ATLANTA - The coronavirus pandemic is speeding up Piedmont Atlanta’s plan to open a portion of its new Marcus Tower.
The tower’s sixth, seventh and eighth floors will open next Monday, almost four months ahead of schedule, adding 132 beds for both COVID-19 patients and patients suffering from other maladies. Of those beds, 64 will be designed for intensive care.
“By opening this part of the tower early, we are increasing capacity at a critical time when our community needs it the most,” said Dr. Patrick Battey, CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “Getting these beds ready for patients who may need them during the COVID-19 outbreak was the right thing to do, and I am proud of the staff at Piedmont and our partners on the project who made it happen.”
The 16-story tower was originally set to open Aug. 1. But Piedmont’s construction management team worked in concert with Brasfield & Gorrie, CBRE and HKS to accelerate completion of three floors.
“Piedmont exists to serve its communities, and there is no greater way that we can serve them than by increasing our capacity with this state-of-the-art facility during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin Brown, CEO of Piedmont Healthcare. “Because of the great work our team on the project has performed by already being ahead of schedule, we were able to advance the timeline further to open these ICU and acute-care units and have them ready in case we need them.”
When the rest of the tower opens, it will house the Piedmont Heart Institute, the new Marcus Heart and Vascular Center, the Samsky Invasive Cardiovascular Services Center and the Shaheen Auditorium. The tower ultimately will have a capacity of 408 beds.
The tower was made possible through an initial donation of $75 million from Bernie and Billi Marcus through the Marcus Foundation.
By Dave Williams
Capitol Beat News Service