By JENNIFER R. YOUNG
SPRING MILLS, W.Va. — Ground was broken at the future home of the new Spring Mills medical office building on Wednesday.
The three story, 40,000 square foot facility, will be located off of Interstate 81 — exit 20 — and be situated on more than three and half acres at the intersection of U.S. 11 and Campus Drive.
Officials from both WVU Medicine University Healthcare Physicians and WVU Medicine University Healthcare attended the ceremony.
The medical office will boast an urgent care, ortho and sports medicine, primary care and specialty physician clinics — all owned and operated by WVU Medicine University United Health Physicians.
WVU Medicine University Healthcare will lease part of the building so it can offer rehab services, a women’s imaging center, lab and X-ray services.
WVU Medicine University Healthcare President and CEO Anthony P. Zelenka said plans to lease space in the building will allow the establishment of various satellite services of Berkeley Medical Center in a new area of the county to help meet the needs of patients.
“By offering these needed medical services in the northern end of Berkeley County, where we are seeing tremendous growth, we are improving access and making it more convenient for our patients who live in this area,”Zelenka said. “This model is similar to the satellite services we established in southern Berkeley County at our Inwood Medical Building in 2012.”
The new Spring Mills medical office building is part of WVU Medicine University Healthcare’s goal of getting medical services to the people who need them throughout the Eastern Panhandle.
“We are looking to open medical office buildings and satellite services and other needed medical services around the area,” said Teresa McCabe, vice president of marketing and development for WVU Hospitals-East.
McCabe said the new Spring Mills medical office will offer a women’s imaging center.
“We currently have a women’s imaging center across from Berkeley Medical Center and in Jefferson County across from Jefferson Medical Center in Charles Town. We are looking at the northern end of Berkeley county, and the tremendous growth in both residential and commercial development there,” McCabe said. “Looking at the demographic there — a lot of younger families with children and other residents — we thought a women’s imaging center would make sense there for people that live in the northern part of the county.”
Dr. George D. Harris, medical director for primary care for both Jefferson and Berkeley counties, also attended the ground breaking ceremony. He expressed excitement about the new Spring Mills facility being built.
“It demonstrates the further growth of health care in Berkeley County and helps us meet the needs of the community,” Harris said.
Officials estimate that the construction of the building will be complete in January 2018. The contractor — Brechbill & Helman Construction of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — is taking on the $11 million construction endeavor.
When the medical office building opens next year, it will be WVU Medicine’s eighth medical building in the Eastern Panhandle. Currently, there are three medical buildings in Charles Town, one in Inwood, and three on the Berkeley Medical Center campus.
UHP President and CEO Dr. Konrad C. Nau said he is excited about expanding into the Spring Mills community.
“We have a particular mission to provide specialty and primary care for the absolute growth of this community. This community needs more than one or two doctors. It is central to what is to become a significantly sized community in West Virginia,” Nau said. “We love being located in the heart of the Spring Mills school and shopping district and look forward to being an integral part of this community.”
Dr. Nau also emphasized the unique design elements of the new building. Grove & Dall-Olio Architects of Gerrardstown took charge of the design.
“This WVU medical center will feature unique design elements that will foster our health care professionals working as teams, provide us with room for growth of services in a shelled in third floor, and bring expanded access to primary care and specialist care in our growing northern Berkeley County,” Dr. Nau said. “I think the staff and patients will appreciate the color and brightness of our environmentally green design elements.”
There are currently now plans for the third floor of the new building. Dr. Nau said that was done intentionally — to leave room for growth.
“We have built seven facilities. This will be the eighth. What we find is the day we moved in, we wished it was bigger,” Nau said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if the day it opens we’ll have something planned for that space. I’m really happy to have some growth spot.”
While the focus at the event was on the groundbreaking, Nau said this effort is indicative of future plans for growth in both Berkeley and Jefferson counties.
“I think that there will be more. We look to be expanding our medical building in Inwood. During 2017, we hope to see some minor expansion there. We know that’s an area we’ll be growing into,” Nau said.
Nau also said there are also plans in the works for a Jefferson County expansion.
“Harpers Ferry Medical Center was our very first WVU medical building in the Eastern Panhandle,” he recalled. “We hope to expand in Jefferson County as well. We are collaborating with the hospital (in Jefferson County) to meet those expansion needs there.”
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