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Pa. hospital wins approval for expansion

January 04, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro Hospital can check yet another item off its preliminary to-do list for expansion. In a unanimous decision Wednesday, the Waynesboro Borough Council rezoned two blocks of property along Enterprise Avenue from residential to hospital/office.

Ken Shur, vice president and chief operations officer at hospital owner Summit Health, said getting land rezoned is one of many preliminary steps the hospital is taking to prepare for expansion.

"The next step is to ask the borough for Enterprise Avenue," he said. Shur said Waynesboro Hospital will expand across Enterprise Avenue, add approximately 24,000 square feet to its facility and about 105 parking spaces. The addition will expand the diagnostic imaging department and outpatient services.

Shur said the hospital owns all but five lots in the two-block section but what it owns is enough for the expansion.

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Only one resident spoke against the rezoning during the public hearing, saying the expansion would lower the property value of adjacent homes.

Speaking on behalf of the hospital's Vision 2015, Paul Gunder encouraged the council to approve the request, calling the hospital a "good community citizen."

Jeff Carty, assistant vice president of finance, said the hospital is still in the design phase and hopes to break ground on the project in spring 2008. Once construction begins, Carty estimates the project will take 18 to 20 months.

The planned expansion is estimated to cost $13.5 million to $15.5 million and stretch across Enterprise Avenue.

Kevin Grubbs, head of engineering for the Borough of Waynesboro, said the strip of land rezoned Wednesday is one of two rezoning requests submitted by the hospital. The other request was for 5.5 acres across Pa. 16, the former site of East Junior High, to also be rezoned to hospital/office.

Grubbs said a public hearing on the hospital-owned parcel across Pa. 16 is scheduled for early February.

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