PORT ST. LUCIE — Martin Health System officials have announced plans to double the size of Tradition Medical Center.

In its first year of operation, Tradition Medical Center exceeded projections with a total of approximately 5,200 admissions, 22,000 emergency room visits, 1,100 surgeries and 1,470 births. The acute care hospital, which opened in December 2013, has been at full capacity two to three days every week.

“Fortunately, our leadership and design team had the foresight to build flexibility into the hospital’s initial phase and develop a six-floor hospital that could be easily expanded to meet future demand,” said Mark Robitaille, president and chief executive officer of Martin Health.

To satisfy the health care needs of one of south Florida’s fastest growing communities, Martin Health will add 170,000 square feet and three stories to the facility. When completed in 2018, Tradition Medical Center will double in size, with a total of nine stories and 90 new patient rooms. A mechanical mezzanine level, located on the third floor rather than the roof, allows for a more efficient vertical expansion.

In addition to doubling the number of patient rooms, the expansion includes the following service enhancements: a catherization lab for cardiac care, interventional radiology and vascular procedures; expanded maternity, neonatal intensive care and emergency departments; and an 18-bed observation unit designed to improve the flow of emergency patients who require hospitalization. A new outpatient surgery center and medical office building will also be constructed alongside the hospital.

When the hospital first opened, the project’s management team was applauded for incorporating smart design features and the ability to deliver a high quality, high performance medical facility on schedule and under budget. Just six months after opening the doors of Tradition Medical Center, the hospital received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification for its environmentally friendly “green” building.

This commitment to quality will continue as Martin Health strives to stay in step with Port St. Lucie’s projected growth of 79 percent by 2030.

To date, Tradition Medical Center has also had a significant economic impact on the region, creating approximately 550 new jobs. The influx of employees, physicians, patients and visitors to the area has been welcomed by the restaurant, retail and housing industries.

“The enormously positive response from the community in support of this hospital has been gratifying,” Robitaille said. “We designed Tradition Medical Center to meet the growing needs of the surrounding community and provide the most efficient, effective and comfortable care possible to our patients and their families. This is our commitment to the people of Port St. Lucie.”