Construction on the first part of Frederick Health Hospital’s critical care expansion project is slated to be finished next month.

The $46.7 million project involves three floors in the wing of the hospital that currently houses its emergency department. Construction began on the project in late September 2020.

The first floor — where construction is almost done — features a new pediatric unit for emergency and in-patient care and a new adult emergency department. It also includes a new triage area for patients and an expanded emergency behavioral health unit.

This part of the project will be open to the public in August, Frederick Health spokesman Joshua Faust said.

The second floor of the wing will feature a new intensive care unit for the hospital. The current ICU was last renovated nearly 20 years ago and is often at capacity during periods of high demand, according to Frederick Health’s website.

The third floor of the wing will include a new cardiac catheterization lab, where doctors will conduct minimally invasive procedures for heart and valve conditions. This expansion will increase the number of pre- and post-procedural treatment bays in the hospital from six to 16.

Construction is ongoing on the second and third floors of the project. These floors are expected to be open to the public in September, Faust said.

Frederick Health employees had the chance to tour the first floor of the unfinished project on Thursday. By the time the open house was over, more than 500 staff members had walked through the expanded wing, Faust said.

He and Frederick Health spokeswoman Kelsey Felice-Shupe greeted employees at the project’s entrance, off the hospital’s main lobby.

“It looks beautiful,” one registered nurse told Faust.

Frederick Health has raised $9 million for the project and still needs $5.75 million for its fundraising goal, according to a sign posted in a hallway on the first floor of the wing. About half a million dollars in the fund was donated by employees, according to another sign.

More signs posted around the unfinished first floor showed renderings of what the space would look like when construction is complete. Walking through the pediatric unit’s waiting room — which Frederick Health refers to as a “lobby” — Faust pointed out the natural light flowing from large windows and the doorway.

“It’s going to be scary anytime your kid has to go to the hospital, so we want to make sure that it’s as comfortable and as accessible as possible,” he said.

A large and colorful painting of a jungle scene, featuring two toucans feeding their offspring, leaned on the room’s front desk, waiting to be hung up. In one in-patient pediatric room, a floor-to-ceiling photo of a sunflower stretches across the wall.

Frederick Health Hospital’s emergency department is the seventh busiest of Maryland’s 47 hospitals, according to the health system’s website. On average, the department cares for 200 adults and 40 children every day.

The expansion of the health system’s critical care services will help it meet the community’s growing and changing needs, Cheryl Cioffi, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Frederick Health, said in a news release about the open house event.

“Frederick County is one of the fastest growing regions in the Washington, D.C. area and, as a pillar of this community, we are committed to investing in the care and treatment of our friends, family, and neighbors,” she said in the release.

Gilbane Building Company, the construction company completing the hospital’s project, also renovated the facility’s main lobby a few years ago, Gilbane project executive Ryan Becker said.

Wearing a construction hat, he watched Frederick Health employees walk through the first floor of the expanded wing on Thursday.

“It’s always rewarding when you see a bunch of people appreciating all the hard work that we put in,” he said. ”It kind of makes it all worthwhile.”

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier

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