200 IH 35 South
Pearsall, Texas  78061
Phone: (830) 334-3617

Pearsall, Texas

Leading the Way in New Hospital Design For Texas’ Single-Provider Communities

For many rural hospitals, deteriorating facilities and out-of-date technology are increasingly common.  “As new services are developed it is important to have the proper space to deliver those new services in a quality manner." said Michael S. Thompson, CEO, Frio Regional Hospital. Modernization is necessary for rural hospitals to continue providing high levels of care to their patients. 

Frio Regional Hospital faced such a dilemma recently with the old Frio Hospital in Pearsall, Texas.  Frio Regional Hospital chose to move forward with a new facility.  The new hospital, a 42,000 SF freestanding facility, includes 22 acute care beds with outpatient, surgical, obstetric and emergency services.

Flexibility is a key component in the design.  One centralized nurse station services all acute care beds and Labor/Delivery Rooms with visual observation of the Nursery. Other important features include all private rooms and the centralized nurse station’s close proximity to the ER.

The new facility provides a tremendous advantage. Prior to planned development, the hospital had purchased 112 acres with one mile of frontage on IH-35 South access road.  An EDA grant of $1 million was obtained to finance infrastruction for the hospital, future clinics and other business park entities.  The $8 million facility was financed with $5 million cash and a $3 million tax-exempt bank loan.  The master site plan incorporates future growth to support the continuum of care through medical office buildings and long term care facilities. Today, two medical office buildings sit near the new hospital, and roads around the site are in place for future expansion. The site’s proximity to a major interstate also provides excellent visibility and accessibility for the facility.

Administration and staff at Frio Regional Hospital are now prepared for the growth that the new facility will attract.  The function layout of the hospital facilitates future expansion of all major departments while maintaining an efficient circulation for patients and staff. 


After one year, the hospital experienced a 10% volume increase.  And while the new hospital is three times the size of the old facility, the innovative design and effective relationship of services has allowed the administration to maintain their staffing levels at 3.9 full time employees per adjusted occupied bed. According to Mr. Holmes, there was some pressure to make the facility bigger during the planning stages of the project, “but we maintained a conservative position.”  The conservative size of the hospital, combined with the efficient/patient ratio supports Frio Regional Hospital’s operational and financial goals.

The board of Frio Regional Hospital chose O’Connell Robertson and Associates, Inc. as architects. O’Connell Robertson provided architecture, engineering, and interior design services as well as construction administration.


Project Control of Texas of San Antonio provided construction management services. Project Control involved Mitchell Construction Company as well as the electrical and mechanical sub-contractor in the planning stages which resulted in cost reduction of roughly 11%.

Project Control was hired for a flat fee of $146,000 to represent the owner. All other parties (architects, hospital staff, physicians, contractors) have incentives to increase the scope and cost of the project. PCT provided technical assistance in negotiations with all contractors and planning from the beginning, resulting in savings far in excess of their fee. A list of all expenses associated with this project is available on request.


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