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Trident Medical Center in North Charleston. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

The state health department has granted preliminary approval for the construction of a $35 million behavioral health center in North Charleston.

The facility, to be built by Trident Health, will include 43 new beds for inpatients with mental health needs. It will be located near Trident Medical Center.

"We are encouraged by today’s news in that it brings us one step closer to expanding much-needed behavioral services for Lowcountry patients," Dr. Franklin Drummond, medical director of Trident’s behavioral health program, Lowcountry Transitions at Trident Medical Center, said in a press release.

Hospitals must seek official state approval before embarking on large expansion projects. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control administers the Certificate of Need program.

Trident's proposed freestanding behavioral health center now faces a 30-day review period before DHEC grants final approval. The hospital intends to complete the project in 2020.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 843-937-5598.