ROANOKE, Va. – The most transformational project in Carilion's history is slowly but surely coming to life.
We reported in May about the huge expansion project, investing $300 million and adding three new buildings to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. We're now getting a better idea of what that will look like.
Carilion vice president of facilities and operations Marty Misicko walked 10 News through the latest updates to the hospital's biggest project yet. The most visible change is noted in new renderings: the Crystal Spring Tower that's taking over the old tennis courts, pushed much further back off the road.
"We realized that we don't want people to walk along Jefferson and have a big tower right there and I think setting it back is going to have a better influence on the neighborhood I think, we've had recent meetings with the south county folks and they were very receptive to the new plan," Misicko said.
The plan has also grown from the 400,000 square feet we reported in May to at least 454,000 square feet. That doesn't include the behavioral health building across South Jefferson Street.
"We're going to increase the parking. I think that's a frustrating piece for anybody that's going to visit there,” Misicko said.
A total of 800 new spaces will be added, many in a parking deck. Carilion may also ask the city to close a stretch of Crystal Spring Avenue to expand parking even further. A public hearing is slated for next month to get the city and community members on board with a project that will impact them for years to come.
"I think in the community overall, there's a lot of excitement because it's going to really bring in a lot more opportunities for careers with Carilion and also opportunities for patients that we can serve better," Misicko said.
After the public hearing, the first step in construction will be demolishing the old tennis courts. Demolition for the current behavioral health building is set for next summer.
Carilion leaders said they're still on target with their deadline, wrapping up construction in four or five years.