Plaza Medical Center planning new emergency room, helipad

Plaza Medical Center plans to build a larger emergency room and helipad at its hospital in the city’s Medical District at a cost of about $21 million.

The emergency room, to be built on the west side of the hospital at 900 Eighth Ave., will include 15 beds and two trauma rooms, said spokeswoman Kathie Russell. Its current facility has nine beds.

The hospital will also increase its ambulance bays to seven from the current three, she said.

In addition, a new helipad will be built in a parking lot adjacent next to the new emergency room, Russell said. Plaza’s current helipad is located across the street from the hospital.

Russell said a timetable hasn’t yet been released for the project, but construction is not expected to begin before the first of the year. The project still requires some approvals, she said.

Plaza Medical Center is a 320-bed facility owned by Tennessee-based HCA, which also owns Medical Center of Arlington and North Hills Hospital in North Richland Hills.

The hospital has asked the City Council to nominate the project for funds from the Texas Enterprise Zone Program. If approved by the state, the project would be eligible for state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenditures. The refund, based on the number of jobs created, would allow the hospital a benefit of $1.25 million over five years, according to a city staff report.

The hospital said it will retain its current workforce of 949 employees as part of the overall project, the report said.

The council is expected to vote on the nomination Nov. 18. The application does not involve incentives from the city, the report said.