The 11,000-square-foot emergency department addition for New Milford Hospital has been approved by the town's Zoning Commission.

Zoners approved the plans March 26. The two-story addition will be on the west side of the hospital property, toward Treadwell Avenue.

Its walk-in entrance will be on the Elm Street side of the edifice.

There will be a reflective garden viewed from the waiting room, eight private patient rooms, a trauma room, a labor/delivery room that doubles as a pediatric room and an orthopedic room.

The Poplar Street egress onto Route 202 is being examined for improvements. Once the construction of the emergency department is completed in 2014, it will be accessed by car from Elm Street.

"This is the latest Western Connecticut Health Network investment in our ongoing commitment to provide the highest care for our patients, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," said Dr. John Murphy, WCHN president and CEO.

WCHN is the umbrella network of New Milford and Danbury hospitals.

The new emergency department will be called the Arnhold Emergency Department, named for the Arnhold family, an extended family whose initial donation coupled with other donors' gifts total $4 million. Private donors are expected to cover the bulk of the $10.8 million project cost.

Susan Tuz