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With a toss of the shovel, construction of South Lake Hospital's new full service emergency department "officially" got underway in the northern part of the facility's service area. The healthcare facility is 13 miles north of the hospital's main campus just south of the northernmost entrance to the Florida Turnpike on US 27.

The 20 acre complex will include a full service emergency department, outpatient imaging and laboratory services and medical offices. "Construction is expected to continue for nine months with a projected opening of fall 2017," announced hospital president, John Moore.

"This groundbreaking signifies a new era for South Lake Hospital as we expand beyond our main campus to meet the healthcare needs of all of South Lake County," Moore told the audience at the groundbreaking ceremony.

"Our focus is to place quality healthcare services strategically throughout South Lake County to increase the ease of access for individuals and families."

The new free standing emergency department will encompass 21,732 square feet, will include 12 exam rooms, including two rooms for observation stays, one trauma room, one bariatric room and one isolation room.

The building will include state of the art technology to bridge the facility with South Lake Hospital allowing constant communications.

It will feature imaging and laboratory service areas, with separate entrances for outpatients, and will include CT, X-ray, ultrasound, and a dock for an MRI trailer.

Also on the campus will be medical offices for physicians with 19,616 square feet of space.

The campus is expected to generate up to 50 new jobs for hospital staff and more with the physicians private offices.

The project, dubbed Health Pavilion at Blue Cedar is estimated to cost $12 million. A second groundbreaking is anticipated to take place at the Four Corners area in March. A final date hasn't been set.

South Lake Hospital breaks ground for its new,
state of the art, full service emergency department
South Lake Hospital President John Moore addresses the crowd at the official groundbreaking for the healhtcare facility's new campus 13 miles north of the main campus. Hospital officials and medical staff (below) toss the first shovel of dirt to signify the beginning of construction. (Photos by Mike Corradino)
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