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Jonesboro Tower Tops List as Health Care Projects Rise

3 min read

The value of health care-related projects under construction in Arkansas this fall is nearly 70% greater than it was a year ago.

One of the top projects in 2019 was the $82 million St. Bernards Healthcare’s medical tower on its Jonesboro campus. It is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Health care projects under construction as of November had a valuation of $401.8 million compared with $237.2 million at the same time the previous year, according to Arkansas Business’ annual list of the largest commercial projects.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences fueled the construction growth this year by starting construction on a nearly $115 million energy project. The project includes a new electric generating plant to back up campus power needs. The project is expected to save UAMS $4.8 million a year.

Contractors on the project team are Bernhard Energy and Bernhard TME, CDI Contractors, Clark Contractors LLC and Kirchner Architecture, all of Little Rock; as well as Clear Energy of Fayetteville. The project is being paid for by a bond issue approved this year by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

Other health care providers around Arkansas are in various stages of completing renovation projects or adding buildings.

Arkansas Business has looked at some of the health care-related construction projects in the state. Here’s a sampling of various projects:

St. Bernards Medical Center, Jonesboro
Cost: $82 million
Architect: HKS Inc. of Dallas
Contractor: Nabholz Construction Corp. of Conway

AB 12 10
A rendering of the 25-bed facility that Arkansas Heart Hospital is building in Bryant. ( Clark Contractors)

The St. Bernards surgical and intensive care services tower is the centerpiece of a four-phase project that began in late 2015. The first phase featured the renovation of the St. Bernards Cancer Center, which brought all of the hospital’s cancer services under one roof, according to St. Bernards. The second phase comprised renovations to the hospital’s Emergency Department and Heartcare Center.

The 245,000-SF tower will serve as the hub of all surgical and intensive care services for the hospital, St. Bernards said in an email to Arkansas Business.

The tower will feature 46 intensive care units, and the preoperative and post-anesthesia care units are adjacent to the 14 surgical rooms. The five-level facility will have shell space on the fourth floor for future growth. The tower’s first floor will have a special procedure room for interventional radiology procedures as well as support programs including a pharmacy and a gastrointestinal lab. Site work on the tower started in 2017. St. Bernards used a bond issue to help fund the project.

Arkansas Heart Hospital Encore Medical Center, Bryant
Cost: $55 million
Architect: WD&D Architects of Little Rock
Contractor: Clark Contractors LLC of Little Rock

AB 0603 126988 St. Bernards Medical Center
The new medical tower at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro. ()

The 87,985-SF Arkansas Heart Hospital Encore Medical Center in Bryant will be an acute cardiac care hospital with a focus on adult obesity and peripheral vascular disease. The hospital will feature 25 private inpatient beds, a full-service emergency department, two cardiac catheterization labs and two operating rooms. It is expected to open at the end of 2020 and have about 250 full-time employees. The equipment to furnish the building will cost about $20 million.

Washington Regional Medical Center Core Renewal Project, Fayetteville
Cost: $43.1 million
Architect: HKS Inc. of Dallas
Contractor: CDI Contractors LLC of Little Rock

Conway Regional 128308
Medical office rendering provided by Conway Regional Health System. ()

In 2017, Washington Regional Medical Center started its core renewal project, a four-year effort. In 2019, Washington Regional expanded  space for several service lines including dialysis, imaging and surgical services. The project also will include adding to its clinical laboratory, additional perioperative rooms and a 19-bed patient care unit. Washington Regional expects to complete the project in the second quarter of 2020.

Conway Regional Health System
Cost: $11.4 million
Architect: Cromwell Architects Engineers of Little Rock
Contractor: Nabholz Construction Corp.

Washington Regional Medical Center Core Renewal 129238
( CDI)

Conway Regional Health System held a groundbreaking in September for the construction of its 42,530-SF three-story medical office building, marking the first new building on the hospital campus in 18 years. The building will provide additional clinic and physician space. Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2020.

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