Progress continues on Orange County hospital despite snag

Published 12:20 am Friday, October 20, 2023

Construction is progressing at the Gisela Houseman Medical Campus in Orange County with two tenants already taking offices on the top floor.

The bottom floor, which is the hospital component, is moving along but with a slight change, as the contractor is behind in some of the timelines on the construction.

Kevin Parsley, vice-president of strategy and development with Christus Hospital Systems, said officials learned of the delay last week and are waiting to receive an updated schedule this week from the contractors.

Officials will also have to schedule a state inspection before the hospital can officially open its doors.

“But in a short period of time we will be open and be available for the Orange community,” Parsley said.

Orange County has been without a hospital for some time, and the addition of the new campus is welcome and needed for the community, according to Orange County Judge John Gothia.

“It’s been long overdue to have a hospital back in our community,” he said. “I look forward to it being open. The community is excited to finally have one here. From the county level, it is beneficial to all.”

The upper floor of the facility houses physician offices, two of which are open for business, he said.

The hospital, when complete, will offer full outpatient imaging, radiology and a dedicated women’s center with 3-D mammography and other technology specific to women’s services. (Stephen Hemelt/The Leader)

Some of the offices not yet ready to occupy are on a different timeline correlating to when each tenant completed their lease.

Construction on the medical side is confined to the individual suites, Parsley said.

The Gisela Houseman Medical Campus sits on 20 acres of land, with the hospital taking seven acres, leaving room for future development.

“We are definitely excited” Parsley said.

There is still work to make the hospital operational and add staff to different departments, though most of the staffing is in place with some working at other locations.

The hospital medical center is located near Interstate 10 and Texas 62.

The two-story, 55,000-square-feet building includes a 24/7 emergency hospital and key outpatient diagnostic services, with the remaining space leased to physicians.

Parsley said the hospital would offer full outpatient imaging, radiology and a dedicated women’s center with 3-D mammography and other technology specific to women’s services.

Hospital leaders stress the project is the result of community members coming together to address a need that aligned with the company’s ideas.

Gothia understands sometimes there are delays in projects.

“It’s all moving forward, and like any other construction project, little things come up that have to be taken care of,” Gothia said.

Background

The journey to bringing a hospital to the county came long before Baptist Hospital Orange closed its emergency room services January 12, 2017. That closure led to a petition requesting an election for the formation of a hospital district in Orange County.

With 1,253 votes for the district and with 6,342 voting against the proposition in the final tally, the hospital district did not pass.

— Written by Mary Meaux