- Associated Press - Sunday, May 28, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Trustees have approved more detailed planning for a $180 million expansion Mississippi’s only children’s hospital.

College Board trustees agreed earlier this month that the University of Mississippi Medical Center could sign a contract for up to $445,000 with Brasfield & Gorrie.

The Alabama-based company will work on detailed construction planning, scheduling, and cost estimating.

Trustees will have to vote again before construction begins. Vice Chancellor LouAnn Woodward has said work could begin before the end of the year.

The new tower would include private neonatal intensive care rooms, a pediatric intensive care unit, operating rooms and imaging devices designed especially for children.

The move comes as the medical center deals with a budget shortfall, laying off 195 employees and cutting 85 vacant positions to close a $32.7 million gap.

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