St. David's HealthCare is planning to build nearly $1 billion in health care infrastructure across Central Texas to meet rapid area growth.

The Central Texas health system plans to build two new hospitals, build one behavioral health hospital, and expand capacity and services at current facilities, according to a Feb. 15 announcement.

David Huffstutler, president and CEO of St. David’s HealthCare, said in a release that as the Central Texas population expands to "outlying areas," there is a need to build additional care sites in these areas.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly compounded the challenges our region is facing, there was already a need for more physical capacity in our existing hospitals to care for patients, as well as additional services in our community, including behavioral health services," Huffstutler said in a release.

New hospitals and expansions include:

  • $249 million for a renovation and an expansion at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center

  • $185 million for a new full-service acute care hospital in the Kyle area

  • $145.9 million for a renovation and an expansion at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center

  • $142.5 million for a new full-service, acute care hospital in Leander

  • $80 million for the construction of future capacity at area hospitals to accommodate future growth

  • $53.1 million for an expansion at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

  • $43 million for a renovation and an expansion at St. David’s Medical Center

  • $33.8 million for a new 80-bed behavioral health hospital near St. David’s North Austin Medical Center

  • $20.9 million for an expansion at Heart Hospital of Austin

St. David's HealthCare will fund the $953 million in projects with no debt or philanthropic efforts, according to the Feb. 15 release.

New hospitals

The two new hospitals will be built in Leander and Kyle. These facilities are scheduled to open in 2024.

The 150,000-square-foot Leander hospital will be built as the third phase of St. David's current development, which has an emergency center and a medical office building. St. David's is acquiring land for the 160,000-square-foot Kyle hospital, according to St. David's.

Both acute care hospitals will have a 24-hour emergency department, inpatient and outpatient surgery, critical care capabilities, robotic services, maternity services and newborn services. The hospitals will each create about 200 full-time jobs when open.

St. David's is also planning to build a behavioral health hospital near the St. David's North Austin Medical Center. The 80-bed hospital will provide mental health services to adolescent, adult and geriatric patients, according to the release. The hospital will have indoor therapy areas, outdoor therapy areas, an adolescent area and outpatient services.

The north Austin hospital is scheduled to open in 2024 with space for future expansion.

Current facility expansions

In addition to three new hospitals, St. David's plans to expand several medical centers with several projects to increase facilities for women's services.

At St. David's North Austin Medical Center, a $145.9 million project will expand St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas in two phases. The first phase will add 30 neonatal intensive care unit beds. The second phase will add three floors to the center with four cesarean section operating rooms, 36 labor and delivery beds, 24 antepartum beds and 23 full-term nursery beds, according to St. Davids. The women's center expansion will complete in 2023.

A second expansion at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center will increase the main hospital tower to add 32 medical or surgical patient rooms and add 438 parking spaces. This project is under construction and expected to complete in 2022, according to St. David's.

At St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, an ongoing $81 million project finished the seventh floor of the hospital, added 700 parking spaces and will add a women's service unit. The seventh-floor build-out completed in late 2021 created 34 patient beds. The parking garage project was also completed in late 2021, according to a release. The women's services unit will begin construction in 2022 to convert existing postpartum rooms into labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms, renovate cesarean section suites and renovate an 11-bed medical-surgical unit to postpartum rooms.

The $249 million project at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center includes a $168 million future expansion that will be completed in 2024 to add 30 beds, four operating rooms, support space and a 24-bed rehabilitation unit.

At St. David's Round Rock Medical Center, a $53.1 million project will add two floors to the hospital with a 34-bed care unit, four more operating rooms and support spaces, according to the release. This project will start in 2022.

An ongoing Heart Hospital of Austin project will expand the hospital with 14 progressive care unit beds, which will increase the hospital's capacity by about 25%, according to St. David's. The hospital will also expand support service areas, which include pharmacy, lab and dietary services. A majority of the project was completed in fall 2021, according to the release.

At St. David's Medical Center in Central Austin, the Rehabilitation Hospital will expand with a floor to add 20 beds for rehabilitative services. The therapeutic pool will also be renovated for an aquatic therapy program, according to the release.

Additionally, a women's oncology unit will be developed at St. David's Medical Center by renovating 23 patient rooms and building 15 more post-operative rooms. The existing women's services unit will also be renovated in a $17.5 million project.