Find out about the proposed $126M Kennestone emergency department 

In about two years, WellStar Kennestone Hospital is set to open a four-story emergency department that’ll be able to handle an estimated 78,000 more patients a year.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin will be among those to break ground on the project Thursday, according to a news release.

The 162,825-square-foot facility will be connected to the existing hospital via a two-level bridge spanning Church Street.

This is a rendering of the proposed WellStar Kennestone Hospital emergency department set to be built in Cobb County. (Courtesy of Cookerly Public Relations)

The construction, WellStar said, will be paid for by bonds, capital funds and community donations.

Instead of having to share with the rest of the hospital, the news release said, the emergency department will have four of its own CT scan machines and the emergency room will have dedicated MRI, ultrasound and X-ray facilities.

Traffic is always a consideration in Cobb, but especially so when it comes to shaving seconds off an ambulance trip.

The emergency department will have fives access points for vehicles — two just for emergency vehicles — separating ambulance traffic from that of patients, in addition to residential and pedestrian flow. Public access points will lead to a parking deck so patients won’t have to cross a road to get to the emergency department, the news release said.

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And in a time when mass shootings seem incessant, the hospital has also said that it considered that horror when building the new facility.

If a catastrophe happens, there will be the “ability to expand medical services into the parking lot to treat mass casualties, if needed,” the news release said.

In the event of a hazardous material spill, staff would put up tents outside to decontaminate patients before moving them into the emergency department.

The construction is expected to be done in late 2019 and patient care will begin in early 2020.

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