COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. - Columbia County will soon have its first hospital thanks to Wellstar MCG Health. FOX54's Abby Bradshaw is the first to speak with the system’s president about how the project is going. 

“We are in the process of prepping the site,” said Ralph Turner, Wellstar MCG Health President.

With time, the dirt lot of the construction site will become a 250,000 square foot hospital with 100 beds.

"It opens many doors for many more accesses to patient care.” said Turner.

Columbia County is one of Georgia’s largest without an inpatient facility. This $272M build changes that.

"The project in Columbia County sort of fit right into our strategic plan,” said Turner.

“The citizens deserve it, it’s long overdue for us to have our own facility in the area," said Trey Allen, Columbia County Hospital Authority Chairman, “This all started because we wanted trauma center due to the lake being so close to Columbia County and bordering us, because any accident that happens at the lake is going to be far away from the downtown hospital or the West Augusta location.”

Hospital Authority Chairman Trey Allen says construction shouldn’t hit your wallet.

"We didn’t have to put out any dollars, any actual money from the taxpayers of Columbia County, we just helped underwrite part of the bond issuance.” said Allen.

Meantime, Wellstar has big plans to spend big money - not just in Columbia County, either.

"We committed over $800M over the next 10 years, a lot will be spent on our downtown campus. Though we are focused on what we’re doing in Columbia County, there will be a lot of investment that goes on back here at main campus as well.” said Turner.

While it will take some time to see the hospital take shape, Allen calls the impact already significant.

"Obviously, that’s a growing corridor…The area around the hospital has been building for the last 10 years and it’s going to continue to build. Plots have been sold at a pretty increased rate." said Allen.

Next, Wellstar decides how the outside of the hospital will look. But, they want your input too through future community sessions. We will let you know when those are scheduled.

"Our first and foremost mission is to our patients and that they are well taken care of, and this facility will give us an extra opportunity to do that.” said Turner.

Wellstar MCG Health expects to have the facility in Columbia County operational by 2026.