Motorists traveling near Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and visitors to the campus may see a few disruptions over the next few months as construction begins on a $110 million hospital expansion project.
Site preparation work for the planned vertical expansion of Valley Pavilion at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center began earlier this month, Cape Fear Valley Health said Thursday. The expansion will add 100 beds and reduce wait times in the Emergency Department, health system officials said.
The health system announced the expansion in March. Completion is scheduled for fall 2024.
CEO Mike Nagowski estimated that the expansion, when completed, will create an additional 187 full-time equivalent positions at the medical center.
“We recognized that we need this expansion to meet the growing needs of our community, and to provide meaningful assistance to reduce delays in our Emergency Department,” Nagowski said in the release.
Drivers, pedestrians and visitors will notice some disruptions and changes over the next three months, the health system said. Those changes are primarily restricted to the northeast corner of the hospital campus, from the main entrance driveway on Owen Drive to the intersection with Village Drive and down Village drive to just past the Emergency Department’s entrance and parking lot, the release said.
The Emergency Department entrance will remain open throughout, as will ambulance access from Village Drive, the release said.
The parking deck entrance closest to the hospital’s main front entrance is temporarily closed until Sept. 30, 2024, the release said. Those using the parking deck must now use the entrance facing Owen Drive. That entrance can be accessed from the existing upper section of the frontage road off the main driveway. The lower section of the frontage road that wraps around the parking deck will close permanently.
Driveway access from the Emergency Department entrance side of the parking deck to the front entrance will no longer be available, the release said. Drivers on Owen Drive can expect daily lane and sidewalk closures on a small section of the street in front of the parking deck, the release said.
Plans call for a new concrete bus stop pad to be installed on Village Drive, farther away from the construction activity. The section of the Emergency Department parking lot closest to the corner will be closed until Sept. 30, 2024, as well as the roadway between the parking lot and the ambulance bay entrance, the release said.
In October, work will begin to install a new ambulance entrance drive on Village Drive, adjacent to the existing drive. The new ambulance entrance is expected to open at the end of October. At that time, the existing ambulance entrance will be temporarily closed for renovation, the release said.
In November, the main driveway will temporarily close for one weekend so the first of two tower cranes can be installed, the release said. That closure is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 19-20.
“This construction is really going to benefit our community in the long run, and we know it will be worth the inconveniences it might cause for a few months,” Nagowski said. “We hope our visitors will be understanding and patient while we begin this expansion.”
Plans call for building two new floors on top of the existing Valley Pavilion section of the medical center.
About 40 percent of the new beds will be designed as ICU beds, with the remaining beds designated for medical/surgery inpatient and observation, the release said.. All of the beds will be in private patient rooms, the release said.
The project also calls for two rooftop helipads, which will allow patients to be taken by elevator directly into the Emergency Department, the release said.
This is the first major expansion to the main campus’ central building since 2008 when the five-story Valley Pavilion opened, the health system said in the release.