Construction officially began Tuesday on a $162.5 million expansion at Mercy Hospital Fort Smith.
The project, kicked off in a groundbreaking ceremony with hospital leaders and local officials, will increase the number of rooms in the emergency department from 29 to 50 and increase capacity in the intensive care unit from 38 to 64. It will allow for about 25,000 more patient visits per year and include special considerations for infectious disease and behavioral health patients, Mercy said in a news release.
The additional ICU beds will also increase the number of rooms capable of supporting ventilators by more than double.
The hospital is adding 140 parking spaces to accommodate the expansion.
“We’ve been dreaming and working on this design for the past year or more,” Ryan Geib, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said during the ceremony. “This project will change the face of the building you see behind me. It will also change the way our community experiences care.”
Construction on the expansion is being managed by McCarthy of St. Louis. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2024.
The hospital last year completed a new $28.5 million rehabilitation center.