South Florida Baptist Hospital new site progresses.
The constructing of the new South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City started a new chapter with the project’s groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.
The more advanced facility will provide adequate needs that the current one is lacking.
The event was held at the cleared site where the building will be erected. Its location is east of the intersection where East Sam Allen Road and North Park Road meet.
BayCare Health System and South Florida Baptist Hospital staff were among those in attendance.
Also present were the Plant City Fire Rescue crew, Mayor Rick Lott, city commissioners and Plant City Police Chief James Bradford- many of which took part in the ceremonial shovel and hard hat pose for the cameras.
“What an exciting day for us at the hospital and in Plant City, for marking this day for our groundbreaking,” said Karen Kerr, the president of the South Florida Baptist Hospital.
The function that day signified progression of the project addressing a growing problem.
Since its opening in 1953, South Florida Baptist Hospital has had 12 major renovations and expansions. To date, the medical facility still has shortcomings that haven’t been met.
Dr. Gulab Sher is a physician who has been with the hospital for 17 years now. During his time there, he has seen the need for more space and accommodations.
“The growth in the community population and the complexity of the medical condition, led to a need. The hospital has added cardiac services, other lines of services over the years, expansion of the emergency room, a bigger and more up-to-date ICU (intensive care unit). These were the previous services and now there is a need for a bigger, newer hospital,” said Sher.
Kerr echoed that same sentiment and sought a solution.
Initially, she had considered adding onto the existing site, however it would have been a 7-year construction plan with little space for new buildings.
She then settled for the site where the very groundbreaking was being held.
With the Plant City City Commission’s approval for land rezoning and annexation, work began.
With a $326 million price tag, the new hospital will span 420,000 square feet, standing six stories high with two six-story towers.
It will hold 146 private rooms with the ability to expand to 176 rooms.
The hospital will house 26 ICU beds, 30 emergency room beds and eight operating suites.
A medical office building will house outpatient services as well as lab, imaging, rehab, wound care, and physician offices.
Outside will also be equipped with a helicopter landing pad.
And the more than 800 team members – including 250 doctors at the current site, will be transferred over to the new one once opened.
“I really am proud that BayCare decided to make the investment to give us a state-of-the-art hospital,” said Plant City Mayor Rick Lott.
He also noted that the hospital’s close proximity to the interstate will be a plus.
“Me as a physician and other physicians, and nurses and medical staff, we’re excited about it,” added Sher. “Of course, the leadership has paved the way for it and the administration, and we’re so grateful.”
Construction is anticipated to be completed by Fall 2023. The official open date is expected in early 2024.