Pediatric Practice Growing into Seven Lakes Space
Five years ago, Sandhills Pediatrics opened a two-doctor satellite office in 1,000 square feet of rental space in Seven Lakes.
"Now, we have three providers crammed in there," said Dr. Bill Stewart, a managing partner. "We're really crunched."
Later this month, Sandhills Pediatrics will move into a new two-story, 9,800-square-foot building that has been under construction on Grant Street since last November.
"We recognized two or three years ago that this is the direction the county is growing," Stewart said. "So, we started looking for a permanent spot, decided to purchase this property, and constructed our own building. From a business perspective, we think this will be more than worth the risk.
"We hope to start seeing patients here in mid-November."
Stewart said the practice expects the widening of N.C. 211 from the Traffic Circle to West End to "be a boon for us."
"We have built this facility with the idea of growing into it," he said. "We find that the northern end of the county - Robbins and Carthage - are closer to this location. We also see a lot of patients from Montgomery and Richmond counties."
Sandhills Pediatrics, which was founded in Southern Pines in 1966, currently has about 16,000 active patients from Moore and at least nine surrounding counties. In addition to Seven Lakes, the practice has a satellite office in Raeford in Hoke County.
The three locations collectively have about 75 full- and part-time employees, including 10 board-certified pediatricians and four certified pediatric nurse practitioners.
The new building was designed by Pinehurst-based architect Christine Dandeneau, who incorporated as many "green" features as possible, including extra insulation, motion-sensor lighting, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
"We're trying to get it LEED certified," Dandeneau said. "It's difficult, but we're on track for it."
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Stewart said the practice expects to recoup the added expense of going green through energy savings over the next three years.
"It should pay us dividends over the life of the building," he said.
Sandhills Pediatrics also hired local companies - Stewart Construction and Development Co. in West End was the general contractor - to complete the seven-figure project.
"Our goal was to put the money in the local economy because the local folks have been good to us over time," Stewart said.
The lower level of the building encompasses about 6,800 square feet and includes 16 identical examination rooms divided evenly between two wings that each wrap around a courtyard; two nurses stations located in between the exam rooms in each wing; doctors offices; and a lobby with separate waiting rooms for healthy and sick children.
"The whole building is centered around the patient experience," Dandeneau said. "In addition to being cost-efficient, we wanted the building to include pleasant surroundings, such as the courtyards."
The second floor includes offices, a conference room and an employee kitchen.
"One of our dreams is to have a mental health provider in our practice," Stewart said, "so we've also included a space for that person."
Office hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"The building is an opportunity for us to have a really terrific place to practice medicine," Stewart said. "The things that frustrate us now in our other locations we've taken care of here. We are really excited to move in."
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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