$32M Conway Hospital Expansion to Finish in July

Conway Regional Medical Center plans in mid-July to begin using the new operating rooms and obstetrics rooms that are key features of the hospital’s $32 million expansion.

Jim Lambert, Conway Regional’s president and CEO, said workers last week were laying floors, painting and installing surgical equipment in the hospital’s 85,000-SF addition. The project, which also included related renovations to 10,000 SF of the older section of the hospital, should be completed by July 12.

Work initially began in July of 2010. Nabholz Construction of Conway has served as general contractor and Cromwell Architects Engineers of Little Rock as lead architect.

The hospital is paying for the improvements with about $1.7 million raised through a community campaign, reserve funds and also external financing.

The project adds eight obstetrics rooms, bringing the total to 24 rooms in the hospital’s women’s center. The addition also provides nine new, bigger operating rooms for surgeries.

Eight of the new operating rooms will replace the existing, crowded operating rooms that will be converted for other uses after the transition in July. The ninth new operating room will eventually have equipment installed in it, once additional space is needed.

The hospital building hadn’t seen major improvements since 2001. However, demand for the hospital’s services grew, making the existing building cramped. For example, there were 1,854 births at the women’s center in 2011, an increase of 25 percent from 2001.

According to Lambert, the larger operating rooms allow for increased capacity and greater efficiency, as well as better and more integrated technology for surgeries. With the added space, the hospital could perform up to 50 percent more surgeries, Lambert said.

“It’s just a safer, more effective environment for the patients and staff,” he said.

Spokeswoman Lori Ross said the additional rooms and better surgical technology should also help the hospital recruit new physicians.