The health system said it's the first new hospital in mid-Michigan in decades. The two-story hospital will have 22 beds and expanded emergency, surgery and outpatient services. It will replace the current 25-bed downtown Sparrow Ionia Hospital, which was built in 1953.
"The Ionia board has been looking forward to this for many years and we have been working to get this project going for the last six years," said Sparrow Ionia President and CEO Bill Roeser.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday at the 44-acre site, located south of the Ionia County Airport.
"My father was the mayor when that hospital was dedicated, and he indicated that it was one of the most important days that he was a part of," said Ionia Mayor Dan Balice. "That hospital did very well for us, but it is clearly not what we need going forward.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, whose father was a physician in Ionia, was among those at Monday's event.
Sparrow Health System officials haven't yet decided what will become of the current hospital building. The 260 employees are expected to transfer to the new facility. Sparrow Health System's flagship hospital is in Lansing.