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Hospital plans office in old East Junior High lot

May 11, 2004|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro Hospital wants to build a modular office building across East Main Street from the main hospital building to house two new doctor's offices and other services on land once occupied by East Junior High School.

Members of the Waynesboro Planning Commission voted unanimously to send a favorable recommendation to the borough's Zoning Hearing Board and the Borough Council after considering the hospital's proposal Monday night.

The planners decided against recommending a special exception to the borough's zoning ordinance that would require the hospital to build an 8-foot buffer strip behind its new building.

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Hospital officials argued that a buffer was unnecessary since there is nothing behind the proposed building except an empty field that Waynesboro Area High School students use. They argued that such a buffer would be a hangout for students and would create maintenance problems because of litter.

"We've never had a variance on a buffer strip that I can recall," said Jon Fleagle, commission chairman.

The building will be brought to the site in six sections. A brick veneer will be added to make it conform to the appearance of the main hospital building across the street, hospital officials said.

The hospital planners decided on a modular building because of cost considerations.

The new building will cover 4,200 square feet, said John McElwee, vice president of Summit Health, which owns Waynesboro and Chambersburg hospitals.

Two Norwegian orthopedic surgeons - Stein Sletten and Henrik Hofgaard - will occupy the building, said Kenneth Shur, vice president of operations at Waynesboro Hospital.

Sletten and Hofgaard are among seven physicians from Norway being recruited by Summit Health as replacements for specialists who have left Franklin County in the wake of Pennsylvania's medical malpractice crisis.

The new building will have space for other specialists and an X-ray unit, officials said.

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