VENICE- Sarasota Memorial Hospital is getting work started on their second hospital in Sarasota County,, breaking ground on their Venice campus.

With the population continuing to expand in South County, SMH is expanding with it.

“We’ve had long term plans to build a hospital in South County,” Verinder said. “Really to build two hospitals in South County for some time now, it takes a good bit of time to get through all the court systems, and all the applications and all those kinds of things.”

Sarasota Memorial Hospital President and CEO David Verinder says they are starting the expansion in Venice because that’s where the current need is.

“When you look at the utilization rates in Venice it’s much higher than one would expect based on the demographics.” Verinder said.  “So there is a more acute need in Venice right now then there is North Port, but North Port is right behind this.”

The Hospital is scheduled to open in Fall of 2021 and is being built to expand.

“Not just focused on today,” Sharon Roush said. “But being able to expand the facility for many years to come, so upon initial opening we’re going to start with 110 beds, and we’ll be able to grow all the way to 270 beds or possibly even more.”

President of the new Venice Hospital Sharon Roush says they plan on hiring close to 600 employees.

“Most of our attention after the construction is underway is focusing on operations,” Roush said. “So hiring our team that will be servicing the patients needs, so hiring all our staff and developing all of those services over the next couple of years.”

Roush says they will continue to seek community input as they get closer to opening.

“This is really just the beginning of a very exciting project.”

Venice Regional Hospital is also building a new hospital in Venice, they plan to being work at the end of this year.