Old Blessed Sacrament school building torn down

St. Bernards Expansion Continues
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A building on Church Street in Jonesboro came down Tuesday.

Construction crews tore down the old Blessed Sacrament Catholic School building.

That demolition is part of phase three of St. Bernards's expansion plan.

"We have four phases of our master plan," Vice President of Senior and Affiliated Services Kevin Hodges said. "The first phase is our cancer center, which we are underway and hope to complete that this fall. Phase two is our heart care center renovation. We'll be adding two new cath labs, an EP lab as well as a hybrid lab. Very intense labs and remodeling the heart care center. Phase three is our intensive care surgical tower, along with the helipad addition. And phase four, we'll be going through our medical center and renovations of our medical center for such areas as nutritional services, waiting areas and our patient rooms."

Hodges said he is excited they are beginning phase three.

"This will allow us to permanently bring in our entrance from Church Street for our ambulance entrance, emergency service entrances," Hodges said. "As well as develop our new helipad that will be located right next to our ED."

That will make two helipads for the hospital.

"One to service the emergency needs on that end of our facility on our campus as well as we have our original helipad, which is located on our fifth floor for our NICU specifically for the medical center," Hodges said.

The additional helipad will not be on top of a building, though. It will be on a platform over the emergency ambulance entrance.

"All of our ambulance services will be able to come in a covered area with their patients and come into our emergency department in a covered way," Hodges said.

Hodges said phases one and two are on track.

"Phase one and two are going very well," he said. "Everything is on schedule. We've had good success so far. We're completing the planning phases of our heart care center. We have begun some remodel, and it'll really pick up this winter."

Hodges said the decision to expand was to help meet a need in the community.

"Certainly this is needed for our community and the 23 counties that we serve," Hodges said. "So we are a referral center, level three trauma. So, lots of folks need our services in terms of surgical services, intensive care unit. So, we'll be consolidating all of these services for better accessibility for our patients and visitors when they come to the campus."

Hodges said the environment at St. Bernards is a positive one.

"Everyone's very excited," he said. "The staff and our physicians are very excited to have this on our campus."

Hodges said once all four phases are complete, things should be faster and easier for everyone.

They hope to be finished with all four phases by 2019.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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