CULLMAN, Ala. (WHNT) — One expansion project is finished and another is underway at Cullman Regional Medical Center.

Tuesday morning, hospital officials cut the ribbon on a $9.5 million expansion of the hospital’s emergency room. The expansion added 17 treatment rooms, three trauma rooms, a dedicated behavioral health care area with nine rooms, and a larger, more modern waiting area.

With the expansion, ER capacity is up 80% and the hospital took advantage of the project to build some new areas from the ground up or renovate existing ones; 6,021 additional square feet was added during the project.

The expansion came at a good time for the hospital – increasing visits have pushed the ER to its limit; officials said the ER had been operating slightly over-capacity for the last several years. With population continuing to increase across North and Central Alabama, hospital leadership needed to stay ahead of the curve.

A four-story tower addition is also underway – this will double the size of Cullman Regional’s critical care unit and add more beds to the surgery department. Hospital officials expect the tower to be finished in 2023.