MYRTLE BEACH — Construction on Georgetown Memorial Hospital is on budget and on schedule about six months after work began on the 63-year-old hospital.
The Georgetown Hospital Systems board approved an expanded construction plan recently, giving a nod to the $34 million budget. Most of the recent construction is infrastructure, such as replacing the roof on all buildings and updating the external elevation of the building, according to Gayle Resetar, chief operating officer.
Though this work affects the hospital's current layout, Resetar says the construction doesn't affect service. Staff, administrators and construction crews are working together to keep everything running smoothly.
"Construction projects always have complex phasing; you intentionally close parts of the building at certain times,'' Resetar said. ``It's an extensive coordination of the nursing units that are affected, and they're doing a great job together.''
For now, the current front entrance is closed while crews renovate the face of the hospital, and the front parking lot is also off-limits. Architectural elevations are being put in place on the Black River Road entrance, and the hospital is building a brand new entrance.
"We're building a new entrance, partly because it has to do with access to outpatient services, as well as improved parking for our community,'' Resetar said.
A full nursing unit will nab a complete overhaul, which will expand the space available per room, allowing for more patient space. When the hospital was built family involvement in medical procedures or hospital stays was less common.
"Now, since families are a more common part of treatment, the expansion of patient rooms will allow for better patient family space,'' Resetar said.
Last year, the hospital's board announced it would nix plans to build an entirely new hospital off U.S. 701 and Wedgefield Road, and instead renovate the existing building.
"Undertaking a project of this scope will help ensure we have the kind of facility we need to continue delivery of quality health-care service well into the future,'' H. McRoy Skipper Jr., chairman of the Georgetown Hospital System's board of trustees, said in a news release.
"This is a reinvestment in our community and in our organization.''
The Georgetown community seems to be behind the hospital's revival, Resetar said, with people looking forward to a newer facility.
"[The hospital] has really had to grow to meet the community needs,'' Resetar said. ``In Georgetown, it's not so much about the demand of volume as it is about reinvesting in that hospital.''
The new entrance is expected to be finished in July, with the overhauled nursing unit completed in March. The exact completion dates are unavailable, since "when you're working around patient care, it's a little difficult to predict an exact completion,'' Resetar said.
"But it's moving along well."