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Bayhealth breaks ground on new Milford health campus

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Six-story hospital slated to open in 2019

Bayhealth officials officially broke ground May 24 on a new $300 million health campus in Milford.

"A project like this doesn't happen overnight; it takes research, imagination, determination and know-how," Bayhealth CEO Terry Murphy said.

The new hospital, on a 165-acre parcel off Route 1 at Wilkins and Cedar Creek roads in Milford, will feature 70,000 square feet of outpatient care and inpatient services, including a state-of-the-art emergency department, twice the size of the existing facility. Nemours Children's Health System also will provide specialized services for children and adults in a separate building on the campus.

Fifty acres of the parcel will be used for hospital construction. Speaking at the May 10 Sussex County Council meeting, Mike Metzing, vice president of corporate support services, said additional acreage will be used for future medical office space and an expansion of Nemours specialty clinics to serve southern Delaware. The site plan also includes future space for commercial and residential development.

"It's our hope that for the next 100 years, the health campus will deliver a scope of care beyond anything the community has ever experienced," Murphy said.

Conceptual renderings released May 3 show a six-story hospital designed by architects from CannonDesign. Bayhealth representatives say all patient rooms will be private.

"Our team explored southern Delaware to learn more about the landscape, and we used our findings as inspiration in developing a concept for the exterior facade of the hospital and outpatient center," said Troy Hoggard, senior vice president at CannonDesign. "What we found were sprawling farmlands, waves crashing onto the beaches, and sand rippled after a summer storm, and each is reflected in our design."

The new 437,000-square-foot campus will replace Bayhealth's 250,000-square-foot Milford Memorial Hospital on Clarke Avenue, built in 1938. Last year, Bayhealth hired Texas-based Trammell Crow Co. to find another use for that facility, with input from local leaders and the community.

Speaking during the May 10 Sussex County Council meeting, Bayhealth Foundation President Lindsay Rhodenbaugh said community businesses, organizations, foundations and citizens are being solicited to meet a local $15 million capital campaign goal. He said, so far, $8.5 million has been raised.

Metzing told county council that the facility's economic impact on Sussex County is dramatic. The current Milford hospital employs 750 people with an annual payroll of $66 million; each job at the hospital also creates two additional support jobs at other businesses.

He said the overall cost of the new facility includes $215 million in design and construction costs and $60 million for the purchase of equipment, furniture and fixtures.

He also said that at least 50 percent of the project will involve Delaware workers employed by Delaware companies. In addition, at least 50 percent of all materials will be purchased from Delaware businesses.

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Original Publication Date: May 27, 2016

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