Dr. John and Glenda Covington made the inaugural donation in hopes of sparking interest in others to give to the Paulding Hospital Campaign, they said. The campaign takes donations for naming opportunities for the hospital.
Covington started practicing medicine in Paulding in 1959, he said. He worked at the current hospital in Dallas for 25 years as a general practitioner, and Mrs. Covington worked there as a nurse for 30 years.
The hospital is what brought the Covingtons to the county from Nashville, Tenn., and they watched it struggle at times to raise operating funds, which made them want to give as well, Mrs. Covington said.
“We felt an obligation to the county,” she said.
Covington said after seeing the plans for the state-of-the-art facility they were excited.
“Both being in the medical field, we are always looking forward,” he said.
The Covingtons have not yet decided what they will put on their plaque for the room, they agreed.
Since they gave their donation, Sue and John Wadsworth of Hamby’s Commercial Waste Inc. have donated money for two rooms to be named, said Sharon Woods, spokeswoman for WellStar.
The hospital is scheduled to be completed by April 2014, and is coming together quickly, said Mark Haney, president of WellStar Paulding Hospital.
Construction recently began on the adjacent medical office building, he said. By April the hospital will have its cement top completed, said Reed Weigle, senior project manager from Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors.
“The parking deck is finished,” Haney said.
The hospital will boast of being the county’s tallest building when completed, and it will have the county’s first parking deck, he said.
Weigle said workers recently began to install interior walls, plumbing and electrical work in the bottom level, called level zero, through level two.
“We will start the fourth floor in about a month,” he said. “The schedule to be fully enclosed is June.”
The plan is to make the hospital as energy-efficient as possible through such methods as a geothermal system which will heat and cool the hospital using water from around 250 wells drilled beneath the hospital, Haney said.
“Our goal is to have an Energy Star rating of 75,” he said.
Most hospitals rate around 40, he said.
Funding for the hospital is coming from the Paulding County Hospital Authority’s issuance of $106 million in revenue anticipation certificates, or bonds.