News

York's Memorial Hospital project hits delays

Written by Brett Sholtis, York Daily Record | Jan 20, 2016 1:26 PM
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A rendering of the planned hospital.

(York) -- Concerned homeowners and a lengthy permitting process have put Memorial Hospital's plan to build a hospital in West Manchester Township behind schedule, though still on track, officials said.

The hospital is to be built at the former Hawk Lake Golf Course, west of Roosevelt Avenue and north of Loucks Road, near Route 30. The planned $125 million facility would replace Memorial Hospital in Spring Garden Township, said Jason McSherry, a Memorial Hospital spokesman.

"We are anxious to get started on the replacement facility for Memorial Hospital and understand the community is as well," McSherry said in an email.

Change in plans 

Memorial's plans submitted in early 2015 included a roundabout and a rerouted Loucks road, said Monica Love, West Manchester Township codes enforcement officer. However, that plan would have required four homeowners to share a driveway.

"Because of their concerns, the hospital redesigned the entrances so they don't have to redesign Loucks, they widen it," Love said.

Under the new plan, Loucks Road will have a four-way intersection at at Ivan Road. Loucks Road will be widened to handle the traffic the hospital will bring, and a stoplight will be installed at the intersection.

Another entrance to the Memorial Hospital campus will be constructed at Roosevelt Avenue, Love said. This will create a four-way intersection linking Roosevelt, the hospital entrance and the driveway for City View Community Church. Another stoplight will be installed there.

Johanna Keller, who lives on Loucks Road near Ivan Road, said the new plan is an improvement, which will have the added benefit of making it easier for her to access her driveway from the road.

Permits needed

With the needed approvals, construction crews should begin work in early March, McSherry said.

West Manchester Township has granted preliminary plan approval, said Love. However, the hospital is still securing permits with PennDOT, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the York County Conservation District.

"It's not anything that will stop the project, but it does hold things up," Love said.

The hospital

Under the plans, the new hospital will have 102 beds, which isn't much more than they already have, but all rooms will be private, allowing for beds to be more readily available without roommate concerns.

The new facility will be four levels with an additional service of a neo-natal intensive care unit, McSherry said. There will also be an expanded emergency department and two cardiac catheterization labs.

The building is designed with possible future expansions in mind.

Construction will take about 18 to 20 months, Love said.

The campus

In the years since the golf course closed, the proposed site has become a bit of a destination for area residents who use the old golf cart roads to jog or walk. Portions of that walking path will remain available for public use, McSherry said, though it will be closed during construction.

A 26-acre portion of the 127-acre property will remain undeveloped, according to blueprints filed with the township. That space will include forest and wetlands, Love said.

Memorial Hospital was purchased by Community Health Systems in 2012, McSherry said, converting the company from a tax-exempt nonprofit to part of a publicly traded company that will contribute to the local tax base. McSherry said the company has no plans to pursue commercial tax incentives that might slash the tax revenue the township gets from the hospital.

Kinard said that earlier plans for the hospital included options for retail spaces, which might have been used for businesses such as restaurants or laundry facilities for employees. However, those plans have been "scaled down," focusing only on the hospital and related facilities.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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