An architect's rendering of the new Cape Canaveral Hospital.

Image courtesy of Health First

A new hospital on Florida’s “space coast” — home to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station — warrants an unveiling of similarly astronomical proportions.

Health First broke ground on its new 120-bed, 268,000-square-foot Cape Canaveral Hospital and Medical Office Building on Merritt Island in Brevard County, Fla., on March 21 — known locally as “321 Day,” in recognition of the region’s longtime reputation as a site for spacecraft launches.

The new five-story hospital will have 25 emergency department treatment rooms and six operating rooms to support Cape Canaveral Hospital’s range of more than 50 specialty medical services, including gastroenterology, medical/surgical oncology and orthopedic surgery. Construction is expected to wrap in late 2026, and the hospital is slated to open to the public in early 2027.

“This new project has been in the works for a long time — and it truly speaks to Health First’s vision, mission and strategy to set our community up for success today and beyond,” said Health First Board Chair Kent Smith. “We are focused on caring for the exact needs of our community, and this moment reminds us of that.”

To that end, Cape Canaveral Hospital is designed with resiliency in mind. Situated 13 feet above sea level, the hospital will be built to withstand Category 4 hurricanes and features an on-site central energy plant.

Also included in the project, which is expected to cost an estimated $410 million in total, is a three-story, 92,000-square-foot medical office building and a parking structure with 296 surface spots and 533 covered spots.

Health First’s new campus replaces the original 150-bed Cape Canaveral Hospital, located four miles west in Cocoa Beach. The former facility opened in 1962 and is the sole hospital serving the beach and barrier island communities of central Brevard County.