AT A GLANCE
Patients: 1,000 yearly
Net operating income: $4.7 million per year
Gross operating revenue: $26 million
Square footage: 52,000 square feet
New construction: 27,100 square feet
Parent company: HealthSouth
Source: HealthSouth certificate of need application with the Health Services & Development Agency
An abandoned diagnostic building last used 15 years ago is set to be demolished and rebuilt by June 2013, according to Scott Rowe, CEO of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Chattanooga.
Construction is under way and will cost $12.5 million. To staff the new facility, the hospital will take on 11 new full-time workers over the next five years, he said.
Rowe says that the revamp will go a ways toward helping “the current section of town to regain a sense of respect and safety,” by “removing one eyesore in the old diagnostic building and replacing it with an improved structure.”
The 21,300-square-foot structure dates back to 1962, a year remembered more for the Cuban Missile Crisis than for modern design standards. Hospital officials say the redesign of the HealthSouth hospital is needed to accommodate the aging baby boom generation.
“We see in the future with baby boomers an increased need for rehabilitation,” Rowe said. “The building served its purpose at one point, but it is time to get up with the times.”
The unused building was originally envisioned as a traditional diagnostic hospital building, he said, and isn’t suitable for a rehab facility.
After the current building is removed, a 27,100-square-foot hospital will rise in its place, Rowe said.
Workers will furnish it with 30 private rooms, tripling the hospital’s current offering of such rooms, and 10 semi-private units for a total accommodation of 50 new patients.
“The current bed compliment only provides seven true private rooms to use for medical and isolation purposes, a challenge given the proliferation of multi-drug resistant infections in society today,” Rowe said.
Special rooms will be set aside for bariatrics, or morbidly obese patients, he added.
Renovation also includes an expanded dining room and therapy gym, and a general remodeling of the rest of the hospital.
Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...