BELLEFONTE — Mount Nittany Medical Center is expanding again, with a hospital addition and an outpatient center in the works.
On Tuesday, the Centre County Board of Commissioners approved Mount Nittany’s plan to issue as much as $130 million in bonds.
Rich Wisniewski, Mount Nittany chief financial officer, said that includes roughly $40 million in new debt and $70 million to refinance existing debt.
Much of the new money will be used to pay for a four-story, 60,000- square-foot addition at the hospital and an outpatient center in the medical building at Old Gatesburg Road and Blue Course Drive in Ferguson Township, said Steve Brown, Mount Nittany president and CEO.
Brown said the hospital expansion will provide five new operating rooms, a larger post-surgical area and additional pre-surgery care areas.
“We have quite simply outgrown the operating room space we have,” he said. “This will allow us to get our patients into the OR a lot quicker than we are able to now.”
Plans for the outpatient center call for Mount Nittany to move its pain management clinic to the Ferguson Township location. The center also will feature outpatient imaging and lab services, Brown said.
“Patients won’t have to come to the hospital to get lab tests drawn, or X-rays,” he said. “We are creating more avenues of access for our patients, bringing services to the community instead of making the community come (to one central location).”
Wisniewski told the commissioners Tuesday that the projects, plus new equipment, are expected to cost about $42 million.
The rest of the money from the bonds — an estimated $68 million — will be used to refinance a 2009 bond, he said.
By taking advantage of historically low interest rates, Wisniewski said Mount Nittany stands to save $4.9 million, or more than $700,000 a year.
The projects are not the only recent expansions at Mount Nittany. The hospital is undergoing separate construction and renovations to its emergency department.
A suite for treatment of assault victims was part of the first phase of the project, completed in July.
The second phase, which includes renovations to the existing emergency facilities, is expected to be completed in March. It will bring the total number of beds to 61, about 40 more than the current emergency department has.
Mount Nittany also recently added a three-story patient tower of private rooms and a new main entrance to the hospital.
County commissioners approved two resolutions Tuesday: one to approve the project on behalf of Centre County; the other to support issuing the bonds.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter