Pedestrian bridge leading to and from parking garage to close during construction


St. Joseph Hospital has launched an added benefit and essential resource for all those visiting the downtown anchor of local healthcare. Free valet parking will begin at the hospital’s front entrance. This service will be available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to providing more convenience for patients and visitors coming to St. Joe, utilization of valet parking will become extremely important, when the second floor bridge leading to and from the parking garage is closed as part of an ongoing campus construction project.

Work on a $7 million, 29,000-square-foot medical office building (MOB) located between the hospital, 700 Broadway, and existing MOB, 800 Broadway, is entering into a phase that involves the moving of communications lines currently routed along the pedestrian bridge spanning the outdoor plaza. The bridge is scheduled to come down completely in December to make room for the new MOB that will eventually include a shorter bridge connecting the facility to the hospital. The current access route from the garage to the hospital will be closed throughout construction, which is expected to be completed by August 2008. Individuals visiting offices in the existing MOB are still encouraged to park in the attached garage. These facilities will remain open during the renovation.

A temporary Plexiglas and plywood walkway has been erected along Broadway to lead patients from the garage and MOB to St. Joe’s main entrance. However, anyone traveling to the hospital is urged to take advantage of the free valet service to avoid unnecessary outdoor trips around the construction zone.

Hospital officials estimate three to four valets may eventually park 80 to 100 vehicles per day. After 8 p.m., guests who are still at St. Joe will be able to pick up their keys at the front security booth. Free valet parking will continue after the MOB project is finished next summer.

In addition to new construction, renovation of the existing 36,000-square-foot MOB will transform the new and old structures into one 65,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. When completed, the Fort Wayne Medical Education Program will relocate from its current home at 2434 Lake Avenue to its new home on the St. Joe campus. Fort Wayne Medical Education oversees 31 family practice and nine orthopaedic residents during training that lasts between three and five years respectively.

The Medical Education Program will serve as the main tenant of the new addition and occupy most of its three stories. St. Joe will use approximately 3,500 square feet on the back half of the ground floor to house a new cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and wellness center that will be available to patients, hospital associates and the general public for related activities. The new structure will consist of office space, classrooms and exam/treatment rooms. This project also has the potential to serve as a recruitment tool for the Medical Education Program as it looks to bring outstanding young physicians to the community.

Since becoming Fort Wayne’s first hospital in 1869, St. Joseph has continued to serve the communities in and around the heart of the city and beyond. In addition to providing the region’s only verified burn center, St. Joe has been one of the leaders for downtown revitalization through projects such as the $5.5 million Emergency Department renovation and expansion in 2003 and a $1.8 million renovation and expansion to the hospital’s obstetrics unit called “The Birthplace” in 2005. The hospital also initiated a $6 million relocation and expansion of its regional burn and wound care centers in June, a project expected to be done in May 2008.

The Waynedale News Staff
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