Leaders in the city of Elba celebrated the grand opening of a new medical facility Sunday.
Many believe the project was long overdue.
“Today is basically a celebration of moving into a new facility that's been a long time coming,”
Charles Waid is the architect behind the new, 6,000 square foot emergency department at Elba General Hospital and Nursing Home.
“It's a big deal for the city of Elba and the surrounding area,”
“It's the newest thing in town, its exciting because it's medical,” said Ellen Briley, the CEO of Elba General.
She says the old emergency department served it's purpose for the past 40 years.
“It's saved a lot of lives. It has everything in it you would need but it's just not user friendly let’s put it that way,” said Briley.
They believe an upgrade has been long overdue.
“It's about size, what they had was grossly undersized and in 40 years things have changed and in the way of procedures and the way they practice emergency room medicine. This gives them more space to do what they were already doing,” said Waid.
Waid believes the new department will better serve the people of Elba and help keep employees happy.
“It's always nice to move into a new facility and one that's had significant upgrades and it's going to be a good healthcare environment but a workplace environment too.
“I think they're excited. This community is really a small community but also a tight knit community,” said Briley.
As for the future of Elba General, more improvements are on the way.
“This is a 20 bed hospital and those 20 beds are going to be replaced by a new 20 bed wing,” said Waid.
Plans for the new emergency department have been in the works for the past eight years.
Construction on the $1.4 million facility took about a year to complete.