With more than seven years in operation, Seton Medical Center Hays is building out its top floor to make room for more beds as the area the hospital serves experiences massive population growth.

When the hospital was built in 2009, the upper floors were left unfinished in anticipation of future growth, Seton Hays COO Neal Kelley said. The fourth floor was finished out several years ago, and as a result of the county’s “phenomenal growth,” the fifth floor is next.

“We are growing with our community here,” he said. “We built this facility always with the intent to have the ability to expand based on the demographics of Hays County. It’s really kind of keeping up with the area growth and demand.”

Construction began in spring, Kelley said, and when the fifth floor is fully built out in early December, it will allow for 30 more beds and 50-60 additional employees to work on that floor. Building out the upper floors now has also allowed the hospital to tweak the building plans based on what has been learned since Seton began operations in Kyle.

“We’re really excited about the project,” Kelley said. “As we designed the floor, we used what we learned from the other projects after being here coming up on eight years.”

The additional space will help improve Seton’s capability to treat trauma, recruit physicians and manage emergency room volume, he said. The fifth floor will also focus on surgical procedures and feature a centralized dialysis space, according to city permits.

“We do a lot of advanced medical care here,” Kelley said. “It’s comparable to [the Seton in] downtown Austin, but we do it where people live.”