Officials say they are in the process of securing funding to commence the project.
The hospital on Thursday unveiled its plans, including an architect’s rendering of the finished complex, at a meeting of the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce at The Colonnade-Catoosa Civic Center.
Jim Coleman, Hutcheson chief operations officer, said the hospital is pleased that, after about two years of planning, the project is getting closer to fruition.
Hutcheson, which marks its 50th anniversary next year, hopes to break ground on the project in March.
“This represents a $10 million commitment to the community,” Coleman said. “We’re real excited about that commitment. Cancer care has not been available in this community.”
Once commenced, the total project is expected to finish in about 18 months, Coleman said.
David Cranford, Hutcheson chief financial officer, said the cancer center will be technologically state-of-the-art with full diagnostic, oncology and ambulatory services available in one building.
“We’ve historically invested in technology,” he said.
As a member of the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Center, the center will be able to partner with other Georgia cancer centers on research and treatment capabilities, Cranford said.
The adjoining surgery center will feature two operating suites for ophthalmologic; orthopedic; ear, nose and throat; and plastic surgery procedures.
The 40,000-square-foot medical office building, to be constructed first at a cost of $6-$8 million, will be funded and owned by physicians practicing a variety of specialized cares. These will include radiology, family practice, allergists, internal medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, plastic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, gastroenterology and ophthalmology.
“People will be able to get primary and specialty care all in one place,” Cranford said. “It’s not taking away from the hospital. If you have an automobile accident or a chronic disease, you’re not going to come here. It’s (intended to serve) a totally different population.”
John Nelson, a radiologist at Hutcheson, said the hospital has consistently proven its commitment to the north Georgia community.
“I would hope that residents understand that Hutcheson is here for the long run,” he said. “We’re here to stay.”
The complex, designed by Meadows and Ohly, Inc. of Atlanta, will be accessible from Battlefield Parkway and a private road behind the facility, Cranford said. Hospital officials are considering building an urgent care facility on the 27-acre campus, he said.
Hutcheson Health Foundation President Betsy Chapin Taylor said the group has actively been collecting funds to assist in the cancer center’s construction. To date, the hospital’s auxiliary, board of directors, employees and residents have raised about $700,000 of the $2 million needed to commence the project, she said, noting the balance of funding will be financed over a 30-year period.
Hutcheson Health Foundation will continue to seek funds from the community and will undertake the largest capital campaign ever to occur in Catoosa County, she said.
“Fifty years ago, members of our community got together with one thought in mind — to build your community hospital,” Taylor told those attending the Chamber meeting. “It has been our privilege in serving your families for 50 years, and we look forward to serving you for another 50 years.