West Virginia University Hospitals announced plans to build a new outpatient facility in Morgantown Friday, according to a news release from WVU Healthcare.
The WVU Healthcare Outpatient Center will be built at the University Town Centre and will be housed in a 109,000-square-foot, three-story building. Officials said it will include 127 exam rooms.
Hospital officials said that they hope that by the time construction on the $52 million project is finished in 2016, the proposed new interchange off of Interstate 79 will also be finished.
"If you look at the impact of health reform and how many more patients are going to be seeking care," said Bruce McClymonds, President and CEO of WVU Hospitals. "If you look at what the growth profile trend has been so far, we're growing relatively quickly in our outpatient services. And many of our clinics and many of the places people come here as outpatients are over crowded. There's not enough capacity. There's not enough room and we think that we ought to be building somewhere other than on this campus."
The outpatient center is expected to house up to 10 clinics, including Family Medicine; Behavioral Medicine; Neurology; Cardiology; Internal Medicine/Medicine Specialties; Obstetrics and Gynecology; and Pediatrics, according to the news release.
"Approximately 70 percent of our outpatients come from outside Monongalia County," McClymonds said. "By moving some of our clinics closer to the interstate, we can provide more convenient access and parking for our clinic patients and decongest our campus."
The new center, along with Ruby Memorial Hospital's tower expansion, is expected to create around 800 jobs, officials said.
The project will be financed by WVU Hospitals, Inc., a member of the West Virginia United Health System. Officials said "no state funds will be sought and no extraordinary rate increase is anticipated as a result of the construction."