Sentara Norfolk General set to launch $199 million dollar expansion this year

Posted at 3:42 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 17:28:51-05

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR)- Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Hampton Roads, is launching a $199 million expansion that should be complete within five years.

The major expansion project includes adding three floors to each of it's two existing wings, expanding the emergency department, expanding and modernizing 18 operating rooms and replacing the Special Care Nursery with a state-of-the-art unit. They will also consolidate 54 ICU beds on two floors.

“We are proud to provide world-class care, but our patients and clinicians deserve more modern facilities,” said Kurt Hofelich, president of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. “We are investing in the future to improve the patient experience, prepare for new technologies and bolster our position as a mid-Atlantic referral center.”

Sentara expects the construction to impact traffic flow on the Eastern Virginia Medical Center campus, which is also home to Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.

“We are in close touch with our campus partners, surrounding neighborhoods and other stakeholders,” said Robert Firestone, vice president of operations for Sentara Norfolk General and facility project manager for the expansion. “We are working to ensure timely communication, access to the campus and minimal inconvenience for our outpatients, visitors and EMS partners.”

Special communication will be made with medical and military helicopters flying into the hospital due to a 200 foot-tall crane with a 300 foot boom that will be used for construction.

Due to the tendency of the Ghent neighborhood to flood, the expansion project is also tying in measures against sea level rise along with the City of Norfolk's Resiliency initiative.

Some of the CT scanners and other radiology equipment will be moved to the third floor during construction. The hospital's emergency generators will also be above grade when the project is complete.

"Outside of staff, there is probably no more important resource to the facility than electricity. Everything comes from electricity and so it’s very important that we maintain that. It means life and death for people," Larry Smith, Director of Facility Services for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Tuesday.

Construction is expected to start in March 2016 and should be finished in 2020.