FORT MILL, S.C. — Wednesday, Piedmont Medical’s CEO Mark Nosacka broke his silence on the years long legal battle to build a new hospital in Fort Mill.

“We’ve had a dream of building a hospital in Fort Mill and on that front, let me just say it, we’ve never been closer,” Nosacka said.

Nosacka shared the update Wednesday at the groundbreaking ceremony of Piedmont’s new stand-alone 24-hour emergency center in Fort Mill.

The center is set to open this fall on Gold Hill Road. 

They're prepared to move forward to the hospital as soon as they're allowed. But right now, Piedmont is tied up in a legal battle with Charlotte-based provider Atrium Health. 

The two companies are battling for the bid to build a new hospital in York County. The process began 15 years ago when the South Carolina Department of Health determined there was a need to build another hospital in York County due to the massive growth.

Currently, there’s only one hospital in York County, owned by Piedmont and located in Rock Hill.

Since 2004, Piedmont and Atrium have had several appeals with the state between who should build the hospitals. 

In the most recent ruling, the S.C. Court of Appeals awarded the $170 million project to Piedmont.

Atrium called the decision unfair. On October 1, 2018  Atrium filed a petition requesting the state’s Supreme Court make the final decision on which company should build the hospital.

In a statement to NBC Charlotte, Atrium did not address the legal battle but said in part, "Many York County residents have chosen, and will continue to choose, Atrium Health for their care. We are committed to delivering the highest quality and most comprehensive services to our patients.”

Right now, there isn't a timeline on when the there will be a decision -- it could be years.

However, Piedmont’s CEO is confident the court will side with them, despite Atrium’s attempt to block the decision.

“We’ve been awarded the hospital and were just waiting on the court system to say the process was fair,” Nosacka said. “Every decision we’ve seen so far says the process was fair.”