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Howard County General Hospital is proposing a $40 million addition and renovation project.
Howard County General Hospital is proposing a $40 million addition and renovation project. (WILMOT/SANZ Inc. Rendering)

Howard County General Hospital is proposing a $40 million project to build a two-story addition to the hospital and renovate existing space — moves that hospital officials say are needed for emergency care, general medical and surgical care and behavioral health services.

The 36,000-square-foot addition would be located adjacent to the existing emergency room facing Little Patuxent Parkway.

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After the addition is complete, approximately 18,000 square feet of internal renovations would take place in existing space, according to hospital officials.

"The population of Howard County is growing, and as the need for health care services is increasing, the hospital must evolve to meet those needs," said hospital President Steve Snelgrove in a press release.

"We have seen an increase in demand for behavioral health services. The community needs more hospital space and more resources to continue providing the high-quality health care that residents deserve. This project will do just that," he said.

The hospital is the process of seeking Howard County Planning Board approval for the project.

Susan Case, senior director of marketing and communications for the hospital, said officials are working with county planning and zoning officials "to determine the appropriate zoning process and approvals.

"There will be a planning and zoning hearing in either late November or December to review the site preparation phase of this project," Case said in an email. "The addition will require a new site development plan, and we will work through the county's review process once that is complete."

If approved, construction would span three years and take place in stages, officials said — site preparation and utility work could begin in early 2017, followed by construction of the two-story hospital addition, anticipated to be completed in late 2018, with a new emergency room entrance, triage and waiting areas.

The final stage would be renovation to existing buildings by late 2019. A new 25-bed general unit, for patients who stay in the hospital for medical needs or surgery, would feature private rooms and space for family members to stay overnight.

Officials said all hospital services would remain open during the construction.

Hospital officials said HCGH had the highest year-over-year increase in inpatient admissions of all hospitals in the Baltimore region last year, with 19 percent growth projected by 2024. In addition, the hospital's adult emergency room treated a record 60,310 patients last year, a nearly five percent increase over the previous year, officials said.

The hospital is a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The Howard Hospital Foundation, an organization that raises funds for the hospital, is leading a capital campaign "Building Today for a Healthier Tomorrow" — to raise funds to support the construction.

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