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Parkland Unveils Plan for New $1.2 Billion Hospital Complex

A 17-story state-of-the-art hospital, surrounded by new clinics and parking garages, will replace Dallas County’s overcrowded charity hospital in 2014.

Parkland Memorial Hospital’s board of managers approved a preliminary site plan Tuesday for a campus that will be built on 26 acres across Harry Hines Boulevard from where the 54-year-old hospital sits.

The main tower of the new hospital will have almost 2 million square feet of floor space, making it almost twice the size of the current one.

“Now, we’ve got to work out the cost to make sure it fits the budget,” said Louis A. Beecherl III, who heads the board committee tracking the $1.2 billion project.

In November 2008, Dallas County voters overwhelmingly approved a $747 million bond issue to help pay for the new hospital. The remainder of the construction costs will be covered by the hospital’s cash reserves and private donations.

The planning effort has focused on the main hospital building, the most complex component of the new campus, officials said. The hospital tower will be surrounded by two clinic buildings, a central utility plant and a massive parking garage. The site also has space for a second garage and future expansion of the main hospital.

Visitors, patients and staff will have easy access to a DART rail station and bus transfer station, both of which are adjacent to the campus’ main buildings.

“We will encourage people to use mass transit,” said Robert “Hank” Adams, vice president of HDR Architecture, one of two firms designing the new hospital.

Adams gave the Parkland board a brief tour of the new complex – on paper.

The hospital’s first floor will house a much-expanded emergency department that includes Parkland’s trauma center and a separate treatment area for Dallas County jail inmates, he said.

“We wanted to be sure we had the emergency room’s ambulatory entrance right there on Harry Hines,” said John M. Haupert, the hospital’s chief operating officer.

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SOURCE: Dallas Morning News

“Most hospitals put the emergency entrance out of the way in the back of the building,” he said. “That’s where we’ll have the ambulances arriving.”


Posted January 28, 2010

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