Groundbreaking of new Region 8 hospital is celebrated

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Around one hundred people braved the heat Thursday morning to celebrate the beginning of construction to a new facility.

Representatives, both local and state, came out for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital's new facility.

Chief Executive Officer of the NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, Paul Betz, says everyone is thrilled to see things getting underway.

"We're excited about this happening today because we begin to see our vision become a reality. We've wanted this for many, many years and we think this is going to be a great contribution and benefit to the residents of Northeast Arkansas."

CEO Jim Boswell says this project has been in the works for a number of years, "We've been working on this for probably close to ten years and we're so proud to have partnered with Baptist and to make this dream a reality."

Among the honored guests were Governor Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

Governor Beebe believes this new facility is representative of what the Jonesboro community stands for, "Jonesboro is such a central point for trade, commerce, medical facilities. This is just a further reinforcement of the idea that Jonesboro is a fast growing, vibrant community with a lot of investment. This is a four hundred million dollar investment. This clinic was started by a bunch of local Jonesboro guys or ASU guys that came back to Jonesboro and has seen it grow and with this kind of investment in health care and this opportunity for patients of all of Northeast Arkansas, to have this as one of their options is something that can't do anything but help all of Jonesboro and all of Northeast Arkansas."

Paul Betz, "It's a tremendous investment. Many people are going to be able to be put to work on this project. We have subcontractors working every day on this and we're very excited about that."

Over four hundred million dollars is being invested in this facility and will take about three years to complete.

The building will be over seven hundred thousand square feet and will connect the hospital to an office building.

For more information about this project log on to their website.

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