Beaufort Memorial Hospital broke ground Wednesday on its new medical office building at Okatie Crossing.

The 70,000-square-foot, three-story building will stand on a 19-acre parcel owned by Beaufort Memorial and offer residents of southern Beaufort and Jasper counties access to a variety of medical services and specialties, a news release said.

Besides full-time primary care, OB-GYN, orthopaedics and urgent care practices and regularly scheduled clinics for specialists in cardiology, gastroenterology, general surgery, vascular surgery and neurology, the building will include Beaufort Memorial’s second full-service cancer center.

A partnership with Medical University of South Carolina Health and Alliance Oncology, the cancer center will provide radiation oncology, medical oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services.

The medical office building will house a breast health center, outpatient rehabilitation and laboratory and imaging services. Subspecialists from MUSC Health will provide in-person and telemedicine consultations.

The building is scheduled to open in late 2020. Hammes Company will manage the project with Novus Architects and M.B. Kahn Construction.

“As the county’s hospital, we are committed to our mission to improve the health of the community, and that includes our patients in southern Beaufort and Jasper counties,” Beaufort Memorial CEO Russell Baxley said.

“We are excited to break ground for our medical office building in Okatie and to expand medical services for all area residents.”

The building, which will replace Beaufort Memorial’s existing multispecialty offices in Westbury Park, is the first of three facilities the hospital plans to develop in the greater Bluffton and Okatie areas, the release said.

Beaufort Memorial has received state approval for a 20-bed micro hospital — the first in the state — near the corner of Buckwalter and Bluffton parkways, with completion expected in 2021.

This fall, Beaufort Memorial will open a combined express care, occupational health and primary care practice off U.S. 278 at 1 Burnt Church Rd.

"In just Hardeeville alone, the population is expected to rise by 20,000 in the next 10 years," said Mayor Harry Williams, who participated in the groundbreaking.

"Hardeeville applauds Beaufort Memorial for their foresight and their recognition that the need for medical services, from prenatal to geriatric, will increase with the population."