Union Memorial plans 8-level complex, garage

November 10, 1990|By Edward Gunts

Union Memorial Hospital plans to raze its former nursing school building on North Calvert Street to make way for an eight-level, $18 million complex that will include an ambulatory patient care center, physicians' offices and a new home for its two nursing schools.

As part of the project, the hospital also is seeking approval to raze five town houses it owns on the north side of 33rd Street between St. Paul and Calvert streets to construct a parking garage for up to 400 cars.

The project grew out of a master planning effort that hospital administrators launched a year ago and would put the 350-bed hospital in a better position to deliver appropriate patient care in the 1990s, said Michael Cunniff, vice president for quality assurance, risk control and facilities management.

It is part of a nationwide trend in which hospitals are constructing separate ambulatory-care facilities that enable their staffs to treat more patients as outpatients rather than

require them to stay in the hospital overnight.

"The world has changed in the past 15 years," when Union Memorial's last major building project was completed, Mr. Cunniff said. "This is a reflection of the way people receive their care these days."

Many local hospitals have been constructing medical office buildings on or near their properties to accommodate their staff physicians, and Union Memorial wants to do the same to remain competitive, he said.

The project would not result in any change in the number of state-approved patient beds at the hospital, he said.

Mr. Cunniff said the hospital's preliminary plans call for demolition of the seven-story Johnston building on Calvert Street between 33rd and 34rd streets, which was built in the 1920s. Originally designed as a dormitory, it has been used most recently by the nursing schools but is too small and out-of-date for modern teaching and would be difficult to upgrade, he said.

Preliminary plans call for construction of an eight-story building, with one level below ground, containing about 160,000 square feet of space in all. Three levels would be for hospital functions; four levels would be for physicians' offices; and one level would be for the Union Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and the Johnston School of Practical Nursing.

Mr. Cunniff said additional parking is needed to supplement the hospital's 10-story, 980-car garage on the north side of 34th Street between Calvert and St. Paul streets.

The hospital would relocate the occupants of the houses on 33rd Street so they could be razed, and the garage would be kept to about the same height as the houses, he said.

Mr. Cunniff said the hospital is working with Mullan Enterprises to build the project and that Meyers and D'Aleo Inc. would be the project architect. Manekin Corp. would be responsible for the physicians' offices, and Marks, Thomas and Associates would be the interior architects for the physicians' offices. Han

sen Lind Meyers, an architectural firm based in Chicago, would work with the hospital on the design of the outpatient-care facilities.

Union Memorial has about 1,800 employees, including a medical staff of 704, said spokeswoman Amy Strong. Before it can start construction, the hospital needs City Council approval of an amendment to a Planned Unit Development ordinance passed in the early 1970s to guide development within the hospital property.

Union Memorial officials will discuss their plans during a community meeting in the hospital's board room Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Cunniff said hospital officials would like to have the project fully designed and approved in time to begin construction next spring, and to complete it by December 1992.

Construction funds will come from a $12.5 million fund-raising drive that the hospital launched earlier this year and from the proceeds of a bond sale. About $6.4 million already has been raised in the drive, Ms. Strong said.

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