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Plans Expand for Madison St. Dominic’s

At a rally Monday for the proposed St. Dominic’s Madison Campus, approximately 400 supporters learned of the hospital’s plans to expand the new hospital campus with 350 acres of sports fields.

The addition to the campus would be a public-private investment for health and wellness, sports and recreation, said Paul Arrington, St. Dominic’s vice president of business development. The plans include walking trails, green space, an amphitheater, 15 soccer fields, 19 baseball fields, 16 tennis courts and a banquet center.

The plans are preliminary and there is currently no timeline, but it will be a multi-million dollar investment, Arrington said. “(St. Dominic’s) major investment was in the property,” he said. Most of the project would likely be funded by non-hospital sources. The city of Madison is a strong supporter of the project.

Arrington said the proposed recreational area would be a large tourism draw. A regional sports venue of this size does not exist in the state, Arrington said, and consultants estimate the venue would attract 600,000 visitors annually.

The rally was held at the Madison Cultural Center two days before scheduled St. Dominic’s Certificate of Need (CON) hearings before the state Health Department, which will continue through Feb. 17. A CON is necessary in order for St. Dominic’s to gain permission to construct a $121 million, 71-bed facility in south Madison County.

Approximately 400 St. Dominic’s Hospital supporters attended a rally for the hospital’s proposed Madison Campus on Feb. 1 at the Madison Cultural Center. The new hospital plans are being opposed by Health Management Associates Inc.

Hospital Management Associates Inc., owners of the current Madison County Medical Center in Canton, have broken ground on a new $42 million in Canton that will serve the county and surrounding counties. MCMC’s 67 beds will be transferred to its new facility, named Madison River Oaks.

HMA legally opposes St. Dominic’s proposed Madison Campus, saying there is not enough room for two hospitals in Madison County.

HMA’s Madison River Oaks hospital will be open in fall 2011. If permitted, the St. Dominic’s facility would open tentatively in 2014.

About Amy McCullough

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