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Geisinger Gray's Woods Facility Expansion Project Nears Completion

by and on February 20, 2014 10:30 AM

Soon, the rooms at Geisinger's Gray's Woods facility will be bustling with activity.

Waiting rooms will be full, operating rooms will be in use and Centre County residents will have even more hospital space.

The Gray's Woods expansion project is nearing completion. The addition cost $42 million and has added 78,000 square feet, nearly doubling its size.

The new facility includes a new ambulatory surgery center for outpatient procedures. There are four operating rooms, four endoscopy rooms and two pain therapy rooms. There's also expanded clinical space for gastroenterology, gastrointestinal nutrition, general surgery, pulmonology, urology, cardiology, ophthalmology and laboratory space on the second floor.

Matthew Nussbaum, associate vice president for regional operations recently took members of the media on a tour of the new facilities.

“We want to provide quality care, so why not build a quality facility? This site has always been considered our western hub before Lewistown came on board,” Nussbaum says. “We built it as such. We started with a 64,000-square foot building. This was always intended to be built as a campus. At one time, we thought about putting a third floor on the building. … There are so many changes that have happened. We want to start planning for the future.”

The facility was scheduled to begin seeing patients this week. Following an inspection in early April, the facility will be cleared to perform surgeries.

There will be 64 exam rooms on site. The architects for the project were EwingCole. A team from Alexander Building Construction managed the project.

According to Nussbaum, there was a very real need in Centre County for a larger facility. “We're growing in a lot of different areas,” he says. “There really isn't a specific area that isn't growing.”

Nussbaum says the additional operating rooms are important. “There are only so many ORs in the area, so there's definitely a need for more OR time. As we grew in surgical specialities, we couldn't find enough OR time at Mount Nittany.”

The expansion at Gray's Woods will open up the possibility for construction at the Scenery Park location along South Atherton Street. According to Nussbaum, some of the services offered at that location will now shift to Gray's Woods.

“Part of (the expansion) is going to be bringing new services out here,” he says.

The facility also means that services once only offered at Danville will now be available in State College. “Nobody wants to travel an hour and a half when you can have it five minutes away,” he says.

The expansion project will add 30 to 40 new jobs at the facility.

As a group of workers put the finishing touches on some of the minor details and the floors were waxed, Nussbaum says everyone affiliated with Geisinger is pleased with how the project turned out.

“If you want to provide quality care, you need to build quality facilities. We're very pleased,” he says. “We're going to fill this place pretty quickly.”

The Gray's Woods expansion project doesn't signal the end of growth in Centre County. In fact, Nussbaum says it's just the opposite.

“Incrementally, we've been growing. It's been a very organic growth over the last 10 years in Centre County,” Nussbaum says. “We don't like to acquire things and build things. Generally, when we build something, we're building it to move into it, to plan the next project. This building meets exactly our needs right now. In a year from now, we're probably going to be talking about what the next expansion is going to be because we'll be out of space here.”

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Chris Morelli is the managing editor of The Centre County Gazette.
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