Summit Medical Center construction begins Monday |

Summit Medical Center construction begins Monday

Lu Snyder

Medical center construction

Patients will be routed new emergency room entrance during construction, which is expected to last from April 29 until early September.

The temporary entrance will be on the back of the building, near the helicopter pad. Informational signs will be posted in English and Spanish.

The medical center will be fully operational during construction

FRISCO – The Summit Medical Center will undergo some surgery of its own shortly.

The medical center will be expanded by approximately 3,000 to 4,000 square feet this summer. The cost of the expansion, construction of which is scheduled to begin Monday, is estimated at $1.25 million.

Among the improvements included in the expansion plans are a new emergency room entrance and waiting area.

“Right now, we have people standing outside in the summer,” said Jim Dinkel, facilities manager. The expanded waiting room will more comfortably accommodate patients and allow the staff to respond to them with more efficiency, he added.

In addition to offering patients more room to sit inside, the extra room will allow staff to assess patient needs and care priority, said Wes Hunter, director of support services for the medical center.

Construction will add a new pre-op (operation) room and a procedure room, providing more room for surgery. Of the two surgical rooms the medical center currently has, one is used for procedures, Dinkel explained. The addition of a procedure room will free up the second surgery room for surgery.

Surgery has increased about 20 percent in the past two years, Hunter said.

The medical center also will doing some internal remodeling, including adding patient beds. The trauma area will be expanded from one bed to four, and emergency room beds will be increased to 13. The internal remodeling will improve patient privacy, Hunter said.

Hunter said he doesn’t expect the expansions will allow the medical center to care for more patients, since they don’t turn people away.

However, “it will allow us to serve them better,” he said. “We can treat more at the same time and with less waiting time.”

Many patients likely will be happy to hear construction plans include additional parking, as parking at the center is often in short supply.

The medical center shares 84 spaces with its neighboring building, the Vista Center. Those spaces are shared by employees of both buildings, which usually leaves little parking for patients, Dinkel said.

The expansion will add 30 spaces to the medical center’s parking capacity.

Beginning Monday, construction will block the regular emergency exit. The temporary exit will be located at the back of the building, by the helicopter pad, Dinkel said. There will be signs – in English and Spanish – directing patients to the new entrance.

Though Dinkel said he expects there might be some parking problems during the construction period, the construction “will not affect the care of our patients,” he said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or

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