June 14, 2017: A $70 million project to double the size of the emergency department at Florida Hospital Waterman and to build another patient care tower is set to start in July.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the project will add more than 111,000 square feet to the current 269-bed facility.

The new four-story patient care tower will be dedicated to pediatrics and women’s services.

It will include 24 beds for women’s services, labor and delivery and inpatient pediatrics.

To help fund the project, the Florida Hospital Waterman Foundation has pledged to raise $5 million in community donations.

Hospital officials cite local population growth as the reason for the expansion.

The current 35-bed emergency department was built to treat 50,000 patients per year. It treated 65,000 patients last year.

More than 80% of the hospital’s patients come through the emergency department.

In a news release, David Ottati, president and CEO of Adventist Health System Central Florida Division North Region called the project the “single largest investment in a Lake County healthcare facility since Florida Hospital Waterman’s Tavares campus was completed in 2003.”

The projected completion date for the expansion is July 2019.

Adventist Health System, the parent organization of the Florida Hospital facilities, is a group of hospitals and other health care facilities.

It owns 45 hospital campuses and more than 8,200 licensed beds in 9 states. It is affiliated with the Adventist Church.