MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro will move from its current facility on Highland Avenue to its brand new building on Medical Center Parkway on Saturday.
Patients will be transferred to the new hospital beginning at 5 a.m. The move is expected to take about nine hours.
The new $275 facility has room for 286 beds, a 61-bed increase from the current MTMC, which was built in 1927.
In the new hospital, all the rooms are identical and have private bathrooms.
The bed is positioned on the same side of the room and all the instruments are located in the exact same place.
Hospital officials said that makes it easier for health care professionals to treat patients quickly.
Along with more beds, the hospital's emergency room is larger and each patient has a private treatment room.
There is also a landing pad for helicopters just yards away from the emergency room entrance.
For hospital employees, the move is bittersweet.
"There's a lot of emotion for all of us that have been here a really long time and even those who haven't," said Carol Bragdon, who works in the hospital's human resources department. "We all had to have our cry sometime this week because this is home to us. We are family."
"There's just so many friends and family and that I'm taking with me. It has been such an opportunity to work in this building for so long," added Gay Ensey, a nurse at the facility. "They've given me the nursing career that I've always wanted. I've had this place to give this to me and be able to care of the people I've always wanted to take care of."
"Memories, the memories here… fortunately we have those," Bragdon continued. "My husband and I had a son here, the biggest part of my adult life has been spent here."
"It's been a great hospital but its time to move to something bigger and better," said Dr. Andy Brown, Vice President of Medical Affairs at the hospital.
The transition on Saturday will be very calculated.
The hospital on Highland Avenue will go on lockdown Friday evening, according to hospital spokeswoman Angie Chambers.
"Anyone that is in the facility will not be allowed to leave. Anyone outside will not be allowed to come in," Chambers explained. "The reason for that is so that we have an exact count of who we have in this hospital."
For those in need of emergency care during the lockdown, patients will be accepted at the emergency room on Highland Avenue until 5 a.m.
After 5 a.m., all medical emergencies should be taken at the new facility on Medical Center Parkway.