Clarksville hospital (copy)

Construction has started once again on the long-delayed hospital in Clarksville, according to Dr. A.J. Hashmi, who has been pushing the project for years.

CLARKSVILLE — Construction on the planned Clarksville hospital was slightly pushed back due to alterations to the plans.

That was the word from Clarksville Mayor Ann Rushing at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, when Rushing told the council that construction will start once the contractors receive updated plans with minor design alterations.

Rushing said she is unsure what the changes are, but she did say they don’t substantially change the overall design of the planned hospital, and it will, for the most part, look the same as originally planned.

“The contractor is waiting on some final approval for the minor changes in design,” Rushing said. “As soon as they get it, construction will start. The contractor told me they’d been by to reassess the structure and make sure there’d been no deterioration to the metal and building frame from the weather and exposure, and they found it to be in good condition.”

Dr. A.J. Hashmi, who has led the push to renovate the hospital, could not be reached for comment by press time.

Once construction begins, it’s expected to take 10 to 12 months to complete, Hashmi previously told The Paris News. 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.

Clarksville has been without a hospital since 2014, when Clarksville General Hospital closed. Shortly thereafter, in the summer of 2015, 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.

“I’m very excited to see work start,” Rushing said after the meeting. “I can’t wait.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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