Governor Mike Beebe will be in town Monday to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for Conway’s second hospital, Baptist Health Medical Center - Conway.

In November 2013 Baptist Health of Little Rock announced plans to build a 200,000-square-foot hospital off Interstate 40 at the intersection of Exchange Avenue and United Drive, next to the Caldwell Toyota dealership off Exit 129.

With the initial announcement, Baptist Health CEO Russell Harrington told the Log Cabin Democrat that Baptist Health’s administration predicts a 36 percent growth in Conway’s population by 2020 and "we just think there’s room" for a second hospital in Conway, he said.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place Monday at 10:30 a.m. at the construction site located at 1455 Exchange Ave.

Troy Wells, Baptist Health CEO, is expected to unveil a photo of what the new hospital will look like.

Gov. Beebe and Mayor Tab Townsell will speak for what the new hospital means to the City of Conway and the state of Arkansas.

Dr. Benjamin Dodge of Conway, chairman of the steering committee who worked to bring Baptist Health to Conway, and Dr. Michael King of Little Rock, a radiologist with Baptist Health, will speak about the hospital’s design and services.

Site plans for the hospital show a three story medical facility. The facility is expected to provide 100 beds, seven operating rooms and a Level III trauma-center emergency room, Baptist Health said in a news release.

According to property assessor records, Baptist Health purchased the 37 acres off I40 for $10.6 million.

The two-year construction project is expected to generate approximately 250 jobs, and once complete the hospital will employ about 425 people.

Baptist Health will be utilizing an offsite facility for modular construction of bathroom units and sections of patient rooms that can be produced in bulk such as medical headboards.

The new Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway is projected to open in 2016.

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1215. Send us your news at