PCGH to Expand with New Office Building
Pointe Coupee General Hospital held a ground-breaking ceremony on September 25, 2014, for its first major expansion in years, the Sisters of St. Joseph Medical Plaza and Hospital Laboratory, which will contain almost 17,000 ft² (1,580 m²) when it is completed, hospital Administrator Chad Olinde said.
“We have discussed the new medical office building project almost a decade but hospital staff, our doctors, and administration at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center got serious about it around four years ago,” he said.
Olinde said the five New Roads doctors who work with the local hospital participated in the planning stages, right along with hospital administrators and the board of the Pointe Coupee Parish Health Services District № 1, which manages PCGH.
The local doctors have been part of the Our Lady of the Lake (OLOL) system for several years and the Baton Rouge-based hospital has wanted the New Roads doctors – there are five associated with PCGH – to be in the same building for a long time, Olinde continued.
“All of our local doctors – Dr. Paul Rachal, Dr. Carl McLemore, Dr. Carol Swift, Dr. Brian LeBlanc, and Dr. Louis Montelaro – will have their practices inside the new Medical Plaza,” he said, adding "the Lake has always wanted them in the same building.”
“Each one of us will have our own pod,” Montelaro said. “The new office building will have six individual units, or pods, with a central office for the doctor surrounded by a group of examination rooms.”
“We’re really looking forward to when it’s finished and we can move into it,” Rachal said, adding it will make life easier for the hospital’s patients with all the doctors under one roof. “Right now, we’re all spread out in the complex behind the hospital. This will put us a short 50-foot walk from the hospital.”
“The Sisters of St. Joseph Medical Plaza will also give us a central reception area for all of the doctors as well as a central reading room for our patients,” McLemore said.
The project will take about a year to complete – the groundwork has already begun – so Olinde is hoping to be hosting a ribbon cutting next September. While the first plans for the facility called for an 8,500 ft² (790 m²) building, the final plans call for 10,900 ft² (1,010 m²), he continued.
“The entire project, the doctors’ complex, a new laboratory, and an additional storage area, will cost an estimated $4.7 million,” Olinde said. “A large portion of what the hospital provides its patients is outpatient lab work, so with the new building holding our lab and storage, we will have room in the hospital to expand our emergency room.”
“That will be the next phase of expansion for the hospital,” he said. “We will add four additional rooms to our emergency department.”
Olinde said the hospital will cover the cost of the expansion but will be repaid with the rent paid by OLOL.
Tommy Comeaux is an experienced writer, reporter, and editor. He is professionally trained in photography, degreed in journalism, an LSU graduate, and a lifelong resident of Baton Rouge.