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WESLACO, TX-The Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco, TX near McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley has broken ground on a 28,000-sf emergency room addition and renovation.

The Dallas regional office of St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Cos. is the general contractor for the project, which carries an October 2003 completion. PageSoutherlandPage is the architect for the addition.

McCarthy project director Gary Akin tells GlobeSt.com that the project is a response to overcrowded conditions at ERs throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Akin says the need is especially heavy when the “Winter Texans” come to town.

The renovation will include a new medical center entrance, admissions area, gift shop and lobby, according to Akin. Just seven years ago, McCarthy completed a $25-million expansion on the center’s 233-room main tower.

Robert W. Vanderveer, Knapp Medical Center CEO and president, said in a press release that McCarthy was hired for another project because of its expertise in bringing projects in on time and on budget. “We had a good relationship with McCarthy during our patient tower project,” he said.

Akin, who participated in pre-planning with facility representatives, says the October deadline is an average timeline for this type of project. He emphasized that there will be as little disruption as possible to hospital operations during construction.

McCarthy also contracts with the Mid-Valley Health System in the Rio Grande Valley. And, it’s currently completing a pediatrics intensive care unit project on Mid-Valley Health’s main campus in Harlingen and a nearby family clinic called Su Clinica.

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