WellStar breaks ground on Acworth health park
by Katy Ruth Camp
krcamp@mdjonline.com
October 18, 2011 01:01 AM | 11147 views | 8 8 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senior Vice President of WellStar Health System Joe Brywczynski welcomes attendees to the WellStar Acworth Health Park ground-breaking ceremony on Monday. <br> Photo by Samantha M. Shal
Senior Vice President of WellStar Health System Joe Brywczynski welcomes attendees to the WellStar Acworth Health Park ground-breaking ceremony on Monday.
Photo by Samantha M. Shal
slideshow
ACWORTH — WellStar Health System officials broke ground on the $29 million, three-story, 70,000 square-foot Acworth Health Park on Monday.

The ceremony was held on the grounds of the future Health Park, located at 4550 Cobb Parkway in Acworth just north of Cedarcrest Road and the Acworth Wal-Mart, and hosted a crowd of over 130 people.

“We are trying to get quality health services out to where everyone lives,” WellStar CEO Reynold Jennings said. “Buildings don’t help people — people do. But buildings like these can help caregivers give care to their patients more efficiently and effectively.”

The general contractor for the project, Kennesaw-based Brasfield & Gorrie, began construction on Aug. 8, so the foundation and numerous steel beams already decorated the campus Monday afternoon.

Joe Brywczynski, WellStar senior vice president and health parks administrator, said the Health Park, set on 30 acres in north Acworth, will open in early summer.

“This is a new concept, and we will be one of few in Georgia with this approach,” Brywczynski said of the “one-stop shop” concept of the Health Park. “This will be comprehensive, with a co-mingling of many services and physicians’ offices. It will bring a new level of convenience to residents in this part of the county. And with the screenings and wellness services, you don’t have to feel sick to access the services.”

Brywczynski said the first two floors of the Health Park will be made up of physicians’ offices, all of which are completely leased mostly by physicians who are part of the WellStar Medical Group.

The Acworth Health Park will also hold a diagnostic center with pediatric and adult imaging, a lab and pre-admission testing; urgent care; a sleep center; community education and outreach offices; a pharmacy; and a café.

Medical practices for the Health Park include cardiology, ENT, family practice, gastroenterology, general surgery, hand surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, orthopedics and pulmonology.

Brywczynski also said that east Cobb megachurch Johnson Ferry Baptist Church had purchased land behind the Health Park campus and is planning to develop a Cedarcrest Baptist Church on that property in the next few years. When that happens, Brywczynski said the two will have “shared parking and programming.”

WellStar spokesman Keith Bowermaster said the health system began looking at the Acworth property as a possible Health Park in 2004. But due to neighbors’ opposition to the rezoning and the consequential lengthy zoning litigation, WellStar did not close on the property until Nov. 2009, Bowermaster said.

WellStar also has a second Health Park planned for east Cobb at the corner of Roswell and Providence roads. That project is expected to be of much larger scale than the Acworth project, as it is planned to be four stories tall, three stories from the road and one hidden by a slope in the land, and nearly 188,000 square feet with a 20,000-square-foot outpatient surgery center. That project is expected to cost around $80 million.

But the East Cobb Health Park project has been wrapped up in litigation for the past several months, as Northside Hospital officials challenged the Certificate of Need granted to WellStar for the East Cobb Health Park by the state Department of Community Health last September for the outpatient surgery center. Bowermaster said WellStar officials expect to hear from the DCH in January and that plans are still under way to begin construction in the late spring and begin seeing patients in fall 2013.

Jennings on Monday said that WellStar is considering developing a third Health Park in Cobb, though he would not comment on where that Health Park would be located.

Attendees during Monday’s event included Cobb Chairman Tim Lee; Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews; Acworth Alderman Bob Weatherford; Cobb Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Membership Sharon Mason; and numerous WellStar physicians, board members and staff members.
Comments
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voice of reason
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October 20, 2011
Quetion for "it's a great day"..

Do you know where the term "Kill-A-Stone" came from?

Be careful what you wish for, you may get a side efffect you regret!
Over my dead body
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October 19, 2011
If Wellstar doesn't go through zoning for the East Cobb park, there will never be an East Cobb Wellstar park. Period.

Even if they sneak through this CON, the legality of it will be challenged, and then the environmental challenges will heat up. And then when they try to get public dollars to fund road improvements without allowing for public oversight- that will get rejected.

No way can you depend on the public support for a private project without allowing for public input and controls. Period.

No taxation without representation.
anonymous
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October 18, 2011
Hey, this is the free market place you people keep touting. Watershed protection would be inappropriate government interference.
irked
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October 18, 2011
Good grief. Here comes the exclamation points again.

You're a VP - give it a rest!
Its a great day
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October 18, 2011
What a great addition to the northern section of Cobb and for the neighboring residents! The area businesses are thrilled that the influx of employees and patients (and eventual church members) will add to their customer base. Area homeowners will see an increase in their values due to nearby healthcare being a real estate benefit. This isn't "mom and pop" healthcare or imaging...this is WellStar and with their quality coming to Acworth, we all win.
R Kay
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October 18, 2011
I guess you may consider this a good thing as long as it is not in your back yard and has runnoff issue that were never addressed that affects our drinking water. But hey lets think about the tax revenue to Cobb County. I don't think it saves me any taxes. It was slated to be a hospital but being someone from the medical profession I knew a certificate of need would not be obtained for that because of the distance to Cartersville Hospital. What about the imaging center and professional building that is not filled at the end of the street now! So with those comments "Think about it"!!!!!!!!
the facts are
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October 18, 2011
How is keeping this project in Cobb a good thing? The approved plan is for almost 1M s.f. of retail/commercial ADJACENT to a watershed that supplies drinking water to 700,000 residents. This project took tax revenue OFF the Cobb Co tax rolls -- both property owners are non-profits! Now there is NO property tax revenue AND a potential impact to our secondary drinking water resource. So, how is this a good thing for Cobb County?
Wondering why
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October 18, 2011
This sounds like a great thing for residents of north Cobb, Paulding, and Bartow. I'm glad it was kept in Cobb...too many projects have been put just over the line into Paulding causing us to lose the tax revenue.

On a side note...why was the Kennesaw mayor there at the ceremony? Looks like he just wanted a good photo op to offset the bad press he's gotten over his support of the proposed transportation tax and rail.
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