CLARKSVILLE — It’s official — construction on a new Clarksville hospital should begin in four to six weeks after closing documents were signed Tuesday night, Red River County officials said this morning.
Clarksville has been without a hospital since 2014 when Clarksville General Hospital closed. Shortly thereafter, in the summer of 2015, Paris cardiologist Dr. A.J. Hashmi and a group of investors bought the aging structure and announced plans to invest millions of dollars to renovate it and open a full-service hospital with a 24/7 emergency/trauma center and cardiac care center.
“It’s been a tedious process to get to this point, there’ve been roadblocks,” Hashmi said. “But we’ve always wanted to do this, and all’s well that ends well.”
Red River County Judge L.D. Williamson said hindrances during the financing process included being forced to find a new bank midway through planning.
“It probably took us another six months to find another bank… and then took another six to eight months to get all the paperwork done for that bank,” Williamson said. “So it’s just taken forever to get it accomplished.”
Once construction begins, Hashmi estimates it will take 10 to 12 months for construction to complete. The hiring process will likely begin six months into construction, to allow time for training, Hashmi added.
The construction project, which is valued at roughly $15 million, is being headed by Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, which will oversee the general contractors on the work, Hashmi said. He declined to comment on who the contractors will be, citing the ongoing bidding process.
City and county officials expressed their gratitude to Hashmi and others involved for the work they put into bringing a hospital back to Clarksville.
“We cannot thank him enough (for) his commitment to the city and the county and the people to bring us a hospital,” Mayor Ann Rushing said.
Hashmi offered his thanks to Rushing, Williamson, the Clarksville Economic Development Corp.