Penrose-St. Francis Health Services plans to begin construction soon on a $150 million, 72-bed hospital on its planned third campus at Interstate 25 and Interquest Parkway, officials say.

The hospital, which would open in January 2023, will be the first building on the 57.8-acre site the health care giant bought last year for $30 million and will focus on orthopedic and spinal care to serve fast-growing northern Colorado Springs and northern El Paso County, Penrose-St. Francis CEO Dr. Brian Erling said. The site would also include a medical office building and surgery center built by a group of orthopedic specialists, he said.

Penrose-St. Francis also operates St. Francis Medical Center at 6001 E. Woodmen Road and Penrose Hospital at 2222 N. Nevada Ave.

“We are incredibly excited to break ground on this project as it will extend our healing ministry to the rapidly growing communities to the north and northeast of our city, and create additional capacity” for services at Penrose Hospital, Erling said. “The COVID-19 outbreak necessitated a brief pause on the work, but we are now moving forward quickly with a goal of treating our first patient on the site by January 2023.”

Construction is expected to begin soon on a retention pond for drainage, utilities and roads in the site, with work beginning on the buildings early next year, Erling said. The hospital, which also will have 10 operating rooms, is expected to grow over time to rival the size of the company’s 195-bed St. Francis Medical Center, where construction is underway on building out 60 more patient rooms in unfinished space built as part of an earlier expansion.

Penrose-St. Francis hasn’t selected a name for the InterQuest area hospital and campus, though Erling said there is a “strong contender” he declined to reveal. The company, part of Centennial-based Centura Health, originally bought land for the campus in northwest Colorado Springs but sold that property in 2018.

Erling said the Interquest hospital and additional beds at St. Francis have to be completed before Penrose-St. Francis can launch a major makeover of its main campus on Nevada Avenue, so elective medical procedures can be moved to those location during renovations. He said the company is in early planning stages of the makeover, which likely would take several years to complete.

The new hospital joins several major high-profile construction projects in the Interquest area, including a restaurant, patty production and distribution facilities for In-N-Out Burger that opened recently as well as a new headquarters for Ent Credit Union and a Scheels All Sports store, both expected to open next year.

Contact the writer: wayneh@gazette.com

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