Additions planned at BelleHarbour

Published 8:35 pm Monday, December 5, 2016

One of Sentara’s local campuses will be expanding soon.

Sentara BelleHarbour will add a four-story building, a helipad and additional parking spaces. Dr. Steve Julian, president of Sentara Obici Hospital, said he and his team have been planning for the new additions for more than three years.

He hopes the additions will make it more convenient for patients.

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“This will become a one-stop-shop for everything except hospitalization,” Julian said.

The new four-story, 85,000-square-foot building will be placed in the parking lot directly in front of the center. The project will be more than $34 million, according to Dale Gauding, Sentara spokesperson.

Both facilities will connect on the first floor, Julian said. This will primarily grow the emergency room and laboratory services. The addition will bring 14 new observation beds, five emergency department beds and new medical office spaces.

The second floor of the building will be identified as the ambulatory surgery center, according to Julian. The floor, projected to span more than 22,000 square feet, will have two operating and two procedure rooms. Here, orthopedic and other general surgeries will be offered.

The third and fourth floors will provide “hospital-type” services and have additional medical office spaces, Julian said.

The helipad, a costly investment totaling several hundred thousands of dollars, will be placed in the grassy area in front of the center’s parking lot.

In the past, emergency services have been called to provide assistance in clearing space at the facility when the Nightingale air ambulance landed on site. That will no longer be necessary when the helipad is installed.

There will be additional parking spaces also.

Julian said the campus will provide hospital-level care, but without the stigmas associated with a hospital.

“This should be a friendly, less-intimidating environment,” he said.

Julian anticipates most patients can receive treatment and return home the same day.

The groundbreaking for the new building is scheduled for March 29, Gauding said. He expects the building to be complete in the fall of 2018.

“We are very excited for what [this] will provide for citizens,” Julian said.