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Hospital project revealed

September 03, 1997

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Construction of an additional Martinsburg City Hospital building could begin before Christmas, according to the architect designing the project.

Robert T. Eckels on Wednesday night gave the city planning commission a preview of the project - a three-story, 63,000-square-foot building that would be located on the south end of the hospital property.

Eckels said the first floor of the building would be occupied by a cancer treatment center that would be run in conjunction with the hospital. Nonessential services such as administration, bookkeeping, occupational therapy and some other outpatient services could also be moved into the building, according to Eckels.

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He said plans include office space for physicians to set up private practices. The building should be ready for its first tenants next fall, Eckels said after the meeting with the commission.

"We would look for a staggered occupancy in the building," Eckels said. The first occupant will likely be the cancer treatment center, he added.

Even when the first occupants are in, Eckels said construction on the rest of the building could continue for another four to six months.

Eckels said there is a projected cost for the building, but would not divulge the amount.

Moving administrative and outpatient services to the new building will free up space in the main hospital building for other uses, he said.

The hospital hopes to "fast track" the project, according to the Martinsburg architect. "We've started our engineering at this point," he added.

He said developing the site plan will be the most time-consuming part of the run up to construction.

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