After a decade-plus of planning, hospital expansion gets underway

GULFPORT — The first of two cranes went up this week to start construction on the first phase of the Main Patient Tower expansion at Gulfport Memorial Hospital.

The entire project will cost $50 million. It will create floors six and seven on the main patient tower and bring with it 96 modern patient rooms.

Memorial Hospital officials say the project has been in design for more than a decade.

“We’re going to make our rooms bigger. Brand new bathrooms and new furnishings new beds, new equipment, new technology,” hospital president/CEO Gary Marchand told WLOX-TV.

The project also consists of replacing the brick façade on the main tower with a glass shell and removing the old brick exterior. The new rooms will 50 percent bigger than the current patient rooms, which provide more space for equipment and families.

“The way the construction project is phased right now, is six and seven have been contracted. There is an option to go and renovate the fifth floor following that and then as we assess our bed need and our ability to accommodate our patients. Then we’ll do four and then we’ll do three,” said Marchand.

While construction is underway signs will be posted to make sure patients and their families know what to expect.

“Every admission packet is going have information about what’s currently going on with the project. It’s going have ear plugs and head phones available for our patients. So every effort is being made to mitigate the impact of any construction noise,” said Marchand.

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