Illinois approves construction of hospital in O’Fallon

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) - In 1857 three Sisters from Germany started what would become St. Elizabeth's hospital. The main portion of the hospital was built in the 1950's.There were a few other buildings built before and after, but the heart of the hospital has been in downtown Belleville well over six decades.

However, that will be changing. Today the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 8-0 in favor of building a replacement hospital and ambulatory care center along Interstate 64 and Green Mount Road in St. Clair County.

Maryann Reece, the President and CEO of St. Elizabeth's Hospital says, "we are thrilled that we can move forward with our plans to build a state-of-the-art hospital for the region and an ambulatory care center that anticipates the continued trend toward outpatient care."

Belleville Mayor Mark Eckart says "We are very disappointed in this decision. It will hurt many people in the Belleville area, in East St. Louis and several surrounding communities. We took hard numbers to today's meeting showing what the hospital is best where it is and are very surprised the board voted as they did.

Construction on the $300 million dollar project will begin in a few weeks and is expected to be completed within 26-30 months.