Williamson County, Texas, just north of Austin, would get two new hospitals, with a combined construction cost of $215 million, under separate plans announced by Seton Healthcare Network, Austin, and Triad Hospitals, Plano, Texas. Seton signed a contract to buy about 75 acres in Round Rock for a full-service hospital that initially would house 160 beds but be built to expand up to about 300 beds, said John Brindley, president and chief executive officer at Seton's Austin hospitals. The hospital would be completed in Seton's fiscal 2010 at an estimated cost of about $160 million, Brindley said.
Triad signed a nonbinding letter of intent to build a 75-bed hospital in nearby Cedar Park at a cost of about $55 million, Cedar Park City Manager Craig Lonon said. The city plans to give the hospital tax breaks, Lonon said. Triad declined further comment. Williamson County is expected to continue to grow rapidly and has attracted attention from other healthcare systems. St. David's HealthCare Partnership, Austin, in June said it would almost double the size of 127-bed Round Rock Medical Center in a $58 million expansion. Scott & White Hospital and Clinic, Temple, Texas, reportedly owns land in the area that also is in line for development as a medical facility. -- by Paul Barr