To keep up with growth in East County, the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center announced on Wednesday that it will build a $120 million, five-story addition on its campus.
“The significant population growth we’ve experienced since 2016, and projected growth during the next several years, are driving the need for this expansion,” said Andy Guz, the chief executive officer for Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, in a release. “We are looking forward to expanding our capacity so we can continue to provide the high-quality care that meets the medical needs of our community.”
The hospital currently has 120 beds.
The 170,000-square-foot tower, which will almost double the hospital's existing space, is the first phase of an expansion plan that is expected to take place over several years, according to the release. The pre-construction phase of the project will begin in 2023, and the project has been targeted for an opening in 2025.
Besides adding 60 beds, the tower will include an expansion of departments that include pharmacy, laboratory, education, pre-admission testing, and food and nutrition services. The tower will have an unfinished "shell spaces" that will give the potential for an additional 60 patient beds along with an expansion of other departments. In addition, the construction will allow for a future addition of two more floors, according to the release.
The expansion is expected to lead to approximately 100 new jobs to a staff that currently has more than 700 employees and more than 500-plus on its medical staff.
Lakewood Ranch Medical Center broke ground on its 18,000 square foot freestanding emergency room on Fruitville Road in 2020 in its most recent expansion. At the time, Guz said the expansion was to meet the needs of Lakewood Ranch's expansion south with its Waterside community in eastern Sarasota County.
At the time, Guz said the hospital was keeping an eye on the expansion of Lakewood Ranch east of Lorraine Road in Manatee County and was devising an expansion plan to meet the community's needs.
The hospital is part of the Universal Health Services and Manatee Health Care Systems.
Also at the time, Guz said it wasn't likely an entirely new hospital complex would be built in the area and he said an expansion on the current campus was more likely.
The hospital has had 120 beds since its opening in 2004.
In July 2019, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of a $28.5 million expansion that included two new operating rooms, an additional heart catheterization lab, a new advanced MRI system, and an expanded and enhanced surgical waiting area, preoperative space and post-surgical space.
That renovation included redesigning 40,000 square feet within the 180,000-square-foot hospital that would account for an additional 20,000 square feet of usable space.
The hospital also has upgraded and renovated its Women's Center.
Jay Heater is the managing editor of the East County Observer. Overall, he has been in the business more than 41 years, 26 spent at the Contra Costa Times in the San Francisco Bay area as a sportswriter covering college football and basketball, boxing and horse racing.