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AUSTIN-Seton Healthcare Network this fall will begin a $50-million expansion of its Seton Medical Center in central Austin that will increase space for surgery, emergency medicine, parking and allow for continued growth.

In all, the project will add 51,000 sf to the 457,000-sf hospital at 1201 W. 38th St. That will increase surgery capacity by 50% and emergency room capability by 61%. “This expansion will allow Seton Medical Center to remain a premiere facility for resources for both our outpatients and hospitalized patients,” John Brindley, the hospital’s president, says in a prepared statement. The hospital, founded in 1902, is part of the Seton Healthcare Network, which operates 20 locations in central Texas.

The hospital has begun a $15-million fund-raising campaign to help pay for the project. Donors Ron Carroll, a former technology executive, Elizabeth Galic, an Austin resident, and the Cain Foundation, based in Austin, jumpstarted the drive with $1.5 million.

The project is being done in four phases. One stage calls for construction of a 414-space parking garage, increasing the number of spaces to 1,441 from 1,164. The renovation and expansion of the emergency department will take the bed count from 18 to 32. A 51,000-sf construction project will beef up operating rooms from 20 to 30 and increase space for recovery areas and day surgery support. This phase also includes modifications to improve traffic flow around the hospital. The existing facility and physical plant infrastructure also are in line for upgrades, all public areas in-patient rooms will be renovated and 36 beds will be added. Work is on the parking garage is to begin in the fall with the last new beds to be ready for patients in spring 2005.

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