While the new Northside Hospital Cherokee has been growing almost from the moment it opened in May, 2017, its former facility sat empty on a hillside in Canton.
Today piles of rubble and scrap metal stand where for nearly 60 years Cherokee County’s center for healing, the previous iteration of Northside Hospital Cherokee stood.
In December, demolition workers began taking the 84-bed hospital down. The facility was first opened in 1962 as the 66-bed R.T. Jones Memorial Hospital.
“The building served the community very well for more than 57 years, but converting it for a new use would have been far too costly,” Northside spokeswoman Katherine Watson said. “We are currently looking for a buyer for the property.”
The new hospital opened in early May 2017 when staff successfully transferred 70 patients from the old facility, located off Hospital Drive.
Since that time at the new facility, there have been two floors added to the main hospital tower, the emergency department expanded and additional operating rooms added, CEO Billy Hayes said recently at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.
The new eighth floor of the hospital opened in November, and the new seventh floor of the hospital, which was originally planned for education space, is expected to instead become home to 32 additional patient rooms, perhaps as early as next fall, director of facilities Steve Aslinger said recently.
Northside submitted an application to the state to add the patient rooms on the seventh floor in November and an approval could come in March. If the state approves the application, the floor could be built out within about six months, Aslinger said.
Construction is slated to begin soon to add an additional two floors to the hospital’s women’s center.
“The cranes will be coming back very soon,” Hayes said.
Last summer construction to approximately double the size of the parking deck was completed. And, this summer, a second 125,000 square foot medical office building will be opened.
The former hospital site is about 15 acres with hundreds of spaces in several parking lots and has a helipad.