Residents of the Northeast San Antonio Metrocom will have a new hospital offering general health services in 2027. Officials broke ground on University Health Retama Hospital in February, one of three new hospitals around San Antonio.

This new hospital will help address the health care needs of growing populations along I-35 around the Schertz, Cibolo and Selma areas, University Health staff said.

University Health President and CEO George Hernández Jr. said the hospital will give people the opportunity to receive care without the trip to the South Texas Medical Center.

“There’s a lot of services that don’t need to be that high end, that can be done closer to home, and that is the purpose of these hospitals,” he said.

The overview

In 2021, University Health spent $11.6 million on more than 40 acres in Selma to be used for a new hospital. This is one of three planned hospitals around the San Antonio area, according to University Health staff.

The hospital will be located on the corner of Retama Parkway and Lookout Road in Selma. It will feature nearly 600,000 combined square feet for a main hospital campus and an ancillary medical office building, University Health documents show.

Alongside the construction of the new hospital, the city of Selma started a project to reconstruct Retama Parkway, improving road quality for emergency services. Lookout Road will also see improvements funded through the Alamo Area Metropolitan Organization.

The addition of elevated lanes along I-35 will feature turnaround lanes for emergency vehicles, aimed at reducing response times for the area.

Hernández said University Hospital sees around 50,000 patients from the Northeast San Antonio area, with that number growing alongside rapid population growth.

The Retama hospital is expected to see 30,000 emergency department visits and around 4,000 surgeries within the first two years, Hernández said.

According to a University Health February news release, the hospital will have additional room for future expansion as the population and need for the surrounding area grows.

Starting out, the hospital will have 166 beds, with the potential for 286 total beds after the facility is fully expanded.

Put in perspective

With the construction of three new hospitals across San Antonio, University Health will be creating a “wheel and spoke” model, staff said.

This model will have University Hospital as the central location, offering specialized care and services, while the Retama Hospital focuses on primary care and nonspecialized emergency care.

“University Hospital has 650 beds or so, and it can’t handle the whole county,” Hernández said. “The county is growing by leaps and bounds, so you need to have a community hospital that can provide services closer to home that the community needs.”

The impact

With the completion of the hospital, around 1,000 new jobs are anticipated to be created, Hernández said.

Having a hospital in Selma will also reduce the drive times for University Health patients who live in nearby cities, such as Schertz, Cibolo, Live Oak, Universal City and Garden Ridge.

Selma City Administrator Johnny Casias said city staff is looking forward to the perpetual partnership between the city and the hospital as University Health becomes one of the top employers for Selma.

Schertz resident Amy Lohman said the reduced drive times to and from the new hospital will benefit those in need of medical emergencies and those in labor.

“I had my son at a hospital in the medical center, and having one nearby would have saved us a lot of frustration,” she said. “I thought my husband would be late to our son’s birth, just because he was stuck on [Loop] 1604.”

Learn more

The expected opening date for the new hospital is in early 2027, as is the opening date for the ancillary medical offices.

Expansion projects are planned for a later date.

“We designed [the hospital] so that services on the first floor can expand out, and there is an expansion capacity to increase the number of patient rooms,” Hernández said.

Until then, University Hospital will serve as the primary hospital for University Health patients.

Leading up to the opening, patients can learn more about hospital services and progress at Live pictures can be found here.

University Health staff said those looking to apply for a job at the new hospital can expect applications to open in 2026.