The design is being completed for a new wing at Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston that could be under construction as early as this fall.

The main floor is going to have six single-patient intensive care unit rooms, a laboratory, admissions area, cafe and bistro, and gift shop, according to plans that will go before the hospital’s board for a final decision later this month, said Rebecca Mann, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

The second floor will have 19 individual rooms for patients admitted through the emergency department or who need care after surgery, as well as four observation units that won’t be counted in the hospital’s number of beds, Mann said.

The addition, which is expected to be about 58,000 square feet, will also have a basement that initially will be used for storage, said hospital CEO Kym Clift.

The wing will be located on the northwest side of Tri-State’s main campus in the 1200 block of Highland Avenue and be connected to the existing building.

The number of inpatient beds won’t increase so Tri-State can maintain its designation as a critical access hospital in a rural area and get more robust reimbursement from programs like Medicare.

But patients and health care providers will have more space.

The present patient rooms were constructed in 1955 and most of them are double occupancy with shared bathrooms, said Clift, who became Tri-State’s CEO in March.

Larger private rooms will benefit patients in a number of ways, Clift said.

“In this day and age, your family members are part of a bigger care team,” she said. “It’s not just the doctor and patient anymore. We want to create an environment that allows that.”

Similarly, the new rooms will be designed to accommodate the large volume of equipment required to care for patients, most of which didn’t exist in the 1950s, Clift said.

Once the project starts, it’s anticipated to take about 18 months to finish. The existing patient rooms will be used until the new wing is ready.

Plans will be developed about how to use that space in the future.

“It will not sit idle,” she said. “That’s for sure.”

The multi-million expansion is being paid for with hospital savings, loans and money raised by the hospital’s foundation.

Wise choices made by Tri-State’s leaders have put the hospital in a position to proceed with the upgrade, Clift said.

“This organization has had good fiscal policies,” she said.

Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.