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A new ER

Andy Prutsok

Officials broke ground Tuesday for a $3.7 million emergency department at Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View.

“This is a wonderful example of the ministry of the Sisters of Bon Secours,” said Richard Hanson, CEO, Bon Secours Hampton Roads. “Bon Secours is committed to responding to the unique health care needs of communities we are invited to serve. The need is great for advanced emergency care in the northern Suffolk area of Western Hampton Roads.”

The 11,000-square-foot addition will bring the total area of the outpatient facility/hospital to 120,000 square feet.

The center, developed in collaboration with N.T. Brinkman Inc., is scheduled to open in March 2007 and will initially offer emergency care 16 hours a day — 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. — with a goal to eventually be open 24 hours a day. It will have 19 treatment beds and will employ 14 full-time people.

The center will offer advanced emergency care for ambulatory patients of all ages and will have the capability to stabilize and transfer emergent or critical patients to Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center. During its first year of operation, officials anticipate providing nearly 11,000 patient visits, growing to 16,500 by its third year.

Much of the growth is expected to come as a result of the development of Harbour View Towne Center, a mixed-use development that will occupy 130 acres of currently vacant land adjacent to the hospital.

Developer Bob Williams and architect Burrell Saunders gave those in attendance a preview of their plans.

According to Saunders, owner of CMS Architects, the center will encompass 2.5 -million-square-feet of office, retail and residential space.

“It will be a core area downtown for Harbour View, where it becomes it’s own place, an economic center,” Saunders said.

Saunders noted that more and more people are finding value in not spending so much time in their cars commuting, that they want to be able to live, work and play in the same place.

He said that plans call for Town Center to have six hotels.

“Because of the business going on here there’s a real need for overnight stays,” Saunders said, referring to the thriving high-technology industry in north Suffolk. This is the only new town in Hampton Roads that’s going to have it’s own hospital integrated into it,” Saunders said.

Former Suffolk Mayor Dana Dickens, president of Hampton Roads Partnership, also touted the development.

“As this develops, we’ll have an opportunity play and shop all in the same neighborhood,” Dickens said. “A lot of the development that’s going on in this arena is following that pattern we describe as smart growth.””

aprutsok@suffolknewsherald.com