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Hospital revises plan

New draft includes five-story inpatient building

Posted: July 1, 2008 1:54 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Revised plans for expanding Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital were out Monday, calling for a five-story-tall inpatient building with 120 beds, along with wider streets without resorting to eminent domain.

The $300 million, 15-year plan would add 327,000 square feet to the existing 340,000-square-foot hospital campus. The master plan calls for an inpatient building that would be about 125,000 square feet in size.

The plan would also add three medical office buildings. Two would be 60,000 square feet and one would be 80,000 square feet.

The hospital also plans to add more turn lanes at the McBean Parkway and Orchard Village Road intersection. Although eminent domain "was never going to happen," according to hospital spokeswoman Andie Bogdan, the hospital proposes to give 58 feet of space to the public right-of-way to make room for the street widening and calm fears that may still be lingering throughout the neighborhood.

Plans to expand the only remaining hospital in the Santa Clarita Valley have stalled again and again as residents raised issues with various proposals. Among the criticisms were complaints about more traffic, taller buildings, inadequate parking and claims that a bigger hospital didn't work with the mostly residential neighborhood.

Most devastating were points raised by local residents that plans didn't actually call for a new hospital building. Critics said the proposal was just a money grab by out-of-town landowners who wanted lots of lucrative medical office buildings.

Along with the new environmental impact report and master plans, hospital officials are also finalizing a new development agreement, which will be released as late as August, said Paul Brotzman, community development director for the city.

The revised plans are due to go back before the Santa Clarita City Council in September.

The development agreement will outline the benefits and assurances the community will get from the project. The new development agreement will address weak language in the previous plans that didn't guarantee construction of a hospital, Bogdan said.

"The plan has always included the new patient wing and just to help further demonstrate that, we've got portions of that wing tied back to the second and third medical buildings," Bogdan said.

Progress on the new hospital wing's architectural drawings must occur before the second medical building can be occupied. Construction must begin on the new hospital wing before the third medical building can be occupied, according to information on the hospital's Web site.

Bogdan said there will also be language that shows a commitment to bringing centers of excellence to the medical office buildings.

The agreement will include language "to help demonstrate that commitment that at least 20 percent of the second (medical office building) will be committed to centers of excellence," Bogdan said.

The new EIR lists a few "significant and unavoidable impacts," including effects of air quality and noise during construction. The EIR also listed traffic as a significant impact. However, the new turn lanes on McBean Parkway could help offset the future traffic issues.

The master plan also calls for:

  Nine new beds in the Nursing Pavilion building.
 Demolishing the 8,000-square-foot Foundation Building to accommodate Medical Office Building 3.
 Reconfiguring surface parking to provide a total of 308 on-site surface spaces. This is in addition to the four parking structures.
 Providing a helipad on the rooftop of both Parking Structure 1 and the Inpatient Building.
 Providing right-turn pockets and modifying traffic signals along McBean Parkway.
 Reconfiguring 9,770 square feet of current administration space in the existing hospital building to accommodate 18 additional new ICU beds. The current hospital administrative functions would move to space within Medical Office Building 1.


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