Piedmont Fayette announces major expansion


“Piedmont Fayette is growing for you.” That was the message June 17 when a large group of Fayette County residents met on the hospital’s east side to hear the announcement that Piedmont Fayette Hospital will be expanding the emergency department, adding two patient floors above it with plans to add a fourth and fifth floor. The cost of the 139,000 sq. ft. expansion will total $57 million.

“We’re here today to celebrate another milestone for Piedmont Fayette Hospital,” said hospital Community and Public Relations Executive Director Debbie Britt.

Britt during the brief ceremony greeted the large number of people attending and introduced the afternoon’s three speakers.

Hospital CFO Sheryl Klink during the brief ceremony noted that Piedmont Fayette has seen no major expansion since floors 4 and 5 were added eight years ago.

Hospital board Chairman Wyndham Mortimer in his comments referenced the hospital’s opening in September 1997 with 200 employees. It was in 2004 that the facility became Piedmont Fayette.

Since its inception in Fayetteville, the hospital has continued to grow. Today, as the county’s largest non-government employer, Mortimer said Piedmont Fayette employs 1,450 people.

There was a bit of orchestrated confusion when it came time for hospital CEO Michael Burnett to speak. That confusion quickly evaporated in the afternoon heat when Burnett pulled into the area driving a backhoe, proceeded to the mound of dirt presumed to be destined for groundbreaking shovels and scooped a load of dirt. It was clear that the audience was delighted at the very unique form of groundbreaking.

His mission accomplished, Burnett climbed off the backhoe and took to the podium. Explaining the specifics about to unfold, Burnett said the three-story project on the hospital’s east side will include the expansion of the emergency department and the addition of two patient floors. In all, the expansion will include more than 84,000 sq. ft. at an estimated cost of $40.48 million.

Burnett in commenting on the expansion said Piedmont also has plans to add two more stories, resulting in a 5-story project, which will bring the total expansion project to 139,000 sq. ft. with a total cost of $57 million.

“Piedmont wants to continue to invest in Fayette County and gave the go-ahead to add the fourth and fifth floors,” said Burnett. He said the state Certificate of Need has been amended to include the two additional floors.

Pertaining to the emergency department expansion, Burnett said it will add 27 examination rooms, three new trauma rooms, a decontamination area with two isolation rooms, new behavioral health rooms and 12 observation beds.

Once completed, the emergency department will include a total of 57 examination rooms.

Piedmont Fayette last year treated 61,187 patients in the 30-room emergency department, Burnett said, adding that by the end of June that number is expected to reach 67,000 patients.

Burnett said the expansion of the second floor will include in-room dialysis, observation beds and medical surgery beds and will convert all the hospital’s remaining semi-private rooms to all-private rooms.

The Georgia Department of Community Health has approved the hospital’s licensed bed capacity from 172 to 189, Burnett said.

Addressing expansion timelines, the emergency department is expected to be completed in the late summer next year, with the second and third floors following in the fall. Construction of the fourth and fifth floors will follow.

Meantime, there will be no change or impact to the entrances to the emergency department, Wound Care or the east entrance to the hospital during the construction period, Burnett said. A temporary ambulance entry has been created and will go into service on July 10, Burnett added.