Polk County residents are just a little more than a year away from a new medical center opening its doors, officials announced Friday.
The state’s Department of Community Health has issued a Certificate of Need for a hospital that will replace the existing Polk Medical Center.
The issuance of a CON is a necessary step under state law before the construction of a new hospital can occur, authorities said.
“There’s a great need for a new, updated medical facility,” said Harold Wyatt, chairman of the Cedartown Polk County Hospital Authority. “We’re delighted to get the Certificate of Need approved, so we can move ahead with our plans.”
Wyatt said construction of the new facility would cost slightly less than $40 million. He could not pinpoint Friday exactly where the funds will come from.
“There’s various ways to finance it,” he said. “The financing is being worked out.”
The new 73,000-square-foot hospital will sit on U.S. 278, east of its intersection with Kelly Road in Cedartown, said Kim Scoggins, Polk Medical Center administrator, in a release.
Wyatt said the next steps in the construction include completing a design for the facility, which should be done by mid-summer. Construction should take a year to 18 months.
The existing Polk Medical Center was built in 1944 and has had two modifications since then: the addition of the west wing in the ’80s and the emergency department in the ’90s.
“Aside from those two modifications, the facility is essentially unchanged,” Scoggins states.
Kurt Stuenkel, president and CEO of Floyd Medical Center, praised the Cedartown Polk County Hospital Authority for its foresight in acquiring land for the hospital years ago.
“It’s time for a new facility for the people of Polk County,” Stuenkel said. “It’s the culmination of their dream.”
FMC took over management of Polk Medical in April 2012.