Carilion to build new tower as part of major expansion at Roanoke Memorial Hospital

Three new buildings will be constructed

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter, Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

ROANOKE, Va. - Later this year, Carilion will start a five-year process to expand Roanoke Memorial Hospital into one of the largest hospitals in Virginia.

Carilion made the big construction announcement Wednesday morning.

The more than $300 million plan will add 400,000 square feet and expand both the hospital and the adjacent Behavioral Health Building in the Roanoke Innovation Corridor.

"It's just an amazing opportunity. We're really building the future," said Nancy Agee, Carilion Clinic President and CEO.

"These institutes are just great for the patients. Better scheduling, better preparation, shorter stays in the hospital. It's just going to be very dramatic," said James Hartley, chair of the Carilion Clinic Board of Directors. 

GALLERY: Renderings of Roanoke Memorial Hospital Expansion

This project is part of Carilion’s long-term capital plan to invest more than $1 billion in the region.

Wednesday's announcement has been years in the making.

In March 2015, Carilion began discussing preliminary plans for a new tower.

Now, not only is a new tower being built, but also a new Behavior Health Building and a new parking garage.

The Crystal Spring Tower will be built where out-of-use tennis courts are currently located.  It will offer two or three floors of parking, an expanded emergency department and six or seven floors that will make up Carilion’s Cardiovascular Institute.

View the full Wednesday morning news conference of the big announcement:

The new emergency department will include 95 beds, in addition to a new 40-bed observation unit. Carilion’s Roanoke-based heart and vascular services will be consolidated into one location.

The new Behavioral Health Building will be built behind the existing Rehabilitation Building on the corner of McClanahan and South Jefferson streets. Once the new building is finished, the old Rehabilitation Building will be demolished.

That land won't be empty, though, because the new Jefferson Street Parking Garage will be built in place of the current Rehabilitation Building. It will add about 550 new parking spaces at the medical center.

A pedestrian walkway across Jefferson Street will be constructed to join the parking garage and the Crystal Spring Tower.

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