March 3, 2021
In preparation for a new hospital patient bed tower, Watauga Medical Center will experience changes to the entrances, exits and parking lots over the next few months. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) announced that construction on the new patient bed tower began this week.
“The expansion project represents a $100 million investment in the health of Watauga County,” said Rob Hudspeth, SVP of System Advancement for ARHS. “The first phase – a new Heart and Vascular Center – was completed in August of 2020. Phase two, in progress, includes construction of the new central energy plant. Phase three calls for construction of a new medical bed tower, which we are excited to start this March.”
Traffic and Parking Changes
Beginning March 11th, traffic into Watauga Medical Center, including the Emergency Department, will flow one way (two lanes) into the main parking lot entrance closest to the hospital. Leaving the hospital, drivers should exit to Deerfield Road through the parking lot’s side exit. Signage will be posted.
All Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center patients and ambulances should enter from Mary Street and park in the existing parking spaces. There will be no public access to the hospital from the Mary Street entrance or from the Cancer Center lot.
Patient and Visitor Entrance Changes
Hospital patients and visitors, including Emergency Department walk-ins, should enter the building through the temporary main front entrance doors close to the newly constructed canopy and walkway beside the Heart & Vascular Center.
The usual Emergency Department entrance patients and visitors have been using for the past year will be closed on March 10th.
ARHS is attempting to limit the inconvenience for the community while proceeding with these much-needed improvements and additions to the hospital facility.