Shepherd Center, a not-for-profit rehabilitation hospital for people with spinal cord and brain injuries, will celebrate March 25 the opening of a $53 million expansion that has nearly doubles the size of the Buckhead hospital.

Construction of the 171,480-square-foot, seven-story addition named the Jane Woodruff Pavilion was recently completed. The project, designed by the architectural firm Heery International Inc., also includes renovation of an additional 86,850 square feet in Shepherd’s previously existing facilities.

“We are now able to serve more people with spinal cord and brain injuries, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular diseases or illnesses,” said James Shepherd, Shepherd Center co-founder and chairman of the board of directors. “It is thrilling to see this goal become a reality.”

The expansion created rooms for more beds and allows Shepherd Center to convert all of its existing four-bed patient rooms to two-bed rooms and some two-bed rooms to singles. Now, with 120 beds, Shepherd Center can accommodate more inpatients, as well as have more flexibility regarding patients admitted, Shepherd explained.

With its international reputation and federal designation as a Model System of Care for spinal cord injury, Shepherd Center’s services are in demand. The hospital has attracted patients from 47 states and a number of foreign countries.

Construction on the Jane Woodruff Pavilion, which began in 2004, was funded by donations and bonds. It added space to Shepherd’s Billi Marcus Building, which is adjacent to the Shepherd Building, which opened in 1982 as the hospital’s first facility on its present Peachtree Road campus.

In addition to more space for patient rooms, the Woodruff Pavilion also includes new therapy and treatment facilities, updated and expanded areas for patient therapeutic recreation and other programs, a new cafeteria and dining area, a larger intensive care unit and additional office space. The expansion also features a new lounge for families to gather, a large volunteer workspace, and more clinical facilities – including the Dean Stroud Shepherd Pain Institute and the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute – to expand and centralize Shepherd Center’s outpatient services area to make it more accessible to patients and families.

For more information, visit Shepherd Center online at www.shepherd.org.