RV Lot Provides Adequate Space for New Medical Center
by Erik Goodfriend, Mahlum Architects
Sep 18, 2008 | 326 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GUEST COMMENTARY

The town and medical center board are currently in negotiations to transfer ownership of the RV Lot to the medical center, allowing the construction of a new building on the RV Lot. This new location for the medical center was selected for a number of reasons: pedestrian connectivity to town and the gondola, future medical center expansion capability and the ability to provide on-site parking for visitors. While it will be a tight fit to locate all the required components on the RV Lot, it can be done without impacting the existing wetlands and primarily limiting development to the existing paved area.

During the process of developing the project scope, the key requirements that will drive the size of the required site were identified. These include a first floor building footprint of about 13,500 square feet (about 150’ x 90’) as well as the required open space set backs, landscape areas and 32 parking spaces. The building footprint is driven by the first floor departments: emergency, imaging, lab, and a building lobby. The emergency department will house two trauma rooms, two acute care rooms, a cardiac room, a procedure/ cast room, and two observation rooms. The imaging department will include a CT scan, an X-ray, a DEXA bone density scanner, and a mammography room.

The proposed number of parking spaces is less than the 68 stalls required by the zoning code, but is all that will fit on the available site area. There is also a requirement to provide vehicle access to the new housing units being constructed to the west of the RV Lot by the town. Providing this driveway is not a problem, but does occupy some of the limited available site area, pushing the building slightly to the north.

As part of the pre-bond study, available on the TMC website for download at HYPERLINK "http://newmedcenter.org" \o "http://newmedcenter.org/" newmedcenter.org (site comparison matrix), a site test fit study was developed for the RV Lot. The study identified approximately one acre of land for the new medical center, primarily the area that is currently paved. The footprint of the first floor departments were diagramed on the site and area for some future expansion was identified. The diagram allows private vehicles to travel across the site to the new housing toward the west (currently under construction), maintains the required setback from the San Miguel River and respects the wetland delineation defined by the Corps of Engineers. The site study also sets aside a small amount of land along the west side of Mahoney Drive to accommodate a future replacement of the bridge or widening of the road, if those projects are deemed necessary in the future.

In the future, the medical center will need to evolve and incorporate new healthcare technologies. To insure long-term financial stability, the new building will also need to be efficient for staff to use and convenient for residents to access. The RV Lot will fulfill all of these needs with a compact and efficient site plan. The new medical center can be built in that location without impacting the wetlands. But the area of new construction will need to be somewhat larger than the existing paved area to accommodate the departments on the first floor and parking on site.
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