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Ground broken on Northeast Side University Health hospital

Artist rendering of planned University Health Retama Hospital expected to open in 2027
University Health
University Health
Artist rendering of planned University Health Retama Hospital expected to open in 2027

Local dignitaries gathered on Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony on the $450 million University Health Retama Hospital, expected to open in 2027.

The public health facility on 42-acres at Retama Parkway and Lookout Road will open with 166 beds and be expandable up to 286 beds. Services include a 24-7 Emergency Department, labor and delivery unit. NICU, operating rooms, radiology, pharmacy, lab services, and cutting-edge technology.

Precinct Four Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, who represents that part of the county, said he thought the area was underserved by the University Health System when he first took office more than eight years ago, so it was a big day to see the groundbreaking actually take place.

"When I was coming in, I noticed it was 11 to 14 miles before there was a University Health System clinic or hospital, yet people have been paying University Health System taxes forever," Calvert said. "And I said in fairness, we need to get the people in this area at least a clinic or hospital."

The University Health System changed its name in recent years to simply University Health.

Calvert said the I-35 corridor, in which the new hospital will sit, is among the top five fastest growing regions in the U.S. He said the area's sixth largest employer, Randolph Air Force Base, is nearby.

Calvert said land prices near Retama Park, a horse racing track, also made the location a favorable spot for the hospital.

He expected the hospital will expand rapidly up to 286 beds to keep up with growth and to serve as a regional facility.

Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks, who sits on the Bexar County Hospital Board of Managers, said the new hospital's opening means residents in far east and north Bexar County will no longer need to travel to the Medical Center on the Northwest Side for treatment at a public health hospital.

"Most people in this community will never have to go outside this community to get their services," she added.

UH officials said the hospital, which comes with attached medical offices, will create up to 600 jobs.

Just last month, UH broke ground on an identical hospital near Texas A&M-San Antonio to serve the South Side.

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