MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU Medicine says it plans to invest $400 million in capital improvement projects that will stretch from Morgantown to Bluefield.

“It is $400 million in new capital projects over the coming years in different sites around WVU Medicine,” WVU Medicine President and CEO Albert Wright said on MetroNews “Talkline” Thursday.

Albert Wright

“We’re stretching from Morgantown to Fairmont, Elkins, and all the way down to Princeton and Bluefield, so we’re making some big investments in just about everything we do.”

The largest capital investment is $233.5 million for a new WVU Eye Institute that will be built on the medical campus in Morgantown. The site of the current WVU Eye Institute will be the future site of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Comprehensive Cancer Hospital.

“We will expand our capabilities at the WVU Eye Institute in the size and scope of our clinics,” Wright said. “But we’re actually going to make it a one-stop shop with research and surgical suites, and it will be attached to a 1,600-space parking garage.”

Plans are in play to build a 38,000-square-foot facility, the WVU United Hospital Center, in the Elkins corridor to serve as a “hospital without beds.” The facility will be dedicated to walk-in medicine, urgent care in cardiology, orthopedics, oncology, and infusion services. The estimated cost of the facility is $37.3 million.

In the southern part of the state, $64.5 million will be invested to construct a comprehensive cancer hospital on the campus of the WVU Medicine Princeton Community Hospital. The work will also relocate the full-service emergency department, imaging, and lab services while adding 10 observational beds, MRIs, and ultrasounds.

Artist rendering of cancer center project planned for Princeton/Bluefield area. (WVU Medicine)

“We need to be able to take care of folks in their communities, so if you can be all tied in on that same network of doctors, that same electronic medical record, then we want your infusions and radiation oncology to be in your home communities.”

As a non-profit organization, their priorities are to meet financial obligations, develop attractive pay and incentive packages, and meet the expectations of bond companies. Beyond that, the dollars remaining are used for facility improvement and income packages that ensure these new facilities can be staffed.

“Folks go to where jobs are,” Wright said. “If we’re creating great jobs and more jobs in local communities, we’ll be able to staff it.”

In addition to the enhancements in care, the infusion of $400 million into local economies to build the facilities will also advance the state economy.

“So, if we can get these construction jobs as we build these new facilities, if we can hire folks that are paying taxes and can stay here, that’s healthy for all of West Virginia,” Wright said.

The projects are all subject to regulatory approval.