Sometime late this summer, visitors and staff at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in east Tualatin will notice some major changes underway.
Out in front of what is now Meridian Park's main entrance, where much of the hospital's parking lots are located, a new patient care tower is planned for construction. The four-story building, which will be roughly 160,000 square feet in size, will not expand the hospital's bed capacity, said Legacy Health spokesman Piseth Pich, but it will help optimize "operational flow" and "bring our patient care areas up to standard (modern-day) code."
The tradeoff is that the building footprint will displace dozens of parking spaces out in front of the main entrance, and construction could affect accessibility. Pich said the building "will take up a good majority of this parking lot."
There is no exact date for when site preparation will begin, although it is expected to come sometime in August, according to Pich. Construction is anticipated to start over the winter, he added.
After the prep work begins, visitors and staff will have to park in other lots, as the existing parking lots in front of the main entrance will not be available. The trees and landscaping around those parking lots also will be removed, although Pich said plans call for new trees to be planted as part of the project. Legacy is looking at ways to add new parking areas to the hospital campus, he added.
"The site prep in August will immediately affect parking in the main parking lot, but we will do our best to accommodate as much parking as we can in the other areas of the hospital grounds," Pich told The Times in an email. "Access to the campus will also be impacted to a certain degree, but for both access to the hospital and parking, we'll have abundant signage to make it clear for patients and visitors."
Construction work is also expected to have an impact on the bus stop on campus, where bus line 76 from Beaverton currently terminates, just across the parking lot from the main entrance, according to Pich.
"The plan calls for accommodating for this bus stop as part of final construction," Pich wrote in an email.
The most recent building constructed at Meridian Park was the Building 2 in the hospital's medical office plaza, to the north of the main entrance. It was built in 2002, along with a parking garage across from it.
Funding for the project comes from a combination of philanthropic donations, Legacy Health operating funds and money borrowed on the bond market, according to Pich.
By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times