilion on Osceola Parkway, across from the new Tupperware SunRail station that opens in 2018.

That same month, GrowthSpotter reported that Florida Hospital Celebration Health would build a new $80 million patient tower, expanding its bed count by 156 and making it the largest hospital in Osceola County. 

Osceola Regional Medical Center, an HCA hospital, is investing $50 million in several construction projects this year. The hospital is adding two new floors to an existing patient tower, and bringing new services online, including an eight-bed Level 3 NICU, and a 28-bed inpatient physical rehabilitation unit -- all in Kissimmee.

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