Atrium plans Cornelius hospital to service Lake Norman area


An artist’s rendition in 2021 of the proposed Atrium Health Lake Norman facility.

Atrium Health

Atrium Health is seeking approval from the town of Cornelius to build a pair of new facilities near Lake Norman by 2024, with expansions to both sites planned for 2030.

The first phase of construction would include a 200,000-square-foot hospital and a 72,000-square-foot office building, according to documents presented to the Cornelius board of commissioners July 18. This construction would end in 2024.

The square footage of the hospital cited in the presentation is larger than the hospital chain’s original announcement stated. In a July 2021 news release, Atrium said the hospital would be a $154 million, 160,000-square-foot facility with 38 beds.

The hospital’s first phase would include four ICU beds, six maternity suites, eight observation beds and 20 acute care beds.

It also would house two general operating rooms, a dedicated C-section operating room, an on-site laboratory, MRI and x-ray facilities, eight 24-hour emergency bays and a helipad.

A second phase of construction would add 122,000 square feet to the hospital and 72,000 square feet to the office space by 2030, according to the presentation. No costs were cited for this phase.

Next steps

To begin construction, Atrium has asked Cornelius officials to rezone 28.8 acres of a 97-acre lot, Cornelius Today reported. The complex would be on the southwest corner of the Westmoreland Road and state highway 21 intersection, Atrium spokeswoman Kate Gaier told The Charlotte Observer.

No action was taken on the rezoning request at the July 18 meeting, Cornelius town clerk Lori Harrell said.

A public hearing and decision should come by this fall, but no dates have been set.

Cornelius Deputy Manager Wayne Herron said most feedback has been positive.

“We heard a few comments like what’s the town doing about traffic,” Herron said. “Right now, Atrium’s performing their traffic impact study, and that’ll be done before (the proposal) goes to the planning board.”

An artist’s rendition in 2021 of the proposed Atrium Health Lake Norman facility. Atrium Health

This story was originally published July 26, 2022 6:00 AM.

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Blake Douglas is an intern reporter covering health care, transportation and local government. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May 2022, and has covered local politics in Oklahoma as an intern reporter for NonDoc Media and the Tulsa World. Connect with Blake on Twitter @Blake_Doug918

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