Altus ER coming to Lumberton
03 May, 2012
There has not been an emergency medical facility in Hardin County since Silsbee Doctor's Hospital closed its doors in the 1990's. That will change once Altus HMS completes construction on a new 40,000 square foot emergency facility that will include offices for physicians and specialists with South East Texas Medical Associates.
After months of planning and negotiations, representatives from Altus HMS, Lumberton Industrial Development Corporation, and the City of Lumberton formally signed paperwork securing a $300,000 loan to the company.
According to Kevin Herrington, Regional Senior Vice President for Altus, the last hurdle in beginning construction of the facility is getting all the banking agreements signed by the company. That process, he said, should go smoothly and pave the way for the work to begin.
Altus is closing on the property and will take ownership sometime in May or June, he said. Architect renderings should be completed by June 1, at which time the project will go out for bids. The bidding process is anticipated to take approximately four weeks. The estimated time for construction is July or August of this year.
Herrington said the two story structure will allow SETMA to have their own entrance on the first floor. The Altmus emergency room will also have its own entrance on the first floor.
In the middle area of the building will be imaging; CT, x-ray, ultrasounds, etc. On the second floor, Altus will have more office space and a nurse's station. If there are any patients who need to be observed, Altus will have patient rooms on the second floor for that.
"We are purchasing 6 acres of land," Herrington said. "We are only building on the front two acres at this time. The back four acres is for future development. The idea is to make that an entire medical complex. If the community supports a full hospital in the future and the money is there, we are willing to do that.
"Initially, it is going to be building a complex that has everything from optometrists to home health to dentists, to other needed services."
Mayor Don Surratt said Altus is the third hospital group the city has negotiated with to try and bring a medical facility to Lumberton. He and City Council are very pleased that Altus is the company coming into the city due to their history and reputation in health care.
"We are all very excited about this," he said. "It is going to be a nice facility that will not only bring more businesses into the area and spur economic growth. This is going to be a very good thing for the city of Lumberton."
Surratt said the emergency facility is "one of the last pieces to the puzzle to be recognized as a thriving city." People or businesses who are thinking about moving to Lumberton see the city has what they need to make it a viable city to live in.
"With our exceptional police department and Fire & EMS, along with the outstanding school district, city Maintenance Department and the fact that there is no property tax in our city, Lumberton is a great place to live," he said.
Herrington echoed Surratt's sentiment, saying Altus is excited to come to Lumberton and build a medical facility.
"We are very grateful to the city," he said. "They have been very supportive. Of all the projects that I do, this is one of the easiest ones to work with the city on. The Mayor, the City Council, the City Manager, the City Attorney, the IDC; everyone has been very supportive. This has been a very nice process for us."
Representatives from Altus HMS, the Lumberton Industrial Development Corporation, and City of Lumberton gathered to sign the contract that will provide a $300,000 loan to the Healthcare company to help secure an emergency facility in Lumberton. Pictured; front row, from left, Mayor Don Surratt, Kevin Herrington, Altus Regional Senior Vice President, Rickey Simmons, IDC President, Josh Young, Altus Project Manager; back row, from left, City Attorney Curtis Soileau, Kenneth Wahl, Andy Kelley, Lynette Barks, Council members, City Manager Steve Clark. Photo: David Lisenby, HCN_Altus Signing/ BE