JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A project of almost five years in the making is nearing completion at one hospital in Eastern North Carolina. 

Onslow Memorial Hospital has been renovating its labor and delivery floor. Officials hope to be done with it by October. What first started as a small $200,000 project years ago has slowly turned into a $1.6 million project, all to give moms in the area a welcoming experience.  

“We deliver approximately 1,300 babies a year here,” said Executive Director of the Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation, Leeann Thomas. 

That’s thousands of local families coming in and out of the second floor of the hospital each year. So, they got to work on it. 

“We’ve had involvement from the community, the hospital administration, the hospital board, the Foundation Board, the employees,” said Thomas. 

But, what’s an extensive project like this going to be without a few bumps in the road along the way.

“We had several start dates, but every time COVID numbers increased, we would have to limit visitors and we wouldn’t be able to start the project,” said Thomas. 

The pandemic affected the project just like everything else in the world.  

“A couple of months ago, we decided to go in and order all the supplies necessary for phase one, so that when COVID numbers dropped, we were able to hit the button and start running,” said Thomas. 

Now, construction is officially underway, but not without some supply chain issues hitting them first.  

“We had phase two and phase three priced out. And once it was time to actually start construction and order those supplies in today’s environment, the cost went up to $200,000 From where it was originally,” said Thomas. 

But with various fundraisers and donations over the years, they’ve been able to overcome.  

“We couldn’t have done this without our community’s support. We have some big donors that are very proud of this hospital and very invested in making sure we give the moms and babies the best care possible,” said Thomas. 

Some of the renovations include safety updates, new furniture and an overall fresh new look.  

“Once they finish all the hallways replacing lighting, painting walls doing floor new flooring will move into the rooms,” said Thomas. “We have four semiprivate rooms that will be completely redone with wainscoting added to the walls, redesigning the bathrooms and making them more spa-like and warm and cozy feeling.” 

They’re hoping to raise enough money at their next event in June to complete the project by October. You can find more information about that fundraiser by clicking here.