JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – Two years after the only hospital in Jacksonville closed its doors, a new one is set to take its place.

Unity Health bought the old North Metro Medical Center and it’s currently under renovation.

From blank signs to empty halls, almost every trace of North Metro Medical Center has been scrubbed from this building. Kayla Bennett works next door and said she had a major milestone at the hospital.

“I had my first son at the hospital almost 16 years ago now,” Kayla Bennett said.

She said it’s been tough not having any kind of medical care nearby.

“You don’t want to have to get 20 minutes to a hospital if your life is on the line,” Bennett said.

Now, construction crews are paving the way for a new hospital to move in.

“We’re putting a little over eight million dollars in that facility in phase one,” Unity Health President and CEO Steven Webb said.

He said they’ve been working with the city to bring their services to the Jacksonville community.

“For us to get it where we want it to be we’ve completely gutted it, even taken the studs out of the walls in the emergency department, in the front admissions area. We’re really taking it down to a bare building and building it back up,” Webb said.

They are bringing an adult psychiatric unit, a brand new emergency room and updating the labs.

“Digital mammography, CT, plain film X-ray, an MRI along with full lab compliments,” Webb said.

That is just phase one.

“We’ll be adding services based on community needs as we move forward,” Webb said.

While it will take quite a bit of work before the doors open, Bennett says she’s relieved to have a hospital coming back close to home.

“You need to get somewhere when you need it fast, so much better than going to North Little Rock or Sherwood if it’s a major emergency,” Bennett said.

Unity Health officials said phase one should be up and running next spring.