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BayCare announces $308 million Hillsborough hospitals expansion

Three of BayCare Health System's Hills­borough hospitals are getting upgrades. The Clearwater-based health care company announced Thursday that it will invest $308 million over the next three years to expand St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, St. Joseph's Hospital-North in Lutz and St. Joseph's Hospital-South in Riverview.

"The greater Tampa Bay area continues to be a popular destination," Kimberly Guy, president of St. Joseph's Hospital, said in a release. "These expansions will allow us to not only meet its rapid population growth, but also better serve the medical needs of our neighbors by increasing our medical specialties and services."

The costliest undertaking will be at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. BayCare plans to build a six-story tower that will house a two-story lobby, waiting rooms and on-call rooms, as well as three patient-care floors and a mechanical support floor. There will also be 30 private patient rooms on each patient-care floor. A new bridge will connect St. Joseph's Women's Hospital to the main hospital across Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Currently, patients and visitors must use a roadside crosswalk to walk from one hospital to another.

This portion is expected to cost $126 million and wrap up by the end of 2019.

St. Joseph's Hospital-South will undergo the second-most-expensive expansion, divided into two phases. In the first phase, a new five-story building will be built, including an expanded operating room and catheterization lab and room for future expansion. The emergency room will be built out to make room for 25 new beds, an 18-bed observation unit and CT scan, X-ray and ultrasound machines.

The second phase will augment two floors for medical and surgical use, add a neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric service unit, and add 36 rooms for medical and surgical patients. Both phases are expected to cost $112 million and finish by the end of 2020.

Upgrades at Lutz's St. Joseph's Hospital-North will include two patient-care floors that will have 108 private patient rooms. Four of the operating room suites will be expanded, as will support services to handle larger numbers of patients. BayCare projects this to cost $70 million and finish by late summer 2019.

Construction on all of the projects is expected to begin in 2018.

Contact Malena Carollo at or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.