Alamance Regional Medical Center prepares for expansion

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BURLINGTON, N.C. --- Alamance Regional Medical Center begins construction for a $62 million dollar expansion to its emergency room, cancer center and operating room.

Senior Vice President Dick Donahey said the original design for the expansion project began in 2008 but was postponed die to economic hardships.

The project has now been revisited now that the patient visits and treatment rooms have become crowded.

Donahey said on average a patient can wait up to three hours in the emergency room.

"This is a go-go project. We want to be done with the emergency room in eight months then come back and renovate the existing emergency room in 4 months; simultaneously the cancer center will be built," Donahey said.

The new cancer center will double the amount of chemotherapy stations for patients in a larger facility overlooking a healing garden.

The emergency room will expand from 26 treatment rooms to 58. Each year more than 58,000 people are seen in the emergency room. Nearly 4,200 people were seen in the emergency room in December 2012.

Donahey said many of the design layouts and ideas came from a committee of both employees and 10 hospital patients.

The project is expected to employ about 150 construction workers.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for January 15th.

Donahaye said project completion is set for December 31, 2013.