LakePoint attraction, CMC expansion resolutions OK’d by BCDA
by Matt Shinall
Nov 23, 2012 | 3634 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LakePoint Sports broke ground Nov. 1 in Emerson. On Wednesday, the Bartow County Development Authority approved a grant application for a feasibility study for Mini America, a proposed tenant of the complex. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
LakePoint Sports broke ground Nov. 1 in Emerson. On Wednesday, the Bartow County Development Authority approved a grant application for a feasibility study for Mini America, a proposed tenant of the complex. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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Financing for Cartersville Medical Center’s current expansion efforts and a grant application for a feasibility study on a proposed LakePoint tennant were heard and approved Wednesday by the Bartow County Development Authority.

Work is under way at CMC after a groundbreaking last month on an expansion project to double the size of the emergency department, add a floor of patient rooms to the north tower and renovate all patient rooms. Final approval was granted Wednesday for up to $27 million in bond allowance to be paid by CMC parent company Hospital Corporation of America.

“We’re an HCA hospital — there are roughly 160 hospitals in our system — and competition for capital in our company is fierce, as you might imagine. So this is the kind of support that really makes a difference when I’m proposing capital expansion at the local hospital,” said CMC CEO Keith Sandlin. “I hope to go back to HCA before the conclusion of this project asking for more capital. What we’d like to do is add some additional beds to the hospital, additional [operating rooms], additional cath labs — that’s all a part of our master plan.”

With 112 beds, CMC expects to add 30 to 40 permanent full-time jobs by the project’s completion.

“If you’ve been by the hospital in the past couple weeks, you’ve seen a crane sitting out there. We’re [setting] steel for what will be a new patient floor at the hospital. That will allow us to go to all private rooms,” Sandlin said. “On the other end of the hospital, we’ve got a fence and protective area up for our emergency room expansion and that’s going to be a major part of our expansion. This year, we will see more than 50,000 patients in our emergency room, which for our size hospital is just incredible. So we’re more than doubling the size of our emergency department.

“We start next month on renovating our existing private rooms. So, at the conclusion of the project, about 18 months out, all the patient rooms will be like new.”

LakePoint tenant: Mini America

Mini America, a proposed tenant at LakePoint Sporting Community and Town Center, is planned to recreate American landmarks with miniature replicas. The indoor park will aim to combine education and entertainment, allowing visitors to the LakePoint campus a chance to walk from New York to California viewing sights and attractions along the way.

In preparation of LakePoint’s development, Eric Alexander de Groot, founder of the Mini America project, is pursuing a grant to help cover the costs of a feasibility study. With the authority’s approval Wednesday, the Bartow County Development Authority will act as financial officer for funds coming from the state if the grant application is approved.

Melinda Lemmon, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, further explained the authority’s role in receiving funds from the state to reimburse de Groot.

“This would effectively be a tenant of LakePoint. Mini America is a project that has optioned several acres within the LakePoint complex for their tourism product and they would like to have a feasibility study with the state providing support for at least a portion for that feasibility study,” Lemmon said. “[de Groot’s] vision for Mini America is pretty extensive and a little difficult to explain, but it may even have another component to it depending on how the feasibility study turns out. The grant itself is pretty simple, if the money is received, basically we just need a public conduit for the state funds to have a local partner.

“Again there is no obligation to this authority or to our community financially. It’s just a conduit to receive the grant and reimburse his expenses that he would be providing up front for the study.”

For more information on the proposed Mini America park, visit www.miniamerica.us.