Hospital Construction Underway

Newton Regional Hospital Friday officially broke ground on its new facility, even though construction has already begun. The plans have been literally years in the making.

Administrator Tim Thomas credited Cong. Chip Pickering for helping secure funding to build the new facility. The new site is on Highway 15 in Newton, a mile north of Interstate 20.

"The hospital should be open between Jan. 2006 and March 2006, and so far we've got perfect weather and I imagine we're ahead of schedule," said Thomas. “site work is almost done and we've only been out here about four weeks."

Cong. Pickering said the new hospital will be a significant addition to healthcare in this rural area.

The current hospital is more than 50 years old. It typically has 20 inpatients, but serves hundreds of people as outpatients every year.