The new $19 million Neshoba County General Hospital will open Sunday with a special celebration including a program, tours and reception.

The public is invited to the grand opening, which will begin at 2 p.m. with a ribbon cutting under the new entrance.

Hospital administrator Lonnie Graeber will welcome those in attendance and be followed with remarks from several other officials including the chairman of the hospital's Board of Trustees Oliver Jolly; Director of Emergency Services Jon Boyles, MD; Skip Wyatt of Foil Wyatt Architects; Board of Supervisors President Keith Lillis; Mayor James A. Young; Community Development Partnership President David Vowell and William G. (Bill) Yates Jr., President/CEO The Yates Companies, Inc.

The new 52,600 square foot hospital features 25 large, private patient rooms, surgery suite and pharmacy on the second floor.

The first floor consists of a state-of-the-art emergency department, a four-bed intensive care unit and a radiology department with an outpatient waiting area.

"Our new hospital has been in the works for a long time, so the grand opening is what our staff and community have all been waiting for," said Graeber, CEO.

"It comes at the same time we are celebrating our 50th anniversary; and we look forward to providing our friends and neighbors with excellent healthcare for the next 50 years."

Ground was broken for the new replacement facility in December 2011.

W. G. Yates and Sons Construction Co. is the construction manager for the hospital project while Skip Wyatt of Foil Wyatt Architects of Jackson is the architect.

The construction project is being completed in two phases, the first being the completely new hospital just south of the current structure in the vicinity of the heliport.

Phase 2 will follow and entail the renovation of the current 50-year-old hospital.

The laboratory, rehabilitation department and respiratory therapy will be housed on the first floor of the old hospital. OB/GYN offices will be on the second floor.

The third floor will consist of five labor and delivery rooms, C-section and nursery.

The fourth floor will be a 10-bed geropsych unit.

The current hospital celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 10, 1963, when it was described as "one of the most modern institutions of its type anywhere." 

The hospital was previously housed in a facility on Center Avenue.

About 1,500 toured the hospital in 1963 after Mrs. W. R. Hand, widow of the late Dr. Hand who practiced medicine for more than 50 years, cut the grand opening ribbon.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, a dedication program was held at Philadelphia High School auditorium, with then-Mayor Ab Davis Harbour as master of ceremonies.