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Published Apr. 8, 2014

Largo Medical Center announced Monday that it will soon break ground on a freestanding emergency room in Clearwater.

The new facility, which will be open 24/7, will be located at 2339 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., the site of a former auto dealership just west of U.S. 19. It's slated to open this fall.

Located on a 2.4-acre site, the $8 million ER will feature 11 exam rooms and will initially employ 41 full-time staff members and six full-time physicians, Largo Medical Center said. Hospital officials say they expect the 10,600-square-foot location to serve more than 18,000 patients per year.

Clearwater already has one emergency room at Morton Plant Hospital, and Mease Countryside Hospital in nearby Safety Harbor has an emergency room. Largo Medical's new ER would be located roughly midway between them. The hospital notes that it will be on two heavily traveled roads, in one of the primary gateway corridors to Clearwater.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Wednesday morning.