Penn Highlands Healthcare intends to build a micro-hospital and medical office building near Colonnade Boulevard and Waddle Road in Patton Township.
Though land development plans have not yet bet submitted, representatives for the west-central Pennsylvania health system gave a brief overview of the project to the Patton Township Board of Supervisors on Wednesday night.
"The micro-hospital is a mini version of a general acute care hospital, but just on a smaller scale," said Greg Bauer, chief business development officer for Penn Highlands.
Located near Cracker Barrel and Sheetz in the Patton Town Center development, the micro-hospital would have six to 12 inpatient beds, a small emergency department, radiology services and inpatient laboratory services.
The medical office building would house physician and specialist practices, a walk-in clinic and, potentially, lab services, Bauer said.
Formed in 2011, Penn Highlands Healthcare currently encompasses hospitals in DuBois, Clearfield, Brookville, St. Mary's and Huntingdon, with Tyrone Hospital expected to join next month.
"The State College market is a growing market," Bauer said. "We see that area as underserved..."
The parcel is zoned C-2, which permits hospitals, medical offices and clinics, so no rezoning is required, Patton Township Manager Doug Erickson said.
When the original plans for Patton Town Center were approved in 2008, the pad where Penn Highlands now plans to build was intended for a luxury hotel, though it was dropped just a few years later. The current plan for Patton Town Center's final phase was approved in 2018 and calls for a restaurant and a retail building, in addition to the medical center.
Bauer said plans for the micro-hospital and medical office building are currently in development. He expects they will be submitted to Patton Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Health late this year or in early 2021.
Penn Highlands, which acquired the property for $6.9 million in 2019, intends to finance the project with the issuance of up to $70 million in bonds through the Hospital Authority of the City of DuBois. Federal law requires that the host municipality also give approval to the bond issue, though Patton Township will bear no liability or responsibility.
Supervisors voted unanimously to approve.
"I think it’s an excellent location," Supervisor Elliot Abrams said. "It’s right off a major highway, people can get to it and anything that increases access to healthcare I think is generally a good idea."