SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's not the 50-bed hospital that Berkeley County residents are waiting for, but Roper is moving ahead with plans to build on their Summerville property.
Roper St. Francis officials announced Wednesday that the new 60,000-square-foot facility will have medical offices and outpatient facilities. It will offer diagnostic imaging, urgent care and oncology services.
"These services will complement the healthcare system's fourth flagship hospital that also is planned for the Carnes Crossroads area," the announcement reads.
Roper owns more than 90 acres in the area of Carnes Crossroads near the intersection of Highways 176 and 17A.
"Roper St. Francis intends on meeting the healthcare needs of our neighbors," said Roper St. Francis President and CEO David Dunlap. "We've seen an influx of new residents and construction in Berkeley County, and it's time for us to move forward in fulfilling the healthcare needs of the entire county. We are excited about growing in an area that so many people choose to call home."
Since 2009 they've been locked in a legal battle with Trident Health over building a 50-bed hospital in Berkeley County. The Trident location would be in Moncks Corner on the site of their existing emergency facility. In 2012, a judge with the state's Administrative Law Court upheld an earlier decision by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control that said two hospitals could be built in the county.
Trident appealed that ruling and the case is still pending.
"Trident believes there is a strong need for a hospital in medically underserved northern Berkeley County," Trident's statement reads. "The need is not great enough to support two hospitals. Roper's proposed facility in Goose Creek, an affluent area with excellent access to existing hospitals, will not benefit Berkeley County's medically underserved population."
That affluent area is Carnes Crossroads, 2,300 acres of future mixed-use development between Goose Creek and Summerville.
"During this time of limbo, no one in the state has moved forward with projects, as concerned parties wait for a final outcome," a statement on Roper's website reads. "This much, however, is certain: RSF maintains its commitment to build a hospital in Berkeley County."
Roper St. Francis already has a number of physician practices in Berkeley County, and a new family medicine office, Cane Bay Primary Care, will open June 1 across from Cane Bay High School.
Construction on the new Roper facility should be complete by the end of 2015.