$50M medical complex proposed for Nicholasville, Ky.

42-acre site would include care center and medical office building

The Murphy project would be the latest in a series of new facilities and services coming to Nicholasville. Jessamine is the only county contiguous to Fayette that does not have a full-service hospital.

Projections call for Jessamine County, which now has more than 39,000 people, to grow to more than 70,000 people by 2030.

On Monday, Central Baptist Medical Plaza opens in Brannon Crossing shopping center in north Nicholasville. It will include $1.5 million in all-digital technology, and will offer diagnostic imaging, CT scans and mammography, spokeswoman Ruth Ann Childers said.

Baptist Physicians Lexington will have primary care doctors on the second floor.

Lexington Clinic's Jessamine Medical Center is adding 10,000 square feet to its current 15,000. The Nicholasville clinic offers lab and radiology services, mammography, neurology, urology and gastroenterology. The expansion, to be finished by early summer, will add space for a new MRI, CT and ultrasound capabilities, plus vascular surgery.

Meanwhile, construction is full-speed ahead on St. Joseph Jessamine, a 40,000-square-foot facility that will have 24-hour emergency services, diagnostic imaging, labs and doctors' offices. That facility will open later this year at the U.S. 27 Bypass and Ky. 169.

Murphy is a Lafayette High School graduate and former Nicholasville police officer. In 1989 he started building homes, but drew attention in 2002 when he acquired the land for Memorial Sports Complex. More than 2,800 teams from the United States and Canada have played at the six-field complex since it opened in 2003.

He is also the founder and owner of U.S. All-Star Baseball, which organizes 100 tournaments a year.

Last year a 63-room motel and BP gas station were built next to Memorial Sports Complex. Murphy said the motel, which will be called All-Star Suites, will open in June, and the gas station will open later this month. Murphy said those had not opened earlier because he was concentrating on the medical plaza.

"We feel this is more important," Murphy said. "These folks deserve health care close to home. This is 2008. Jessamine County is not a stepchild of Lexington."

Murphy's ultimate goal is to have an acute-care hospital in Nicholasville so that people could have overnight stays closer to home.

"I will keep picking and fighting and scratching until we have one," he said.