The administrators of St. Agnes Hospital didn't intend to begin construction of a $20.6 million expansion until next spring.
But after Gov. William Donald Schaefer said that he was moving up the timetable for state construction projects to help stimulate the sluggish economy, they decided to do the same thing.
So on Monday -- four months ahead of schedule -- they will break ground on their four-story addition, which will contain a variety of in-patient and out-patient services, including 18 surgical suites and a coronary intensive care unit.
The work is expected to result in the creation of 150 construction jobs during the two-year construction period.
Mr. Schaefer "urged business and industry leaders to jump-start construction and capital improvement projects," said hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Robert E. Pezzoli.
"St. Agnes has jump-started this project to help stimulate the economy with more jobs for the building trades in the metropolitan Baltimore area," he added.
HBE Corp. of St. Louis is both the designer and contractor for the project, which includes 105,000 square feet of new construction and renovation of 65,000 square feet of existing space at the 407-bed hospital, located at 900 Caton Ave.
Features of the addition include 12 labor, delivery and recovery suites, more private rooms to replace semiprivate rooms for patients, a 30-cubicle emergency area, a seven-cubicle chest pain emergency service, a 28-bassinet neonatal intensive care unit, and a 33-bassinet well-baby nursery unit.
A member of the Daughters of Charity National Health System, the hospital employs about 2,800 people and treats more than 150,000 a year.
One of its sources of funds is the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, which donated $250,000 toward the expansion project.
The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at the hospital Monday at 11:30 a.m.