Several ongoing building and road projects are nearing completion that will have huge impact on Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.
Murfreesboro Medical Clinic (TMP Photo/K.Hite)
From major medical facilities to expanded greenways, the next few days, weeks and months will see several significant projects opening to the public.
The Murfreesboro Post lists the top 10 (it’s always 11) of these projects according to their estimated completion dates.
1. Murfreesboro Medical Clinic — Physicians will begin seeing patients at the new Murfreesboro Medical Clinic beginning Monday, the clinic’s executive director said.
Initially, the nearly 80,000-square-foot facility will open with approximately 12 physicians in the gastroenterology, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and ophalmology departments, Joey Peay said.
General surgery and radiology are expected to open by mid-August, he said.
Peay said he hopes the new Murfreesboro Medical Clinic will become an iconic feature in the city due to its unique features. The three-story building at 1272 Garrison Drive was constructed using pre-cast architectural concrete.
“That gives it a pretty unusual appearance,” he said. “It is a pretty substantial building.”
Besides wanting the building to stand out against other structures in the city, the pre-cast concrete was selected for its durability.
“I believe we have a beautiful building, and hopefully patients will think so when they see it,” Peay said.
Dr. Robert Knox, a gastroenterologist, is excited about the move to the new facility, which he helped design.
The physician wanted the facility to have a centralized waiting room for all clinical departments to maximum space in the building. General surgery also was designed to be more efficient for physicians and to be more patient friendly. Preoperative rooms will be equipped with televisions.
Patients are being notified of the move through direct mailings and automatic telephone reminders.
“There is going to be a lot of confusion right now,” Peay said. “Since 1979 — almost 30 years — patients have been accustomed to coming to Highland Avenue to see their physician.”
The first floor of the new building will contain the surgery center, radiology and laboratory. The second floor is clinical space for physicians, and the third floor is third-party lease space and other operations area.
A comprehensive breast center and physical therapy will be available in the new facility.
Construction began July 2007. The total construction cost is estimated at $15 million-16 million.
Soon, some existing departments within the Highland Avenue Murfreesboro Medical Clinic will begin to expand and bring on new physicians.
The second phase of the new Murfreesboro Medical Clinic is set to start mid-to-late 2010 and be completed by the end of 2012. This phase will make the new facility approximately 204,000 square feet.
In the meantime, other clinical departments may move to the new medical clinic.
“Ultimately, we will walk away from the Highland Avenue location,” Peay said.
Founded in 1949, the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic has more than 400 physicians on staff and sees more than 21,000 patients each month.
2. Rockvale Middle School — The public is invited to an Aug. 3 ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the new school located at 6543 Highway 99 before school officially starts Aug. 8. Refreshments will be served during the open house slated for 2-3:30 p.m.
The new 160,000-square-foot school, estimated to cost $22 million, features LCD projectors and computers in each classroom. The school also has a vocational education wing.
Rockvale Middle was built with a 50-year metal roof and has geothermal heating and cooling. These features were designed to save the county money in the long term by reducing maintenance and utility costs.
“The new school is part of a plan we have to build three new middle schools in the Murfreesboro areas,” said James Evans, Rutherford County Schools spokesman. “We’re hoping to have the other two online by August 2010 — one in the Buchanan area and one near Oakland High School.
“Rockvale was badly needed because of the growth in the Highway 99 corridor, in the Highway 96 area and in Christiana,” he said. “The school will open with some room for growth, but we expect it won’t be long until most of those seats are filled.”
Rutherford County Schools are expecting 750-800 students to be enrolled at Rockvale Middle on the first day of school. The school was built to accommodate a maximum of 1,000 students.
3. Reese Smith Field on the MTSU campus — Reconstruction of the baseball field, which began in late September 2007, is expected to be complete before the end of August.
“The stadium is being improved to improve all fan amenities” including bathrooms, concessions and seating, said Coach Steve Peterson. “It caters to the fans.”
He said the stadium will serve as an “attractive front porch to the athletic venues” on the northwest side of campus. A sidewalk system between the venues will also serve as a gathering place for students and sports fans.
The $5 million project was largely funded through private donations.
Reese Smith Field will have new dugouts for players, press box for the media including radio and television booths, a presidential suite and a suite for baseball alumni.
A dedication ceremony for the new stadium will likely be set for late February 2009 at the start of the baseball season.
The original stadium was dedicated in 1983.
4. Community of Hope — The new building for the Primary Care & Hope Clinic, the Dispensary of Hope and Community Helpers will be completed in late August and the clinic will open its doors at 1453 Hope Way on Sept. 2, said Lisa Terry, chief executive officer of the Primary Care & Hope Clinic.
“Recently, an uninsured patient was so excited about the move and asked, ‘When are we moving into the new clinic’” Terry said. “She said we because, she sees this as her clinic and it is. She, like so many others, is able to live a healthy, productive life because of the support from the community to provide services to those in need.”
These three agencies provide medical services, pharmaceuticals and emergency assistance to low-income residents.
The new facility is located in the northwestern corner of the Murfreesboro Gateway along Old Nashville Highway.
The Primary Care and Hope Clinic’s new 23,000-square-foot facility will provide 24 patient rooms. Its current facility on South Church Street has 5,000 square feet of space and nine patient rooms.
5. Embassy Suites Murfreesboro — Furniture is now being put into place in preparation for the Sept. 15 opening of the conference center and hotel located at 1200 Conference Center Blvd. off Medical Center Parkway.
“They are finishing last-minute details in the conference center,” said Becky Vealey, director of sales and marketing for the new hotel. “In the atrium area, they are starting to lay the tile and work on the fountains.”
Embassy Suites were hoping to hire between 200 and 225 employees during a job fair July 25-26. So far, 25 employees have been hired.
The hotel has 283 suites and 40,000 square feet of meeting space.
6. Stones River Mall — The grand reopening of the mall located off Old Fort Parkway is slated for September 2008, said Heather Rose, mall marketing manager. No details about the event are yet available.
Forever 21 and A’Gaci clothing stores are currently under construction in the mall’s new outdoor lifestyle center being called The Shops at Stones River, she said. Construction is complete on C.J. Banks and work on a new Gap store is slated to begin soon.
Books-A-Million is slated to open in a 20,000-square-foot space adjacent to the food court this fall.
Stones River Mall’s interior renovation and expansion has included new
JC Penney and Dillard’s department stores, a new 500-seat food court, family restrooms, soft seating areas, Italian tile floors and an 1,100-square-foot play area, all added in 2007.
This expansion has made way for The Shops at Stones River, an additional 80,000 square of retail space anchored by Dillard’s. Stand alone restaurants, T.G.I. Friday’s and Olive Garden, also joined the center.
“More than a dozen stores have been added so far and more key retailers are expected to sign leases in the near future,” Rose said.
Once completed, the mall’s total retail square footage including the lifestyle center will be 671,000.
7. State Route 840 interchange at Veterans Parkway (formerly Beesley Road) — This new interchange is slated to open before the end of 2008, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Dana Richardson, Murfreesboro transportation director, said the new interchange will provide a “backdoor” to Interstate 24.
Motorists living in western Murfreesboro will be able to get on the major thoroughfare and gain access to I-24 without having to drive onto congested Old Fort Parkway.
8. Greenway Trail System — New trail systems within the Murfreesboro Gateway Center along Medical Center Parkway are slated to be complete in August, Richardson confirmed.
The city is extending the trail system from the existing trail west of the Old Fort Golf Course through the Gateway. The Gateway Trail will loop to the west of the Stones River and the existing Greenway and behind existing or yet to be constructed office buildings.
Sidewalks around offices and MTMC will connect with the trail system. A trailhead will be constructed behind Stonegate Corporate Center on Medical Center Parkway.
Decorative trail lights and landscaping and most of the trail system are completed, Richardson said.
Phase two of this project including the construction of a reception center and pavilion that city officials say will become a venue for small concerts, catered events and for the recreational use of local residents is slated for completion in November, he said.
The city is utilizing an existing pond located behind Consumers Insurance on Garrison Drive that is used to retain treated water from the wastewater treatment plant as an amenity. A former landfill located north of the pond and bordering the railroad tracks off West College Street will be utilized as open park space.
Work is currently being done on the island and the bridge network connecting to the island has been installed, Richardson said.
The southern portion of the Greenway system in the Gateway and along the Stones River is under design.
The total project is estimated to cost $6.2 million with 80 percent coming from federal funds.
Extension of the Stones River Greenway from Old Fort Park to Salem Highway is currently under way, Richardson said. A trailhead will be constructed near World Outreach Church and Cason Trail. The estimated completion date is April 2009.
Phase three and four of this project that will continue the trail to Barfield Crescent Park is in the design phase. No estimated completion date was available.
This project extends the Greenway seven miles and will cost approximately $7.4 million with 80 percent coming from federal funds.
9. StoneCrest Medical Center — The expansion project to add 26 medical/surgical beds to the fourth floor of the Smyrna hospital is ahead of schedule, confirmed Bri Brown, hospital spokeswoman. The project, which will increase the hospital’s bed capacity by one-third, is slated for completion in January 2009.
Wellness walls — steel panels instead of drywall – and seamless sink and shower fixtures instead of grout and tile are currently being installed in the rooms, she said.
A surgical suite expansion adds 12,000 square feet of space in two finished and two unfinished suites, increasing surgical capacity by 50 percent.
This project is on schedule, Brown said.
Construction on this project should be complete in April 2009.
The total project is estimated to cost $15.8 million.
10. Lane-Agri Park — Site work is currently taking place on phase two of the expansion of the facility, which serves as the home for the Rutherford County Agriculture Extension staff and United States Department of Agriculture Service Center personnel. It is located at 315 John Rice Blvd.
Foundations are being put into place for a new community center, outdoor pavilion and livestock barn for educational programs and 4-H youth livestock shows, said DeWayne Trail, director of the Rutherford County Extension office.
“Right now, because they have had good weather and no major problems the construction work is actually ahead of schedule,” he said.
The project could be completed by the end of April 2009. The Farmer’s Market is slated to move there in June 2009.
Additional expansions are in the early planning stages and include the construction of an agri-tourism center and museum and additional park area.
11. Middle Tennessee Medical Center — Construction of the new MTMC, which commenced January 2008, is well under way and on schedule, said project manager Jennifer Garland. The foundations for the entire structure are 80 percent complete.
The structural steel frame continues to go up, she said. The five-story tower is fully erected and detailed. Erection of the seven-story tower started July 21 and is scheduled to be complete by Oct. 1.
“As the project progresses over the next couple of months, roofing, masonry walls and exterior framing will start,” Garland said. “By the end of the year, we will be seeing masonry on the exterior.”
The new $268 million medical center, the centerpiece of the Murfreesboro Gateway — the city’s premier location for new retail, office and residential development — is set to open in November 2010.
The new facility with 286 beds and 560,000 square feet is expected to increase employment at the hospital by 100.
The new facility is a modern take on the traditional hospital design, hospital officials said. Its interior was designed to be easily navigated by patients and visitors. Its exterior was designed to compliment the community and be aesthetically pleasing for decades to come.
“The centerpiece is our chapel. As you enter into the hospital, there is a very visible chapel,” said Gordon Ferguson, hospital chief executive officer in a previous interview. “Everything is built around it.”