After nearly a decade of delays, legal battles and opposition from nearby residents, Suburban Hospital dedicated its new 300,000-square-foot addition Friday morning at a ceremony in Bethesda. The building is scheduled to open March 2.
The hospital’s addition, called the north building, will house 108 private patient rooms, 14 operating rooms with robots, two cardiovascular labs and a new patient visitor lounge, among other features.
“Today is the day of a realization of a grand vision. A vision shared by many and after many years of work,” Jacky Schultz, the hospital’s president, said at the ceremony.
The addition of the north building was part of the hospital’s first major expansion in 35 years. It also included the construction of a 1,125-space parking garage finished in August 2017.
The construction involved removing a portion of the street to make way for the new building, leading to fears from nearby residents. In 2011, a neighborhood association appealed the county’s decision to allow the project, but the county circuit court upheld the decision. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld that ruling in 2013.
The new hospital building finally broke ground in October 2014.
County Executive Marc Elrich, County Council members and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) were among those who attended Friday’s celebration.
“I’m glad that you’re growing in Montgomery County,” Elrich said. “We’re gonna continue to do what we need to do to support life sciences in Montgomery County.
A press release from the hospital stated that the north building is part of a five-year campus transformation project, which cost $270 million. Private donors provided $65 million.
The press release says patients will be moved from semiprivate rooms in the hospital’s south building to private rooms in the new north building after it opens. Rooms in the south building will later be converted to private rooms.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org