OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - Completion is in sight for Olive Branch, Mississippi's first hospital. The city's new Methodist hospital has been under construction the last several months. Workers celebrated the half way point Tuesday saying it's a team effort.
"We made history a year ago when we broke ground, but this is even more important because you can see the hospital is almost here," says Mayor Sam Rikard.
If Olive Branch's new hospital is a sign of the city's growth then this week's ceremony is evident of another growth: the Mid-South's ever increasing Hispanic population.
"It's good to let everybody know what's going on, because believe it or not there could be somebody that doesn't understand the other language," says Cruz Salguero, who translated.
There are about 250 workers building the hospital, about 50 percent are Spanish speaking.
"I've never spoken with a translator," says Rikard. "It was interesting to talk and pause. The whole process beginning in 1998 to now has been an interesting one."
The hospital's been something Mayor Rikard has pushed for over a decade. "It takes longer and longer to get from here to other area hospitals. The city has grown its police and fire departments, but the area I've always thought need a higher level of healthcare."
When it's completed, that will no longer be the case. The projected spring opening has been delayed, though. The completion date is now set for late summer, with an August opening.