Northside Hospital Cherokee has asked the state for permission to expand by adding an additional two floors to the main patient tower, officials said.

If approved, it would be the second two-story expansion since the hospital opened two-and-a-half years ago.

The hospital on Oct. 25 filed a certificate of need application with the Georgia Department of Community Health Office of Health Planning. The application says the expansion would cost more than $96 million.

The hospital opened in May 2017 with a six-story main tower, and in 2018 another two stories were added, with one of the floors opening in November 2018.

“To meet the rapid population growth in Cherokee County and the increasing number of patients using the hospital, the project proposes the construction of another two-story vertical addition to Northside Hospital Cherokee’s medical/surgical tower,” hospital spokeswoman Katherine Watson said. “The project also proposes construction of a two-story horizontal addition adjacent to the Emergency Department and imaging areas that will house expansions for both services as well as additional storage and pre-op space for surgery, and classroom and educational space.”

If the project is approved, Northside Hospital Cherokee’s inpatient bed capacity will increase to 211, Watson said.

In the meantime, work is wrapping up on the build-out of the seventh floor in the patient tower, Watson said.

“The floor will be home to 32 inpatient beds and eight observation beds to support our medical/surgical patients,” Watson said. “The first 20 beds opened on the 7th floor Oct. 31; the remaining beds will open Dec. 9. The project brings the hospital’s inpatient bed capacity from 126 to 158.” The eighth floor was opened to patients a year ago.

This summer the hospital opened a new four-story medical office building and is finishing up a two-story expansion of its women’s center.

Managing Editor

Gary Tanner is managing editor of The Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee Ledger-News and Cherokee Life magazine. He has been working as a journalist since 1985.

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